A brand new robin

This post is difficult to write, so I’ve deleted all the false starts and will begin by saying that my mum passed away this week and I’m left missing the strong, generous, determined woman who shaped my life and taught me that it is normal to talk to magpies.


Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) – fledgling
1/800, f/5.6, ISO 3200


There’s a book called Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in Between that I have been reading to children and which inspired me to share an image of the little robin that I saw earlier this week – it has been a week of beginnings and endings.

As this Eastern Yellow Robin grows, it will lose its rufous feathers, its back and head will become uniformly grey while its underparts will become bright yellow, as foreshadowed by the odd sprigs of new feather sprouting on its chest and tummy. Its throat will stay white while its rump will become an olive-yellow, a hint of which can already be seen. Its tiny legs and feet look so new and pink but they will darken, as will its bill.

If you have loved ones please hold them a little tighter tonight, if you’re alone please hold yourself a little tighter.

Happy birding



Birdlife Australia Photography Group’s Digital Photography in the Bush is coming up in March –  Details and registration information

The duck shooting season is due to start in March, the duck rescue team would welcome new volunteers – Coalition Against Duck Shooting


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30 comments to A brand new robin


    Very nice bird and beautiful photo!!!
    I appreciate a lot Kim.

  • Gary Gale

    Life turns around, and yes there are certainly beginnings and endings. We are so pleased we have a friend like you Kim who understands and loves nature, who also loves this natural process and celebrates it.
    It is always hard to accept the finality of any life but as with all nature it happens. Nina and I understand and share your grief, sadness for your mother but also understand the warmth pride and love that you will carry with you. As with all nature she lives on in you.
    Love Gary and Nina.

    • lirralirra

      Dear Gary and Nina, you are precious friends and I thank you for your kind, understanding words as I take these first steps without my mum, Kim xo

  • it is one of the biggest life events to lose your mother. It happened to me when I was 19.
    Please do not be surprised by the depths of your grief in the years to come – or feel that you must have closure. Your sorrow is a measure of the love you have for her., and one day, in your own time, you will begin to speak of her without each breath hurting.

    • lirralirra

      Oh Annette, I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your mum when you were so young, I hope you are able to speak of her without each breath hurting.

  • Nicky

    Thank you for sharing with us, and thank you for the beautiful photos. I hope that the wonderful memories will help you through this difficult time.

  • Julie Sarna

    Hi Kim
    My thoughts are with you at this sad time.

  • Louise

    So sorry for your loss Kim. Thanks for sharing the lovely image of the Robin in its growing up phase, really sweet!

  • Warren Bennett

    Hi Kim, Passing comes to all of us at some time in our lives, but knowledge of the fact does not seem to make it easy. Be strong with all the wonderful memories your mum has given you.

    Kind regards, Warren

  • Twila

    So very sorry for the loss of your mum.This post is a great tribute. Hugs to you, my friend.

  • I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom, Kim. Mine will be gone 11 years this Saturday, and I still miss her so. How beautiful that your mom taught you it’s ok to talk to magpies! She must have really encouraged your love of birds. Praying for blessings of strength for you!

    I don’t usually reply, but I so enjoy your bird photos! Thank you so very much for sharing them with us! I have a link to your site at my Nature Retreat page at my website. 🙂

    • lirralirra

      Hi Trudy, I’m sad to hear that you’ve been missing your mum for eleven years. It’s lovely to hear from you, it makes me happy to know that you enjoy my bird photographs and I’m honoured that you have a link to lirralirra on your website, thank you.

  • Alyssa

    Beautiful, both words and image xox

  • Kirst

    Kim I’m so very sorry for your loss. This post brought me to tears 😢 stay strong as much as you can and god bless you. A beautiful little robin ever evolving. Xo xo

    • lirralirra

      Thank you Kirst for your lovely comments. I’m still feeling numb and very much missing my daily contact with my mum, but I’m really appreciative your kindness xo

  • Kim Sinclair

    My deepest sympathy for your loss, Kim. I lost my own mum in April last year and miss her dearly.
    It’s odd how endings and beginnings often coincide. We have two new babies expected in my extended family this year which has set our minds on new members of the family after losing our matriarch.
    Not only that my younger son was married last week and my older one’s wedding is in April so more new beginnings.
    Young birds always cheer me up too. We just went to the gannet colony In Hawke’s Bay, NZ and saw chicks of all ages there too.
    Not as cute as your baby robin but nonetheless.

    Take care.

    • lirralirra

      Hi Kim, I’m so sorry to hear you lost your mum too. The weddings and new babies must be just what you all need, a lovely mixture of love, celebrations and newness. I went to the Hawke’s Bay gannet sanctuary on a horse when I was in my teens, I remember the noise and the smell and how difficult it was to sit down for the next few days. I’d love to go back.

  • Carole King

    Hello Kim, so sorry that your Mother has bid farewell, Mothers are one of people…never to be replaced or forgotten.
    Take some time out to remember fond moments that you spent with your Mum.
    Grieving has no time frame…..nor should it.
    Thinking of you. xxx
    love the little Robin….such cute nails.

  • Kim, I am very sorry to hear about your mum. Thanks for the reminder to hold our loved ones a little tighter and for sharing the beginnings of the robin. Dave

  • Neil Mansfield

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your mother, Kim. What a delightful insight into her personality you give us when you tell us that she was ok with you talking to magpies. Wonderful!
    I hope those memories keep you strong. As usual, a lovely photo of this new life just beginning.
    Love to you – Neil & Denise

    • lirralirra

      Hi Neil and Denise, thank you both for your kind words, they are much appreciated. It was mum who talked to the magpies first but I think I copied her example pretty quickly.

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