By William Lailey
A wildlife photographer has formed a very special bond with one of his subjects.
Iain Lenton had been photographing robins that visited him at woodland close to his home in Warrington, Cheshire, for years.
But in Spring 2018, he noticed some of the robins in the wood becoming a little bolder, and one in particular that would hop right up to him if he had food.
And within a few weeks, the bird was eating food straight from Iain’s hand – and for the last two years, will fly to meet him as soon as he arrives in the woods.
Iain said: “The woodland is close to my home and I would spend a lot of time down there photographing the wildlife.
“In March 2018 I decided to buy some live mealworms to help the birds building nests. It was at this point I noticed how the robins would come and sit next to me looking at my pot of worms.
“It got to the point they wouldn’t ever go in front of the camera! Then one morning I parked up, it’s a short walk to my spot and before I’d got out the car there was a robin sat waiting in the hawthorn.
“I had the pot of worms in my hand so I stuck it out the window and to my surprise the robin hovered over it to see what was on offer.
“From this point I always made a habit of doing this each time I parked up and eventually the robin took to hand feeding. It did this up to the end of breeding season and then only in the winter would it consider landing on my hand.
“The pictures show the trust between myself and the robin. Trust that was no doubt driven by the need to feed young, and with offerings of worms, making his task much easier. Nethertheless, it took persistence and the photos show the relationship became stronger as the robin relaxed more.
“On a deeper level, I feel they show the relationship humans should have with nature.
“It’s a very special experience. I can’t describe it well enough but it brings a smile to my face every time it lands. To see a robin so close really allows you to appreciate how beautiful they are. To have the trust of a wild animal is very rewarding.”