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Robin Redbreast
Robin tweet   Robin Redbreast   Blue Tit

March 9th 2014


Robin Redbreast Tweet

The first sign of spring has been the subject of a number of letters in the Daily Telegraph recently. One author – coincidentally a contributor to this website (see A Grandparent's worst nightmare) – has described the 'vernal equinox' as "midspring" day as it falls exactly midway between the summer and winter solstices and concludes, therefore, that the first day of spring is six weeks before this at the end of the first week in February.

Others have been less exact and have related the beginning of spring to events including: the first sighting of a wasp in the kitchen; the appearance of the star Arcturus low in the east; the first harvest of a bunch of rhubarb; the French air traffic controllers going on strike; frogspawn forming, pheasants foraging, buds bursting and Year 6 pupils practising alliteration for their SAT examinations; and when the post lady starts wearing shorts again.

For me spring has truly arrived when the dawn chorus drowns out the sound of the early morning flights into Heathrow. Our robin has been in particularly fine voice and makes it absolutely clear from the top of the flowering cherry tree at the bottom of our garden that this is his stomping ground and woe betide any other robin who might happen to stray this way. I have done my best to capture him in full song; if you listen closely you can hear a reply to his chirruping; whether this is a potential mate or a male adversary I am not sure.




  © Copyright Thomas Jackson 2010