Illustration of a European Robin by Paul Barruel (1901-1982)
I picked up a Robin (Erithacus rubecula) yesterday. It had stunned itself on a window pane. I took it into the garden, held out my open hand and waited for it to revive and take off. It revived, but before flitting away decided to linger for some long intimate minutes. It started to preen, conscientiously running each primary feather through its mandibles, apparently happy to be sitting on the palmate branch of an enthralled tree. The bird was so ineffably beautiful I didn't want to blink in case it disappeared, and so light that if I wasn't looking at my hand I wouldn't have known there was anything there.