A close encounter of the feathered kind

Magic happens when you least expect it, don’t you find?  I had a couple of hours to kill between finishing work and my bridge game tonight (OK, technically it was actually last night, ‘cos it’s now after midnight), so I thought I’d make the most of the fine evening and head down to the Botanic Gardens, to take advantage of that beautiful light you get at the end of the day … soft and golden and so good for taking photos.

I stopped by the begonias, which are a riot of bright, vivid reds and yellows and peachy oranges at the moment …

Yellow begoniaRed begonia Orange begoniaYellow begonia 2 Orange begonia 2

And that’s when he arrived – this little fella:

Little bird 3  He landed to my left, about 6 feet away from where I was sitting on the ground in front of the begonias.  I turned my head slowly towards him, fully expecting him to take off immediately, but he didn’t.  Instead, he hopped a bit closer.  And closer.  And CLOSER.  And now he’s only 2 feet away from me, and I am ab-so-lute-ly entranced.  (Call me the Bird Whisperer, why don’t you!)  I slowly manoeuvre my camera round so I can take another photo, and he cocks his head at me:

Little bird 9

“What you lookin’ at?”, he appears to be saying.

“Nothing, nothing at all”, I reassure him.  And I take a few more close-ups …

Little bird 4  Little bird 7  DSCF4947  Little bird 8   Little bird 6

By now I’ve noticed his fluffy little feathers, and I’m pretty sure he’s a young fledgling, an innocent who just doesn’t know the ways of the world (boy, is he going to get a telling off from his mother when he gets home!)  🙂 We sit together for just over 11 minutes, conversing quietly – well, actually, I was the one doing all the talking, he just sat and looked at me with those bright beady eyes, seemingly unafraid and content just to listen while I told him how beautiful he was, and how pleased I was that he had joined me.  Sadly, eventually I had to move – time was marching on, and besides, the grass was damp and the cold was starting to register on my posterior!  But even when I got up, slowly and carefully so as not to frighten him, he continued to sit and watch me closely, as if to say, “Do you REALLY have to go?”  It was a truly magical few minutes – other than the fantails, I’ve never had a wild bird so relaxed and unperturbed at being in such close proximity:  normally they squawk in alarm and flutter off as soon as you make even the slightest movement, but not him, he was Mr Cool, Calm and Collected. 🙂   Precious little bird, thank you for such a special moment – take care, and I shall look for you again amongst the begonias!