Saturday, 3 December 2016

An Unlikely Face Off !

The European Robin, re-established as our national bird earlier this year, often seen in the woodlands, a garden favourite and often taken for granted.
 Life appears harder for the Robin in the marshlands where food supply is scarcer to find in these cold winter months.

Here's a pictorial observation of a plucky little Robin made the other day, after a particularly cold and frosty night.

The so called arena was a feeding station in the reedbed adjacent to the woodland at Rainham RSPB.
a good place to sit awhile and watch the birds coming and going, Greenfinch,Goldfinch, Reed Buntings, Dunnock, Collared Dove, Great Tit, Blue Tit, occasionally a Great Spotted Woodpecker arrives, and last year a Water Rail was seen feeding around the base of the feeders. But today's life struggle was this brave little Robin which caught my eye.

This Robin stationed itself on a convenient perch next to the feeder, being a ground feeder it didn't try and take seeds from the feeder itself, it was more interested in the spillage at the base of the feeder, which it made claim to, occasionally chasing away the female Buntings and Dunnocks.

Now I know that the Robin has a reputation for being a bit feisty to other Robins, especially when defending a territory, but this was even a very brave Robin or very foolish. I remembered a blog from Rainham last year of a Brown Rat attacking a Starling and dragging the unfortunate bird down a hole screaming.

 A Brown Rat slunk in from the shadows,  surprisingly the Robin held its ground, the Brown Rat edged ever closer, the Robin stared back, a face off , no one was giving ground, the Rat appeared massive against the Robin's tiny frame.

As the Brown Rat tentatively started to nibble at the spilt grain, the Robin edged closer, I had a bad feeling that this was not going to end well. The Robin was very agitated

Time after time the feisty little Robin launched into an attack on the Rat, each time the Rat would scurry off, only to return  a few seconds later.

                           Each time the Rat would scurry off, only to return  a few seconds later.

Just when it appeared that the Robin had driven the Brown Rat away

He returned with reinforcements !

At least the Robin lived to fight another day.

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