All in a Day’s Work, at The Office


After yesterday’s relatively quiet day, we had planned a day at home as those weather prognosticators were falling over themselves combing their various thesauri for even more gigantic, huge, colossal, mammoth, immense, tremendous, immeasurable, Brobdingnagian(Ye of Gulliver’s Travels will understand),  humongous, astronomic, ginormous words to describe what was to be a weather of mass destruction, headed our way, so we had decided that it would be a doonah day, and we’d sleep through it all.  The patter of rain on the roof and window shutters seemed for once to confirm their cosmic, epic, giant, stupendous, mega predictions.

However as I peeked out from under the protective, shielding, defensive, safety, preventive, insulating, warmth of the doonah, what was it I spied coming in under the window shutters.
Gasp, horror, elation, joy, disbelief.  Was that sunshine.
No prizes Sherlock. It was sunshine.

In quick succession t’was breakfast, pack cameras, (I think there should be a get dressed in there somewhere) pack a thermos of Green Tea, (I’m off the Grey of Earl at present), tuck in the Drizabone Jacket, and head to the Office.  Also we beat the Mother’s School run, so the roads were fairly, rather, a little, slightly, comparatively, after a fashion, reasonably, kind of, sort of ish, quiet.

But the wind across the carpark sang a different tune. Large gusts, of huge, colossal, mammoth, immense, tremendous…. you get the picture… winds that made even the Drizabone Jacket feel a bit challenged.

And what was that on the fence line up the track!


Getting a Flame Robin’s confidence is both art and something akin to magic. Epecially at the beginning of the season, as they’ve flown perhaps 200 km to get here another 50m down the fence line is not a challenge. And secondly I’m convinced that they need to cover the territory to map out the best food sites for the season and of course the best roosting places.

So it is usually later in the season when they have had time to settle that they allow anything like close approaches, and almost always by coming into my space, at their own pace and pleasure.

I occasionally get called on some Flickr sites that the the ‘hand of man’ is evident in many of the Office shots.  And rightly so.  After all, there is not a single tree for miles out there, and no  self respecting Robin wants to spend all of its day on the ground like a turtle. So they make great use of the fences.  So sneaking up on them is akin to drawing close to a Swamp Harrier.  Impossible.

The top track line runs along the edge of the river cliffs, so once we’ve established where they are working sitting in, near, or on, the cliff line or against a fence post gives the birds a chance to ‘map’ us and as long as we stay in the ‘map’ location, we are seen as no danger, and they just continue to hunt around, near, close by, in the neighborhood, at close quarters, within spitting distance, a hop, skip and jump, or not far away.

Three hours, and two cuppas later, the turn on the weather saw large sheets of dark grey rain heading our way across the paddocks.  In next to no time we were back at the car, just as the prognoticators gleeful taunts came to reality in large drops pelting across the track on the way home.

Enjoy. We did.


This boy looks like Mr Coopertop one of the brothers from my Woodlands days.


When they get this close who said photography is hard?


This boy seems to be much richer in colour


Time for a portrait. Perhaps the short red waist coat is from a younger bird?



As usual the females, although not where as rich in brillant colour make up for it is subtle harmonous tones


Soft sunshine peeking through adds to the richness of the tones


Bold is


Did I metion it was windy, very windy, oh, yes

1805-10_DWJ_3838.jpgNot pin sharp, but he did tell me he was leaving



Good to be able to get a couple in frame together.  Again this bird was able to indicate it was leaving.


Catch of the day. One spider less


Studio Portrait work.

11 thoughts on “All in a Day’s Work, at The Office

  1. Lovely shots, David. It would have been a bit blowy over there. But again the weather guessers didn’t quite get it right, apart from the fact it was rather chilly!
    Great to see the Robins settling in, hopefully I will get over soon to see them!


    1. Hi AB, I used to work at Woodlands Historic Park regularly and the Flames formed a mixed flock with thornbills, Scarlet Robins, Golden Whistlers and Sittellas, with a few hangers on like wagtails. The size of the flock gave them some security, and it was also nice to have good backdrop and perches in the Grey Box scrub. And I could hear the noisy thornbills and whistlers coming so I could often find the flock with ease.
      Haven’t had much of an opportunity out there of late as its just on the limit of my travel ability.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I rather like the sound of rain on the roof. We have been so dry for so long, and we have had a few really lovely weather days. So its indoors for us for the next few days too.


  2. G’day David and thanks for this blog abundant with amazing shots of Flame Robins.
    Guess what – the weather forecasters prevented my chance to get my fill of Flame Robins yesterday and on top of this to meet you at the Office! When I woke up to the blue skies on my free Thursday it was too late to drive all the way to Werribee in the rat-race traffic. I went to “my” Braeside instead and as a consolation prize I got some good shots of the resident Swamp Harrier… Now I badly need my fill of Flame Robins.


    1. G,day Adam,
      Given their guessing game, its been hard to predict. Like you we were settled in for the day. But the burst of sunshine was enough to get us out, thinking it might be the only chance for several days.
      They are working along the top ridge pathway, out toward where the road dips down in a hollow, and the second track meets that runs back to the bridge.
      And if you can nail Swamp Harriers, then Robins should be a pushover 🙂
      Perhaps next time.


    1. Thanks Derek,
      We got some good sunshine as well as a little softer light which I prefer for these small birds.
      We often find in the first part of the season that they are still in ‘fly’ mode, and will cover large areas while they work out the best locations for their stay. Perhaps they are there, just not out in the open. We spent another day down at Point Cook, and usually have good views, but even the ranger said he’d not had any good sightings.
      Others I talk with seem to be reporting good numbers, and I think they had a good summer, so hopefully as the season goes on we’ll all get to see some great shots.


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