So, picture the scene, its a cold day, its nearly Christmas, and everyone is scurrying around the garden centre with loved ones in mind and presents to find. An act that although very generous or even altruistic can result (ironically) in a tunnel vision of sorts and things being missed. I had driven my mum to our local garden centre and whilst there, feeling smug as I had (for once) finished my Christmas shopping early, I diverted my attention to the garden bird area. Here, I was able to relax amongst the relative calm. Until that is, something caught my eye.
At first, what I saw could be swiftly dismissed as eyes playing tricks, or a tired mind. But when it happen a second time, what had been at fist a lightning fast flutter was now standing still and proud. A Robin. In the shop?
At first I stood motionless, thinking I had rumbled a usually undetected creature. But apparently not. It proceeded to fly up to one of the bird tables on display and help itself to a variety of seeds and dried insects that were on offer. Clearly I was not the first to have been greeted by this little one.
Seeing an oppourtunity, I returned the next day with my camera. Upon entering the garden center I asked one of the employee's at the counter if I could take photo's of their Robin. Surprisingly the reply was "which one, we have three". Apparently they had three individuals which had made a home inside the garden center. I was directed to an employee that seemed to know more about them than others. He asked me about my camera and showed a lot of interest in my photography (this gave me an idea which I will come back to later in the blog). He pointed me in the right direction so I set up in the corner and waited.
Sure enough, within a couple of minutes I spotted a little guy making its way stealthily along the shelving.
Knowing they had a love for dried meal worms and that Robins often grow comfortable with people, I picked up a meal worm and through it to the ground. With my macro lens on, and laying still, I watched. Eye's clearly on the prize it landed on the ground at the end of the aisle. Then, one cautious hop forward at a time, it made its way to me. Once it had, I was able to get the shot you see below.
All in all, a lovely experience. Made all the better by the very open and friendly attitude of the staff. Which is why, on Wednesday, I plan to return with a 6x4 print of the photo you see above, framed. They had told me whilst there, that they haven't had a nice photo of any of the robins and would really like one. So hopefully this will be my way of saying thank you.