Saturday, 24 January 2015

The North Wind Doth Blow

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days Challenge'
DAY 24

'My Robin' study

Better late than never! Profuse apologies - 
Not a full-blown oil painting I'm afraid, but some quick, little sketches of my robin. Actually, THREE mini watercolour paintings...that's all I could manage this evening.
 I say he's mine, but he probably has a dozen women fighting over him, feeding him tidbits and spoiling him rotten.
It always amazes me that a robin in particular, can look so very different when viewed from different angles.
I often wonder why robins are so incredibly friendly, trusting birds. Or is it that they are just bold and brazen and intent on gathering food?

A few years ago we had a pair of robins that nested in an old, terracotta pot which was attached to  a brick wall swathed in thick, shiny, green ivy. 
We watched them each day collecting nesting material, flitting in and out, busying themselves preparing for their new family.

 The nest was literally two feet from our patio window so we could sit in comfort watching all the shenanigans. Then the eggs hatched and we could leave the door ajar and listen to their tweetings.
We went away for the weekend in the knowledge that all babies were thriving and mum and dad where reliable, text book parents. 
On our return,the first  thing I did was to go check them out.
I was met with an horrific sight.
The babies were strewn around the patio, cold and lifeless. The nest lay abandoned and there was no sign of the parents. For the life of me I couldn't work out what had happened. 
suddenly, one of the parents flee in and sat on the bench next to me. He looked bewildered and stared at me in the hope I I would be able to do something about the carnage and revive his babies. 
He sat there for quite some time, looking down at his little darlings.
My heart went out to him. 
There were many theories offered from neighbours and friends as to what might have happened. One being that magpies had raided the nest and dragged each little feathery chick out one by one. Apparently, it's quite common and they often collaborate with other magpies and form a military precision attack.

It's a funny old world.....

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  1. Your robins are adorable. You've taught me something about magpies. I had always thought they were small insect type things, so I looked them up. Had no idea that they are full size birds. Enjoying seeing all the artwork. You're good!

    1. Yes magpies have a bit of a bad press over here. Naughty birds!
      Thanks for your your kind comment.