Out doing a bit of gardening, cutting our “front lawn” (aka The Dandelion Patch – I like Dandelions!).  And I kept getting the impression out of the corner of my eye of something darting swiftly by – until at last there came a beautifully warm red-orange glow from the bottom of a dense bush, and there was a Robin, a fairly small type of thrush.

And as I raked the grass and so laid bare more and more food items for him, he darted out more and more and dutifully gobbled them all down.  And knowing birds a little, I kept fairly still and started talking to him in much the same way that I talk to cats – quietly, softly and low.  And, looking up at this giant towering over him, he came closer and closer, to within a couple of inches of my feet I suppose, and I did wonder whether he might hop up onto the top of my shoe.

But he hopped away again, though not far away – and I started thinking about a photograph.  So, very quietly and slowly, keeping my eyes on him, I backed away into the house where I knew the Z 6 with a telezoom attached and a charged up battery were ready and waiting.  Creeping back out into the garden again I was sure he’d have disappeared – but no, he was still there, looking me.  So I carefully braced myself against the wall of the house and managed a few pictures.

Trouble was, I’d hardly used the Z 6 since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in March – I’ve been almost entirely photographing with the Olympus TG-5 – and so I’d forgotten exactly how the ***** Z 6 works!!! >>>> and so to several failed shots!

But a couple of the frames came out ok – and so to a record of a really wonderful close encounter, just the thing in fact to lift the spirits in these very sad and trying times.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – certainly recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Landscape v2 profile; south Bristol; 22 Sept 2020.




About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. Helen Cherry says:

    I love the robins that come to be fed in my garden. I know when winter comes they will come to take the suet pellets I put out for them. On a good weather day. I sit on the bench on my patio and toss pellets to the ground and they will come very close to me to get. It brings me immense joy every time.
    Last winter I had a blackbird that did the same. Lovely. Both would sit on the back of a garden chair and look into the kitchen window to encourage me to come out with food 🙂


  2. Meanderer says:

    Oh, wow – what a beautiful bright and colourful close-up of that special little gardening friend; a real lifter of the spirits in these sad and difficult times, as you say.


  3. bluebrightly says:

    I love your robins, which are different from ours, though both are thrushes. And ah, you were lucky with this guy! I’m glad that food was more compelling than the need to get away from that giant. The shot captures all of their charms.


  4. krikitarts says:

    As usual, it’s not really about the camera, but about the photographer. Isn’t it cool how (or, nowadays, rather when) the old reflexes come back into play and provide us with what we need in a sudden situation? I still have dreams about shooting again with my Pentax Spotmatic and my Yashica-Mat 124-G twin-lens cameras.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, you’re right, its about the photographer being what matters. I have very fond memories of some of my film cameras, especially the Olympus OM-1 and its lenses, but can never imagine myself shooting film again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. gsb03632 says:

    Lovely work, excellent story!


  6. Glad your trip inside to get the camera was rewarded! And your gardening efforts brought a reward to the gorgeous bird.


  7. Stella says:

    I’m glad you got some shots from the encounter. The regular robin around these parts always seems to vanish by the time I have laid hands on my camera! It’s not as frustrating as the pair of egrets, that I only EVER see when I’m out running, but it’s becoming a challenge nonetheless.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, Stella – yes, I’m glad I managed some shots too – Robins are always around here and reasonably approachable, but the shots are a memory of the moment and that’s something I value.

      We’ve even had Robins nesting in our outside shed, obtaining access through any open window. But when we opened our back door the nest was in full view >>> and so the birds got a big leaf which they managed to jam upright in front of the nest so that we couldn’t see it – which I thought both very impressive and wonderful! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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