so many robins

3.2.22 ~ Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic

I took a solo walk yesterday, while Tim rested his ailing ankle. There were so many robins out and about, running across the cemetery lawns. It was a sunny early spring day, a seasonable 43°F (6°C) with a little wind chill, but I didn’t need any thermal layers or heavy mittens. 🙂 Three crows were making a ruckus in the treetops but finally settled their differences and flew off, leaving me to enjoy a robin photo shoot.


The Robin is the One
That interrupts the Morn
With hurried — few — express Reports
When March is scarcely on —

The Robin is the One
That overflow the Noon
With her cherubic quantity —
An April but begun —

The Robin is the One
That speechless from her Nest
Submit that Home — and Certainty
And Sanctity, are best

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #501)


bathing in a muddy puddle
Spring is in the air!


37 thoughts on “so many robins”

  1. We had the Robins here a month ago as they seemed to be heading North. They stayed around for a week and then disappeared. Several pairs generally stay here for the Summer to raise their young. Lovely poem by one of our favorite authors Emily Dickinson.

    1. Makes you wonder why some robins stay in the south, some winter here, and others travel back and forth. I guess they’re like us people, each one with their own preferences. Since Emily was a New Englander I love it that she mentions hurrying robins when “March is scarcely on,” and that’s what I got to see. 🙂

        1. I think they must be as confused as we are! It got into the 60s yesterday, breaking a record.

  2. Aren’t they just darling? So nice you got out for a walk and photoshoot. I just love seeing birds taking a bath; for some reason that always makes me smile.

    1. Thank you, Frank. Spring weather is definitely on the rise! (But I’m bracing myself for a parting shot or two from old man winter.)

  3. We had a gorgeous, warm day yesterday, and the air was filled with jubilant birdsong — how wonderful it is to hope that Spring is on its way (though the “old-timers” predict it will be late here once again. Sigh.)

    1. As Wallace Stevens once observed early in March, “Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise!” It still seems surprising when we find fresh snow on the daffodils and crocuses. Like you, I love listening to the birds announcing spring. We’ll get there!

    1. That sounds lovely, yards full of robins. 🙂 I wonder if these wintered here because they seem kind of thin to me. Are the ones you see more filled out?

  4. Lovely to see the robins with this perfect poem in your post today, Barbara! I can hear them chitter chatting in my mind. Wondered if a solo walk is a comfort zone for you. Nice to have Tim by your side for the drive too.

    My Colorado husband would take me on all day nature drives while I was healing my ankles. Even though I could not walk, it was really great therapy to be able to see the beautiful landscapes.

    Spring is soon!

    1. Thank you, TD! I don’t really enjoy walking by myself these days, although I did as a child. Even getting lost while alone in the woods when I was little didn’t bother me because I knew how to find my way home. But we didn’t have bears to worry about back then! (Not to mention unleashed stray dogs.) Yesterday two different groups of hikers at a state park here were followed by a bear, at different times on the same day.

      I like your idea about nature drives. We might have to adjust our outings to accommodate our changing health needs. Find some spots with benches where we can sit and do some birdwatching and get some fresh air. As you say, any way we can connect with nature is great therapy.

      1. The ROBINS have arrived!!! Walking into the kitchen out the corner window on the fence, I noticed a few larger than the sparrows and certainly not our mourning doves sitting checking things out. I was at a distance and went to grab binoculars so I wouldn’t scare away the newbies. Two more joined. And sure enough five ROBINS in a line scoping out the digs! I am so excited!!

        I thought that this property didn’t get robins. They aren’t small rounded like sparrows. Not fluffy feathered like the doves. These five were not skinny by any means, but nicely smooth slender. Just like your photos. Very pretty. I walked up to the window to see without binoculars… an of course… they flew away. But I had a wonderful happy moment this afternoon.

        Winter returned this morning with gale winds at 30 -35 mph. I hear the whoooo of the winds A tease of a few spring like days; Only enough time to wash floor coverings and bed linen. Love crawling into fresh clean cotton linens.

