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A fascinating game of life and death in my garden; VIEWPOINTS.

TWO months ago a pair of robins took up residence in a wren bag on my garden wall which had lain empty for four years.

In due course I observed four speckled eggs. the hen settled down on them and I could just see the top of her head and one eye peering out of the round hole.

Whilst we were away on holiday in mid July the eggs hatched and we returned to see an indiscernible blob of brown fluff with a soft yellow beak here and there. The parents made their feelings known if I went too close.

Whilst working outside, I could hear a reedy squeak which was difficult to pin-point but eventually found a baby robin on the lawn. I managed to get him back into the nest.

But last week I opened the back door to find another youngster just outside. I managed to scoop him up and attempted to put him back. He protested vigorously and panicked the others so they all hopped out and dropped five feet to the ground and dispersed in all directions.

The parents resented my interference and whirred around my head. My good intentions had misfired.

However, for a few days I heard their reedy squeaks and actually saw a parent feeding one. Sunday morning I returned from church and parked under the cherry tree.

I could hear the parents even before I got out of the car. They were very agitated with their staccato scolding. One perched on a branch just above my head and I thought he was annoyed with me.

Entering the garden I saw nothing, but from my study upstairs I saw the cause of their distress - the marmalade cat from across the road. I quickly ran downstairs but as soon as he heard the door opening he ran across the lawn, up the wall and was gone.

Since then I have seen and heard nothing. No warning call greets me the moments I step into the garden, all is silent. The robins have disappeared. Some will say the cat was only doing what comes naturally, but if he shows up here again I too will do what comes naturally. But will the robins have another try? I hope so.

John Marchant Ash Place, Fairwater, Cardiff
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 6, 2009
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