The birds I spend most time around, the robins and blackbirds, have suddenly changed their behaviour. A couple of weeks ago, a pair of blackbirds and a pair of robins were coming daily for mealworms and had been for many months, but all of them have become very shy. The blackbirds stayed away for a week before coming to ask for worms again and I haven’t seen either of the robins for nearly two weeks now. Are they just busy? Have they been predated? There is no way to tell, but their absence is notable.
Now that I don’t see him at all, I find I miss the bold male robin. I hear the familiar song nearby, but no robin flies to me. A few times I’ve stood and looked into the trees and the hedge at the back to see if he’s lurking, but he isn’t. Please tell me he hasn’t been tortured to death by a cat with nothing better to do! Maybe he’ll come back after a break, as happened in 2015 when he had a territory dispute in spring, but returned in the autumn. Maybe we’ve seen the last of him, we’ll see.
For anyone saying to themselves, ‘But, it’s a bird!’ – well observed, it’s a bird, though the feathers and wings are quite a give-away, the beak too. No Brownie points there.