Robin At Stoodley Pike


While taking a summer walk up to Stoodley Pike near Todmorden I saw a robin fluttering along from rock to rock. The pike is high up and it's blooming windy up there so I was surprised to see it. I suppose it was no feat for such a tough bird as they fly 100-200 miles a day when heading south for the winter. By the time I got my camera out it had flown away but I thought I might it one day. That dash of red was nice to see among the damp rocks and hardy grasses.

When I was a boy I thought robins only visited gardens over Christmas and winter. These days though I see them at Scarborough on the rocks near the sea - usually when the tide is going out. Near the beach is the esplanade and in Victorian times ladies wore hats decorated with dead robins. I've bought bird boxes before but never once had a bird make them home in one. Oh well....I'll keep trying. I read that British robins wonít enter the ones with round holes (they like the open-fronted boxes.) That bit of red on their chests makes them a bonny bird but in some parts of the world theyíre shot in their thousands for sport or food. As you can guess the males are typical men - brash, bold, bubbling with bravado and bonking urges. The males sing at each other and try to get to higher branches to show off their breasts to attract a female. This usually ends up in a challenge that can escalate to a fight and about 10% of robins die fighting.


Anyway I thought I'd commit the robin I saw onto a bit of board and here it is done with a knife. I daubed in the pike easily enough but thought the canvas a little bare. I was going to add some trees for effect but didnít bother as there arenít trees up there due to fierce winds. Gorse and bracken conspire with grass to try to embellish the terrain by thatís about it. The best bit is the view back across the valley. I managed to do everything with a knife except the robin's legs and the figures in the distance. When I'd finished I wondered if the robin I saw was still alive - they rarely live beyond 18 months so I doubt it. You never seem to see dead robins though do you? Iíve attached photos of a walk up to Stoodley Pike. Once the wind was so forceful it lifted a contact lense from the corner of my eye.


You could hang this £2882 painting near your swimming pool. Iíve sprayed it with waterproof gloss should embarrassing belly-flops create splashes. I can post if off tomorrow if I survive my unisex cage fight tonight against "Big Boulders" Brenda (that 'Boulder Holder' bra she wears is jolly daring - made from strawberry edible liquorice.) The last time I fought her she body-slammed me into next month and I had Christmas weeks before anyone else.