In Search of Robin Hood…Robins and a couple other birds of Sherwood Forest
By: Pat Coate
Had a marvelous opportunity to spend two weeks in Great Britain traveling with my daughter. One stop was in the Sherwood Forest/Nottingham area – the land of Robin Hood. Whether fact or fiction, we had lots of fun walking through hallowed Sherwood Forest, visiting Nottingham Castle and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, and checking out Edwinstowe where legend has it Robin Hood married Maid Marion.
Though certainly not a main purpose of the trip, there were many wonderful birds along the way and it would have been a shame not to try to capture a few photos. One bird we saw throughout was the Robin – a very cheery, friendly bird. It is much smaller and daintier than our American Robin.
We saw this bird both at feeders and skittering about on the mighty trees of Sherwood Forest. It has similarities in behavior and coloring to both our white-breasted and red-breasted nuthatches, and its size seemed to fall in between the two U.S. species.
Legend has it that the Major Oak, an amazing 33 feet in circumference and nearly 1000 years old, was a hiding place for Robin Hood and his Merry Men (must have been in the spring and summer when leafed out). Not sure how big this tree would have been back around 1200, but for sure there were others like it that would have met the famed outlaw’s needs!
The Wood Pigeon seems to fare well in most habitats as we saw it from countryside to city to sea. It is noticeably bigger than our pigeons, and it seems as though it might make a good meal as wild pigeon was on the menus of several pubs we visited.
Robins definitely won the “easiest to photograph” award, which seemed rather appropriate for Sherwood Forest.
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