Herds of robins arrived back in the garden at the beginning of February this year. It might have felt like an early sign of spring if it didn’t coincide with yet another snowfall. We have had more or less permanent, thick snow cover since Christmas. Very different from the last three years. I’m not complaining because I love the way the garden and the woods look when they are blanketed in snow. It also gives us insight into the nocturnal wanderings of the 5 or 6 deer that frequent our patch of Mahone Bay *every* night. They zigzag through the garden and usually make sure to stop by the holly bush which seems to be their favourite snack. They also enjoy the thrill of traversing the frozen pond out the back. We’ve spotted raccoon tracks, too, along with the obligatory squirrel footprints and mice runs.
Anyway, the robins came back in a flock of around 15 or 20 last week. I first spotted some flying around our back door, under the deck, where I had stuck some red-berried twigs in the window box before Christmas. Three or four were perched on the edge pulling the old berries off the twigs. The same happened to the window box outside the bathroom. Within 24 hours, the twigs were bare and the birds had moved on to the cherry tree in the front garden. They stayed in the garden for a couple more days then flew off en masse for someone else’s leftover christmas decorations — but not before sampling the fake plastic berries on a wreath by the office.
These twigs were covered in red berries a day earlier:
It’s not just the robins that are back. I heard my first Red Cardinal on February 12 at the Waldorf School in Blockhouse, and Lily saw one fly across the road the following day on the way home from Lunenburg. So we have the robins and the cardinals back in town — now we just need the snow and freezing rain to ease off a little.