I'd been trying really hard not to faff, in fact I'd been positively hands off chez Mme Robin. So bleeding hands of; that I missed the main event! I could kick myself - I should have known the shift from helicopter landlady to absentee was way too drastic, I should have just hovered discretely. You see, more than once over the last week, I had convinced myself that the whole Robin family had been wiped out by a smug cat, new to the neighbourhood. You know the kind, all knowing swagger and bling collars! I was forced to shoo him on many an occasion, as he was lurking far too close to Ms Robin's hood for my liking! So apologies to said smug cat - you may be innocent of this crime but this doesn't mean I have to like you!
Events reached a critical point yesterday afternoon, the chicks were very still - I had my macabre suspicions confirmed by other responsible grown ups. I even had phone counselling from my brother, who's pretty in the know with all things wildlifey. I was rehearsing the "sit down kids, I've got something to tell you..." speech. I was a bundle of stress. My neck was on the point of seizing up completely! Then, just as I was about to reach for the Neurofen, I decided on one last look. I was greeted by 4 beady eyes - the spit of their mother's, with that 'there she is faffing again' look. Oh the relief, I am now immune to Robin reproach, it was a joy to be belittled by them!
I went to bed with a light heart and an easy conscience, full of the promise of the wonderful photos I would take in the morning. So, bright and early today, sufficiently caffeinated and wearing my glasses, I went out with camera poised ready for the award winning shot. There they were, gone! They had upped and left without so much as thank you note. A bitter sweet departure, still it beats being eaten by that smug cat.
Thanks to the wonders of 'tinternet', I am happy to report that there is a much more observant robin room mate out there in cyberspace, and he has even recorded his robin's sojourn with day by day photos. All of which are revealed in technicolour here.
As for me, well, next time I will do better, I promise.