I was delighted to read on the excellent Hazeltree blog recently that a pair of robins were nesting on a shelf, in a shed. Behind a couple of pots of paint. Actually, no I wasn’t. I wasn’t delighted at all. I was spitting tacks.
Would you credit it? A couple of years ago, I made a perfectly lovely robin nest box. Put it up on an ivy covered tree and waited expectantly for the grateful little darlings to set up home and start making babies. Nada. OK, obviously something unappealing to the robin eye about my siting of the box so I moved it. Moved it to the inside of an old outbuilding where I thought robins would be elbowing each other aside so as to get inside this snug and cosy home.
And was it used? Was it buffalo. Don’t know why I bother, I really don’t. I even put an old quirky roofing tile on it to give it a jaunty air. Next year I’ll just stick a couple of pots of paint on a shelf – that’s obviously all they want. Ungrateful wretches.
Still. After a little tantrum, I consoled myself that of the nine tit boxes that I’ve made and put up in the garden, seven are in use this year. As five of them only went up in February, I’m fairly chuffed. Obviously blue and great tits are a far more discerning and appreciative clientele than your provincial and, quite frankly, boorish robin. The latter wouldn’t know a nice home if it came hurtling at them at great speed and accuracy from the hand of a churlish gardener.
|One of the nest boxes in use – on the mighty ash tree.|
Oh well, at least Margaret’s fast growing lambs appreciate me. This one came to investigate the beautiful singing it heard floating out from the Priory gardens. It was me working through my Musicals Medley, and he was particularly enraptured by my “One Day More” from Les Mis. Oddly, no-one else ever has been. But, to put it bluntly, unless he learns to eat with his mouth shut we’re never going to hit it off.
Somebody else who appreciates me are the Mandarin ducks nesting in my tawny owl box. I obviously hadn’t made it quite clear enough that this was for the sole use of tawny owls. SOLE USE. However, I’m not a total curmudgeon, and having moved in, I was very happy to have them on board. I was worried though that they might abandon their nest as initially they would fly off whenever I approached the box. But they seemed to have calmed down and now when I walk past, I often just catch a glimpse of a distrustful, intent eye, watching me as I go about my business. Just checking up on what I’m doing and where I’m going. Ensuring that I’m not up to any mischief.
What an anxious time. When the big day arrives and we are a parent, we’ll be sure to let you know.