Robin - A Bird of Pray
Meet the most vocal member of St Mary's Church: a tame robin who has made this Portchester church his home.
It might not be the largest member of the flock, but this bold robin can easily out-sing all the other churchgoers. The bird has become a fixture at 12th-century St Mary's in Portchester Castle, Hampshire after fluttering in during the worst snow of the winter.
Interestingly, the village of Portchester, on the south coast of England, is where Will comes from and he and his family still live there. As a child he often worshipped in 12th century church with his family.
Reverend Charlie Allen, 31, is delighted with her new red-breasted friend whose vocal contributions to sermons and hymns are easily audible shown here in this photo.
The vicar first spotted the bird inside St Mary's Church at Portchester Castle, Hampshire, when there was a heavy snowfall in December 2010. Since then the chirpy chappy has made the 12th Century Anglican church overlooking Portsmouth Harbour its home and has received considerable attention from the other parishioners.
Not only does the friendly male bird enjoy seeds and water left out for it by the vicar, but he is even treated to crumbs of cake by people who are visiting specifically to take its picture. We learned that, "He eats out of people's hands and visitors to the church are delighted. He moved in when we had a cold snap. He will occasionally fly outside but if he comes back to find the door closed, he'll wait by it to be let back in again." What a magical 'bird of pray'!
A robin which sought shelter in a shop during the snowy weather has become a daily fixture. The bird which, Will and Guy have discovered, has been named Robbie seeks morning crumbs and warmth in an Aberdeen Co-operative Store.
The robin first appeared in November amid the heavy snow and can be seen sitting behind the tills each morning, often singing. Bits of croissant, Aberdeen rowies, [also known as butteries or breakfast rolls] and blueberries have become the bird's favourites.
However, staff had to remove a Christmas card featuring a robin which was behind the counter as their *territorial visitor kept flying at it.
Co-op assistant Yvonne Benzie told us, 'He cheers us all up. We will miss Robbie when he goes.'
*Probably the UK's favourite bird, with its bright red breast it is familiar throughout the year and especially at Christmas. Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown.
Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute appearance, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive away intruders.
They will sing at night next to street lights.
It always makes me melancholy when the robins start migrating south.
'A robin redbreast in a cage
From the poem "Auguries of Innocence"
Robin and Batman!
Thought for the Day - Miscellany
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