The price of a robin

I have been to the optician again and bought new glasses. I had my second eye lens replaced then after five weeks I was tested again. It does not seem five minutes ago since I last had new fashionable large round glasses. Now I needed some more and there were so many to choose from. In the end I went with small oval shaped frames. As soon as I put them on, the whole shop sprang into focus it was a wonderful surprise to see every detail on the back wall with both eyes. The specs were eye-wateringly expensive but worthwhile.

It was so good to see detail clearly last week when I went to a garden nursery. It was one of those buildings that is open ended with high shed roofs. There is no café and no clothes or shoes for sale, only plants and the things that you need to make them grow. They are the sort of nursery people that makes their own compost.

The first thing I noticed was the robin’s song and I soon found her with my good new eyesight. It was staring at me from its perch on a bag of fertilizer. I was able to walk up and take a photo and it did not move. It was obviously used to visitors and was quite tame.

“Does the robin live here?” I asked one assistant.

“I will get Lucy; she knows all about it.”

Lucy did indeed know all about the robin and its habits, she told me what it does and all about its behaviour, as she leant over the packets of seeds on the counter, with enthusiasm.

“The robin nested here during the pandemic; she nested on the display shelves over there.” Lucy pointed to a well-known make of garden tools and all the attachments you could want neatly displayed on a wall panel.

“We cordoned it all off so that the nest would not be disturbed and the robin laid seven eggs – they all hatched. I wrote to the firm and told them.

‘You are the proud father of seven baby robins.’ I said and they were very pleased.”

But it wasn’t all over yet. Because the young grew and fledged and before the nursery people could get to the nest, the robin started all over again and laid seven more eggs. The cordons had to stay in place whilst the eggs were incubated and the second brood was fledged.

“You are now the proud father of fourteen young robins.” Wrote Lucy to the firm.

“Yes, that’s good but I don’t suppose you are selling our produce.”

What is a robin’s nest worth?

 (Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)



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