When R and I had coffee at Hillers a few days ago, he left his scarf behind in the café - which was all the excuse we needed to make a return trip today. He went off to retrieve the scarf and get a coffee, while I went to the hide, where the light was poor but the birds were so co-operative that I only needed twenty minutes to capture a dozen decent portraits. At that point I heard a piping voice out in the garden saying, "I goin' to the bird hide!", and a few seconds later a couple of women appeared with two young girls, the smaller of whom was the owner of the piping voice. Charmed that she wanted to see the birds, and knew Hillers' bird hide well enough to name it, and knowing that I had today's photos in the bag, I happily gave up my place on the bench seat to the newcomers and went to the café to join R.
I spent the rest of the day doing domestic administration, and didn't get round to looking at my shots till this evening, but when I did my biggest problem was deciding which ones to keep and which to lose. Please understand that I'm not giving myself too much credit for this: the R5 is a fantastic camera, and I'm extremely lucky to be using it. Anyway, in the end I had to ask R to help me tie-break, and between us we've chosen two images. The robin gets top billing for being a robin, in an archetypal attitude: R called it "essence of robin". The chaffinch makes second place above a couple of other contenders, partly because it's an unusual and quite dynamic pose (in contrast to the robin's stolidity), and partly because it shows the flamboyant colours of this bird rather nicely. Whoever decided to incorporate patches of blue, pink, yellow and green in the same set of feathers must, I think, have been in a pretty TGIF kind of mood.