Wednesday, 26 September 2012

What some weather! I've done a couple of constrasting sketches of Avocets, the first is a poor bird just sitting out the down pour. The second was Monday evening, the rain and gales had subsided, and the sun actually came out. The tide was rising rapidly causing frenzied activity amongst the waders. Even in silhouette the different species are distinctive, a moment later the mud was covered and he birds gone.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A few sketches from my holiday in Calabria, southern Italy at the end of August. Birding was a little quiet, but I was delighted to be able to watch bee-eaters from the balcony most mornings. They really are fantastic birds, and that call is so characteristic of the Mediterranean. The numbers built up gradually to 30, and then one morning they were all gone.
One interesting aspect of birding abroad is seeing familiar birds in unfamiliar settings. I watched a group of Long-tailed Tits in a baking hot pine forest behind a beach, they looked sleek and dark, with grey backs and black wings. Very different from the fluffy pink, white and black birds I'm use to seeing in my garden.

Migrants were few and far between with the weather being so good, but one morning a male Honey Buzzard flapped up from the cliff and sat in a fig tree allowing great views, until the thermals got going, and it disappeared.
Since I've returned the migrant count has remained low, but the weekend seems to promise some east winds at last, so lets see what they bring.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

A few sketches from my holiday this summer. Glorious weather in Shropshire, and I painted this view of Cader Idris from Roundton Hill, and the ford from a shady spot near the river. We moved on up to Dumfries and Galloway, and still had good weather when visiting St.Ninians cave, (can you spot Sally and Buster on the rocks?)