This is the story of a gallant young cock chaffinch who arrived seriously injured. He braved the world with a determination not equalled in my experience by any other creature lest it be by some of those who become casualties in our wars.
Stompie arrived bleeding, not a lot, but continually. In the parlance of today “he was not fazed”. We had become accustomed to our herring gull pair talking to us and by now Harry was taking cheese from my hand twice daily. Mrs. H was reluc-tant to become too friendly. It appeared that instinct dictated her behaviour more than was the case with Harry. She kept her distance.
I had recorded the starlings’ raucous chatter. The robin too was recorded and then subjected to an experiment in which I played back its territorial song and it became livid. It paced - flew - around me seeking the source of the interloper owner of the challenging song. It was unnerving for the bird and so I soon ceased and the robin settled down once more.
On the day that Stompie arrived he had no name of course and we did not, could not, believe that he would be with us for very long. Little did we know then that there was a great story to be told. Here it is.
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