Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wild Bird Wednesday (07) - Flame Robin (and a story)


As a kid I used to love a set of four books about the wildlife you could find at different seasons of the year.  They were called “What to look for in Summer” and such like.   I found one in a book second hand bookshop last year and I bought it in a heartbeat.  When I opened it was like walking back into the past.

The pages were full of illustrations where wildlife was abundant under every hedgerow, in every stream and in every patch of woodland.  The sky was not always blue, but it always contained birds.  It promised a kind of abundance that I never did find – but it encouraged you to keep looking, because you never knew if that next field would be the one that looked like the book.

A good number of the books I have read about birds in Australia mention has been made of the migration of robins down to the coast in winter.   There are descriptions of flocks of these birds working their way through sand dunes, over beach wreck and coastal heath lands.  As far as I was concerned they took on the same status as the fields in the books I read as a kid – nice stories, but probably a little exaggerated.

Then last week I went to the coast in winter and the place was heaving with them - Flame Robins. Well heaving may be a bit of an exaggeration, but that seems OK under these circumstances.

These are small birds – only about 13cm long.   That’s a couple of cm smaller than European Robins and about half the size of an American Robin.  They were also very flighty – flicking away from me as I approached. I struggled to get close to them.  Standing still did not work, walking slowly did not work, they were spooked by the car and generally not all that cooperative.  But they were there!

I did manage to get a few worthwhile shots – but better than that I saw the kind of things that were described in the books – which just goes to show, that if you keep looking sometimes you do find the things that people write stories about.



Now its your turn to be involved with Wild Bird Wednesday.

Click the button below and link away.

And sorry if I did not manage to get back to you last week – I was watching Robins!

38 comments:

Rajesh said...

Beautiful bird. Love the color combination.

i stora drag said...

Lovely bird and a sweet story from you! Never give up the hope.
Greetings Pia

Andrew said...

It's a beautiful little bird Stewart.. and thanks for the read.

EG CameraGirl said...

Ah! The joys of childhood come to life in later years. :)

Flame robins are sure have very bright chests!

Liva`s said...

This bird is so beautiful - good story too :-) Greetings from Liva

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

That is the brightest orange robin I've ever seen! What a great shot, Stewart. I remember books like that from my childhood, too. Fond memories they are!

Arija said...

Lucky you, watching robins en masse!
We missed out this year. 2 years ago we had them staying all winter and nesting as well. I really miss those little red ping-pong balls flitting about.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment, much appreciated.

Anni said...

I've never seen a flame robin...in fact, I've never heard of one. And, it's stunning!!!

I too love to go back to my youth with books I've had or checked out at the library long ago. If I were in your shoes at the time you found the book, I too would have bought it in a 'heartbeat'!!!

NewMexiKen said...

Such a vivid color! "Red" or "orange" do not do it justice. Flame-colored fits best.

TexWisGirl said...

what a beautiful, brilliant bird! perfect name for them, too.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love this post! It's a lovely little bird and I'd love to see it!

It's great when childhood dreams come true!

Gary said...

Great colours on him. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Island Rambles Blog said...

somehow I never thought of robins in Australia...I like the story of the book full of illustrations of lots of robins, and you never finding them till now!! Such a pretty color.

NatureFootstep said...

Flame Robins, such a suitable name for them. Thanks for sharing the story. :)

Findlay Wilde said...

Those colours are so bright. From Findlay

Brian King said...

I've never heard of a Flame Robin until now. Beautiful bright color! Glad you got to photograph one!

Carole M. said...

That was a great moment I can imagine, to find a book from your childhood years starting at you. No wonder you bought it "in a heartbeat" (love that phrase). How special the moment Stewart to see so many flame robins; beautiful birds.

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, the books sound nice. Glad you were able to find one to purchase. I love the beautiful Flame Robin, it's color is so bright. Great sighting and capture. Thanks for hosting another week of WBW!

Bernie H said...

What a lovely little thing.

Andrea said...

What brilliant color on this robin. I love how you bought the book from your childhood. I have had the same experience with childhood poetry books that I ran into in a used book store ... what fun it is to travel back to your youth. Love the picture and am having a problem with your Link so will keep trying to post mine :)

Andrea @ From the Sol

einfachtilda said...

Hallo Stewart,

leider habe ich nicht so hübsche wilde Vögel wie du, aber ein paar aus dem Tierpark und von meinem Balkon.
Ich hoffe,dass es ok ist.

Liebe Grüße von Mathilda

bailey-road.com said...

What a lovely little bird! Nice capture too.

Kusum said...

Beautiful bird and lovely story! I have seen this bird for the first time!

Becky said...

Very interesting story Stewart, and a very interesting little bird. Our Robins up here have begun migrating. I haven't seen any is a week or so. Have a great rest of the week.

mick said...

Nice photo of the robin Stewart. That's another one I still have to see.

Gowri Saligram said...

Oh it really is like a little flame! I often read books that inspired me as a child, too. I can relate to the nostalgia that you feel. :)

Unfortunately, I can't participate in this week's Wild Bird Wednesday. :( I shall try and catch up next week.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Love that the stories do sometimes tell it like it is and those memories of books when in our childhood, mean so much as we get older and find that not all were just tales. The little Robin is really a gorgeous colour, nice job~

Linda Kittmer said...

Wow Stewart, I see what you mean about this robin being so different from the American robin in my post. The breast on the one you've shown truly is flaming! I've linked up to share the baby robins and other birds in my post with your readers even those not all of my photos are birds. I hope you don't mind.

Gillian Olson said...

That little robin is spectacular, and well named too, it is a flame colour.

Nette Cecilia said...

What a lovley little bird ,i havent seen it befoore ,,have a nice day ,Nette

phylliso said...

This is a first for me too,what a beautiful little colorful bird!It makes me wonder what sort of sound they make.
Isn`t it wonderful to find a book like that that you are so familar with,many years later? Thanks for hosting this meme,happy birding!phyllis

Les fous du cap said...

Hi Stewart,
So when you come to visit us ? ;-)
Céline & Philippe

Pat Tillett said...

They are so pretty! Nice pic!

edenhills said...

I keep forgetting about your wonderful meme. I'm glad I snuck in just in time. That really is a beautiful picture.

Liz said...

Cute shot of the Flame Robin, Stewart! I'd love to capture one of these.

I missed last week & almost missed this week. I planned to link up my Eastern Reef Egret but blogging didn't really happen much. Next week...

Neil said...

Hope to see one when we are down your way soon.

Cynthia M. said...

Great shot - particularly given how flighty you found them to be!

Thanks for joining Windows on Wildlife, loved the story!

pattisjarrett said...

Wow, your robins are brilliantly colored.