transferred saints' days

robins are in the rectory shed


Transferred saints’ days have brought us St George yesterday and St Mark today.  I recall a few years ago St Patrick’s day falling in Holy Week - it may even have been Palm Sunday, I can’t remember exactly - and many an Irish Church celebrated the saint on that day, even though, strictly, the Church Calendar transfers all the saints’ days falling in Holy Week and Easter Week until after they are over - hence our two celebrations at the beginning of this week.

 

Nature doesn’t follow the festivals and seasons of the Christian Church, even though the planting of potatoes on Good Friday is the tradition in England, and on St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.  However, the nesting of the birds is an altogether natural occurrence, not linked to dates as much as weather.  

 

We have collared doves in the yew tree and robins are nesting in the old coal shed of the rectory.  No coal in it now, of course, but through a crack in the doorway the robins have found an old Christmas wreath hanging on a nail.  Its dead foliage is fir rather than holly so it has formed a natural soft shelf for a nest.  The adult birds come and go with that faint flicker-out-of-the-corner-of-one’s-eye shadowy movement about them.  Blink and you’ve missed them.

 

There do seem to me to be more birds and more bird-song in the rectory garden this year.   I expect it is a combination of feeding and working the garden; more food, more cover, more life.  Typically, not one of the nest boxes has been occupied, but there are wrens in the front garden, but I haven’t found the nest yet; great tits with a home somewhere very close, but the robins are about four feet from the kitchen window.  Safe from cats, we hope to see young ones in a little while!

 

John Mann