        1. Yay!!! I’m so happy your robins arrived! Sorry it’s taking me so long to respond to comments — it’s been a tough week. I hope those gale winds are well behind you and that the spring birds are bringing you joy in warmer weather. 🙂

  5. Great shots, Barbara. Looks like a female… they are on their way! Today I must have had at least 4 dozen in the yard, most were male, I only saw one female. (The males come first to establish territories before the females arrive.) Exciting to see!

    1. Thank you, Eliza! I didn’t realize one could tell the difference between the males and females. At first I was wondering if these were actually robins they seemed so dull and faded. Thanks for your observation. I learned something new today!

  6. A perfect Spring-y poem you have shared Barbara. I like how the Robins always seem to be standing at attention, listening ever so carefully, often tilting their head at the vibrations underground. I know they can’t always be listening for worms – or maybe they are, since the brief thaw may have encouraged the worms to exit their Winter hiding places.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I can usually count on Emily for an appropriate nature or garden or weather poem. 😉 I kept hoping to see one of the robins eat a worm but no luck. They seemed to be very busy and focused on whatever it was they were up to. With the warm temperatures there was mud everywhere and still even some snow remaining on the lawn in shady spots.

      1. Emily to the rescue.The robins are likely frustrated by their worms being underground and not slithering around for easy access. 🙂 I read in one of the local Facebook forums (where folks once again are bemoaning our lack of a dog park and wishing Council Point Park could become one – you know how I’d feel about that as they already walk their dogs there, some off-leash), Heritage Park does allow it and a few people said it was a muddy mess no matter where you walked. It was a muddy mess last October already. That sun and dwindling snow is a good thing for sure.

        1. Mud season is upon us! It’s too bad that irresponsible dog owners allow their pets off-leash in public parks. Not everyone is dog crazy and some of us are terrified of the big ones. Not to mention those who leave their crap behind for us to step in, making us keep our eyes on the ground instead of looking up for birds, etc…. Sigh…

          1. Yes, it is muddy everywhere right now, except for today with its 4F real feel. The dogs and the geese make you have to do a poop check throughout the walk – wait til the goslings are big enough to graze non-stop all day on grass. No looking anywhere but down!

          2. Lol — oh my, yes, those geese can leave quite a mess! But it doesn’t smell as bad as dog poop. It’s bitter cold here this morning but should be much better tomorrow.

  7. I loved this post, Barbara. The sweetness of robins shines out here, with their ground-hopping ways and many postures. Even when the ground is cold they are popping around looking perky. Some of these photos demonstrate the thrush wings, which I also enjoy seeing in bluebirds: so long that when folded they hang down below the body. Like in the penultimate photo. Emily Dickinson’s #501 was a perfect accompaniment to your photos–home, certainty and sanctity…really nice.

    1. Thank you, Jet. And thanks for pointing out the thrush wings ~ I hadn’t noticed that feature before. So much to learn even about everyday birds. I love how Emily suggests that speechless robins can submit hurried reports about the certainty and sanctity of home. Being such a homebody myself they made me think of them being out at their “grocery store” (the lawn) gathering things to bring back to their nests.

  8. I saw a robin yesterday. It was sitting on our deck railing surveying the land. I never know when I’ll see them in the spring, but once they arrive nest building begins.

    1. That must have been a most welcome sign of spring for you, Ally! Can you see them building their nests from your deck? I imagine that would keep me amused for hours. 🙂

      1. The robins build their nests under our deck. The deck is one story off the ground, so underneath is prime real estate from a bird’s point of view.

        1. Cool! I did read online they like to build their nests close to the ground so that does indeed sound like prime real estate.

    1. Thank you, Donna! It was more than one robin — it was so much fun watching them be so busy, although I never did catch one pulling up a worm. 🙂

  9. Lots of robins everywhere! Even more than we saw in Georgia. We would only see two or three at a time. There are no robins here yet. They had better stay south until it gets warmer and the snow melts. (My mom saw one in lower Michigan last week, a little bit earlier than normal.)

    1. The last time we saw a large group of robins here was in December. Some of them are over-wintering in Connecticut in recent years, feeding on frozen wild berries, crab apples and rose hips. But I imagine that would not work for the robins out there in your colder, longer Michigan winter!

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