R.I.P. Ray Turdus Merula – Obituary

Posted: June 5, 2013 in Garden visitors
Tags: , , ,

Where's your tool?

Where’s your tool?

As I’m feeling somewhat melancholy today it seems only fit to report on the sad demise of our garden King.  My worst fears have been confirmed Raymondo the lardy Blackbird guvnor of our garden is sadly no more.  A few weeks back he made his usual triumphant entry to our garden giving it the large one with his lovely birdsong battle cry which I think translates in a Ray Winstone accent  as “Oiiiiiaaaaaaaaaa NO! I’m the daddy here, where’s your ******* tool? But as he hopped about his Kingdom we noticed something was amiss as he seemed to topple over a few times.  Still shovelling food in his mouth to take back to his equally formidable missus and hopefully clutch of young turduses (or should that be turdi………?)  it was evident that he had hurt one of his legs/claws and was in some discomfort when he tried to stand on it.  At that very moment I had that horrible feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you know the worst but can do nothing about it.  Sadly that was his last visit and I only hope he didn’t suffer too much after that.

I never thought I could get so attached to a wild animal but I really do miss him.  In fact just writing this account is actually upsetting me more than I imagined.  I started feeding our garden visitors last October and Ray was one of the first to turn up. At that time he’d suffer no other invaders to his realm and chased every other bird off aggressively and then proceed to eat every single scrap that was left out.  It got so bad I had to put up a second temporary bird table to give the others a chance to get some food. From that very moment he was a daily visitor and happy to let me stand within 1 foot of him.  I fed him every day a varied diet of amongst other things bird seed, nuts, breadcrumbs, apple (his personal favourite) luxury cereal, digestive biscuits, etc,etc, breaking the ice off the water to allow him to drink which he did in bird equivalent gallon measures.  Oh and then there were the homemade fat balls! Gods holy trousers did he like these. If the perch could take his weight he’d use it otherwise he would launch himself straight at the ball with his beak open and lunge into it before landing on the ground with a load of fatty seeds and treats stuck to his beak, bless him.

At the start of the year, 2 different female blackbirds arrived on the scene and he began his courtship of both! These lovely ladies then had pick of the food as he stood in the shadows guarding them from suitors or danger.  In March his diet changed as he started searching more and more for worms which he took back to the nest of his chosen bird…….  I was happy to oblige in his search supplementing it with tasty looking grubs found under flagstones and the like.  The grubs he particularly liked as they went straight down instead of taking them back to the nest (with a “don’t tell the wife look”)   One day I fed him 12 worms on the trot from less than a foot away.  His only concern being that after about 8 he couldn’t fit anymore in his beak to take to the nest and didn’t want to leave them behind.  The symbiotic relationship I developed with this awesome little eating machine dude has kept my spirits up when I’ve been miserable. Sadly missed

2012- May 2013 RIP

At his best, with a beak covered with fatball heaven
2012- May 2013

One positive note is the recent arrival of a juvenile Blackbird “Becks/sie” still mottled but looks to be a male from the darkening back feathers and judging by his behaviour could well be one of his offspring.  Similar taste in food too although he seems to have a particular penchant for cake crumbs,  Victoria Sponge being his particular favourite.  So as they say ” The King is dead, long live the King”

  1. t-girl72 says:

    Aww Si, bless you! RIP Ray too although we don’t know for sure if he has passed away! xxxx

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