Saturday, 15 March 2014

Spring at last

A couple of paint sketches from recent days, one of a Lapwing on Shadwells fields.  There are some nice colours in the landscape at the moment.

Friday, 7 March 2014

February at Lackford Lakes

A couple of paint sketches from Lackford

Portland, Dec 2013

It's been a while since I last updated my blog, I've not done much lately.  It has been quiet recently - no Waxwing invasion, no otters and no dippers this winter.
These pictures are of the Brunnich's Guillemot at Portland that showed well despite intermittent squalls and high winds. 

Saturday, 14 December 2013

female Merlin

A dead Merlin was recently passed to me for a short while. It was found out in the Fens near Feltwell having collided with a water butt.  Next to it was a dead Skylark too.  It must've been chasing the Skylark and both ended up colliding with the water butt.  Such an unfortunate end for both birds.  I have not finished work on the Merlin - painting takes so long, so I had to draw a line under it and get on with other things.  So for now I have the Merlin temporarily in my deep freeze.  I need to get on and paint it again in coming days.
Meanwhile my efforts so far are below. Please note the Merlin did not have a dark tail band - it is just that my painting is UNFINISHED! 

Monday, 25 November 2013

November birds

A selection of sketches from mid November - Parrot Crossbills at Holt Country Park, seen for 30 minutes before they all flew off...  Later a visit to Cley yielded many nice views of various wetland birds - a 1st winter Herring Gull, a 1w Caspian Gull that dropped in, Avocets and a Water Rail.
Also pics of drake Teal on the Flood at Barnham Cross Common.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Local birding

I finally saw this nice female Ring Ouzel the other day on the Nunnery Lakes.  I hadn't expected to see it, thinking it may have already departed, and there was no sign in its favoured bushes when I walked past them.  However the arrival of a rainstorm forced me to seek shelter in the hide and it was during this time that the bird suddenly appeared feeding on a patch of bare stony earth.  Later it was feeding on Hawthorn berries in the rain.  When the sun eventually came out it was still showing well and looked different than in the overcast light.  I was wishing that I had my paints with me...

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Semi-p Plover

En route back I called in at Hayling Island, Hampshire.  The Semi-palmated Plover failed to materialise with the Ringed Plovers at Black Point as the tide came in.  I headed along the coastline hoping to meet with some suitable habitat that might hold waders.  There was almost nowhere suitable.  Continuing westward along the shoreline I came toward a group of birders near groyne 25.  I casually asked one who was just leaving, 'any sign of the bird?'.  'Yes' he said!  Unbelievable!  I had assumed it was nowhere to be found and that I had dipped...  I rushed to join the gathering and was soon enjoying fantastic views of this rare bird.  Such small size, dainty, with a very short bill, and white protruding above the gape line.  Quite reminiscent of a smaller version of Lesser Sand Plover!  I didn't actually hear it call which would have been good.  Some have expressed the view that they're going to be regular in years to come now people know what to look for.  But people have been looking for years, they just weren't there.  If they do start being found more frequently then it will be because of changes in the source population rather than observer ID skills I reckon. 
Just as I left the skies turned grey and the heavens opened.  The whole roosting flock took wing at this point and I don't think it was seen for the rest of the day, so I was very lucky to just manage to see it, and for a resonable length of time and close enough to see the detail too!  Later on BBC news it was reported that a tornado passed through Hayling Island; this must have happened just after I'd left.