Throwback Thursday

Backlit European Robin

Throwback Thursday travels back to the mid 1980s with a backlit European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in a hedge in Hatherton near Nantwich in southern Cheshire.

This slide sat in my archives being overlooked until I started digitising them. Now I rather like the backlighting.


Throwback Thursday: 2nd July 2020


Saturday Bird

An Olympus using European Robin

Welcome to my new weekly feature, Saturday Bird this week featuring a photo of a European Robin from 1988.

Given the recent announcement that Olympus is selling their camera division to a Japanese investment company the future of the brand is now uncertain. So I thought this photo of a European Robin checking the camera settings on an Olympus would be appropriate.

The bird is standing on my OM Zuiko 300mm lens. I had already taken a hacksaw to the tripod mount to make clearance for a sound proofing blimp. The chrome OM2n body is taped up to cut down on reflections. The camera is loaded with the ubiquitous Kodachrome 64.


A Saturday Bird: European Robin


A Photo a Week Challenge

A Photo a Week Challenge: Fleeting

I had a few ideas for the A Photo a Week Challenge: Fleeting but none of them really worked for me until I started thinking about some of the “grab shots” I remember taking over the years.

I remembered sitting in a garden shed I was using as a hide (blind) waiting for the resident European Robin to land on the telephoto lens I had set up. While waiting for the bird I noticed a pair of House Sparrows mating in the hedge. I swung the lens around and managed to get three photos before it was all over.


Cosmic Photo Challenge: The Birds and the Bees

House Sparrows mating in a garden hedge.


Some time later one of the shots of the mating House Sparrows was published in BBC Wildlife magazine. None of the photos of the European Robin on the lens have been published but I have been using a version as my avatar for years.


A Photo a Week Challenge: Fleeting

The European Robin on a telephoto lens in a Cheshire garden.


Cee's Fun Foto Challenge

CFFC: Sense of Hearing

My idea for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Hearing quickly came to mind. Waking up in the spring to various birds singing and calling to proclaim their territories made it an obvious choice.

In the spring the males of lots of bird species are proclaiming their territories by singing and calling. As much as humans may enjoy hearing some of these songs they’re doing it to let rival males know they’re claiming the area as their territory and to attract a female.


Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Hearing

A European Robin proclaims the area as his territory, Faddiley, Cheshire.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Special Spot Shots

A male Yellow-headed Blackbird proclaiming his territory in Saskatchewan.


Cee's Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Hearing

A Tree Pipit singing from the top of a tree on Bickerton Hill in southern Cheshire.


One Word Sunday: Inspiration

A male Red-winged Blackbird proclaiming his territory in Saskatchewan.


Monthly Squares

April Squares: Standing on Top of a Lens

This is my day 12 contribution to Becky’s April Squares: Top photo challenge.

A European Robin standing on top of a lens.

April Squares: On Top of the Lens


Weekly Photo Challenge

WWE #19: Bath Time

In this case a bathing European Robin photographed in a Hatherton, Cheshire garden.

This is my contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere Photo Challenge #19.

Water Water Everywhere #19

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

This is my contribution to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Nostalgic.

Here’s a small selection of places, species or things that I am nostalgic about.

Having moved to Canada in the late 1990s I still miss the European Robin. They were usually real characters. I had one that would land on the door mirror of the car as soon as I parked. It knew that there was a good chance of something to eat. Here’s one having a bath in Cheshire, England.

Bath time


Motorcycles in fog from Snowdonia in North Wales in 1981. This makes me nostalgic for a couple of reasons. Firstly, in those days I would strap a camera bag on the back of a motorcycle and take off across the country or Europe. Secondly, the shot was taken with Ilford XP1, I was one of the field testers prior to its launch. In those days I shot as much black and white film as colour. I no longer have the ability to “see” in black and white the way I could in the days of shooting film.

Motorcycles emerging from fog.


In the late 1990s I was living in central Saskatchewan, Canada. Each autumn large numbers of Snow Geese would congregate on their way south for the winter. In this photo a flock is taking off from part of the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area. The sight and sound of the birds taking flight is something I hope I never forget.

A gathering of Snow Geese.


A hoarfrost covered Oak tree in Cheshire, England in the early 1980s. This is nostalgia about the simplicity of photography in those days. A manual focus camera and a couple of lenses. A few years later I was carrying a backpack for the various cameras and lenses.

Hoarfrost and snow covered Oak tree.