Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Early Doors


Each morning a robin waits for early doors, for me to feed the hens

Early Doors-1

Knowing that there will be a little feed left just for him, placed on top of the chicken run. What strikes me is how he can go from, plump, plum pudding round with a modelling contract for a Christmas card, to  a fretful anxious looking anorexic in a two yard flit from garden wall to chicken run. It’s the same bird honest.

Early Doors 2-1

And it had already been feasting on the bird feeder.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

15 thoughts on “Early Doors

  1. That’s very noticeable in siskins in our garden too. It is hard to believe that it is the same bird.

  2. Our visiting siskins can change from a tennis ball to a cigar in a moment too.

  3. I never noticed such a transformation in any bird. Learn something every day. I see that what you call robins and what we call robins are two entirely different birds. Yours seem to be somewhat more entertaining. Not as entertaining, perhaps, as spaniels. The Cowboy is waiting for early doors as dinner is cooking. (Useful thing, learning English.)

  4. They are not daft Robins, they make themselves look skinny so you will leave more food out.

    We have a tribe (four) who come visit and each one has his particular perch. You should see the kerfuffle when one cannot get on his patch.
    And the Gold Finches have now reached 19, so it looks as though we just lost 5 over the winter.

  5. Reminds me of the “mad bluebird” http://www.themadbluebird.com/MadBluebirdGallery.html

    Don’t know where you are, Gerry, but in the US, what we call “robins” are really a species of thrush, and about twice the size of the “real” robins, which are small songbirds. It’s been interesting to me to see pictures of them, because the only similarity they have to “my” robins are their red breasts. There’s a gang of “US robins” that hang out in the trees next door, who regularly police my back yard and set my cats to chattering —

  6. Our robin has either fallen in love with, or is pursuing a mad rivalry with (probably the latter), the robin that lives in the wing mirror of our car. Which is why the car is permanently coated in bird crap.

  7. Terrific pictures. He obviously couldn’t hold his breathe in for any longer! xx

  8. lol! Our mourning doves do that, too. They fluff out their feathers to stay warm.

  9. Love the term ‘early doors’. Even your robins are magical ~ a resident shape-shifter!

  10. On Autumnwatch they said birds fluff up their feathers for warmth – probably while he’s waiting for you. The thinner picture is his actual size. One of our blackbirds has an injured leg so I know it’s the same bird when she’s sitting plumply on the wall as the slimline version hopping about the garden.

  11. Over the years I’ve received a few Christmas cards showing robins from friends in the UK. Here in North America, robins are a sign of spring. Even the most attractive specimen wouldn’t stand a chance of landing a modelling contract.

  12. Mine turns up just like yours when I come out to feed bantams. I felt so sorry for him with the snow and ice that I ordered the special and expensive Fat Robin Mix from a certain well known feed company.

  13. What a big softy you are OverTheHill, I told ‘our robin’ the other morning, how he is now ‘world famous’. If he gets wind of this he’ll be making filmstar demands.

  14. Spotted Mr Redbreast on Flickr and felt I had to comment as we’re practically related. My interest was piqued by his endearingly rotund aspect and his near miraculous transformation. I’m convinced a promising career awaits him in the marketing of exercise videos 😉

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