A Southern Robin on my Shoe

Saturday, 14 March 2015

IMG_9762 - Southern Robin - 270On my final day on the Routeburn Track in New Zealand I encountered a number of southern robins or bush robins. They look just like the English robin red breast, except they’re bigger and more robust looking and sport yellow breast feathers instead of red ones. The English robin likes to hang around gardeners, hoping they’ll fork up some tasty worms. In similar fashion the New Zealand robins look out for walkers, hoping they’ll stir up some insects or even bring some along, clinging to their clothes.

IMG_9755 - Southern Robin on my foot - 540Since I’d destroyed one of my walking shoes on the penultimate day of the walk I was wearing my Teva sandals (with socks, very English!) on that final stretch. On a couple of occasions these fearless robins confronted me on the trail and when I stopped came straight up to me, hopped up on my feet (first one foot, then the other) and meticulously inspected my socks for anything worth pecking.