The yellow robin came bobbin’ along

I’ve been charmed by birds since I was a little tacker watching my dad splint a sparrow’s broken leg with a matchstick, and listening to my mum wish magpies a good morning. The lyrics of The red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbing along are lovely with their idea that birds and birdsong help us “cheer up … live, love, laugh and be happy”.


Eastern Yellow Robin
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/640, f/5.6, ISO 320, focal length 400mm


This little robin absolutely charmed me, often coming closer than the minimum focus distance, 1.8m (6′), of the 7D. It was very comfortable perching near my feet but flew away when a visitor turned up. Thank goodness the visitor didn’t turn up any earlier!

Eastern Yellow Robins are about 16cm long and 19g with a repetitive piping call that rings clearly through the bush. They generally perch fairly low to the ground where they pause before pouncing on invertibrates. I enjoy seeing birds in detail and the image above lets me see the robin’s feather details, bright eye, delicate feet and wispy ‘whiskers’ as well as the tiny brown splodge on its head which could be a bug or a splash of mud.


Eastern Yellow Robin
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/640, f/5.6, ISO 320, 400mm focal length


The late afternoon sun highlighted the yellow feathers and was bright enough to create a nice catch-light in the eye as well as give definition to the grey and white feathers.  The mud on its bill makes me wonder if it is mud on its head in the top image, flicked there after pulling a worm or grub from the ground. When I zoom into the RAW file the splodge appears too regulated to be mud but isn’t recognisable as an insect either.


 Eastern Yellow Robin
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM

Bathtime! Mud or bug it was washed off when the robin took a dip and came up with droplets of water on its head and underparts. The image above was taken in the moment between the robin landing and shaking, its left foot hasn’t quite rested on the perch.


Eastern Yellow Robin
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM


The same species of bird can look very different depending on the lighting, the angle of view, its pose and whether or not its feathers are ruffled. The robin above looks like a long thin bird rather than a small round one. I was lucky to capture some shots of a White-browed Scrubwren looking very unusual on a windy day, if you need a smile take a look at Unexpected Pleasures, it made me laugh aloud.

Happy birding, Kim



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