Posted by George Morrison

Twitter                              Word on the Week                     7th November 2020.

Now that the raucous sound of the twits emanating from the White House in Washington has become more muted we have been able to better appreciate our Autumn twitters.   They have their more vocal moments during feeding, usually when enjoying an extended breakfast.

So what’s on the menu?    The main item has been the bumper crop of Hawthorn berries.   These are bright red and show up well after the strong winds have removed most of the leaves from the trees.   

Unlike humans who go for the low hanging fruit first (because it’s easy to harvest) they start at the top of the trees and work their way down.   There was one of the three hawthorn trees, the smallest one, that by common consent has been kept till last.   Even today it has not lost its red gloss.

The noisiest bird to turn up for breakfast is the Redwing.   They make a sound like a rod and line fisherman’s reel when it is switched on to ratchet.   It is still quite a bit softer than the magpie staccato call which rings out at intervals proclaiming its successful nesting in our Scots Pine earlier this year.

Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare add their not too dissimilar sounds to those of the common or garden Blackbirds and Starlings.   The latter tend to show up in numbers and soon will be cavorting in the evening sky with their famous murmuration.

The garden birds are beginning to appear for their breakfast of oats.   One bird table is going to be placed between the cedar and the maple tree.   The birds like to roost in these and will feel more secure.   The other feeder will be nearer the kitchen window giving us endless pleasure through the winter.

Our regulars are the Blue Tit and Great Tit.   No Coal Tit yet but we have seen a Long-tailed Tit at the berries.   There are the usual House Sparrow and Hedge Sparrow or Dunnock, Wren and Robin Redbreast.

There is a legend regarding the latter.   It is said that the Robin recognised Christ as his creator (St John Chapter 1 verse 3).   On the cross the Robin tried to remove the crown of thorns and in the process was pierced and its breast stained with blood.    

The stain became part of the bird’s characteristics and acts as a reminder of Christ’s bearing the sin of the world in procuring our salvation.  The Apostle John writes in 1 John Chapter 2 verse 2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world”.   May the Robin be a reminder not only of the cost of our redemption but its availability for those who turn and trust Jesus.