Country Sketches  
Home About Country Sketches Gallery Nature Notes Publications  
     
 
 
 

Birds Gallery

 
     
 
  Essence of Godwit   Title: Essence of Godwit
Medium: Watercolour

I have some prints by the native American artist Benjamin Chee Chee and I love the way he presents the spirit of geese and swans with just a few lines. I wanted to see if I could use the same technique to portray the elegance of some of our waders. These Godwits are my first attempt.
 
     
 
  Title: Stop Over
Medium: Watercolour

Early in the spring I saw a mixed group of Golden Plovers and Lapwings on some local marshy farmland. The day was bitterly cold and grey with snow in the wind but still the plover's golden plumage shone through to inspire this painting.
  Stop Over  
     
 
  Waiting for the Tide   Title: Waiting for the Tide
Medium: Watercolour

When the tide is in, waders, like these Bar-tailed Godwits, spend most of their time resting. Once the tide turns to reveal the mud-banks over which they feed, they will be dashing about and probing for food.
 
     
 
  Title: Autumn Floods
Medium: Watercolour

The Lapwing is one of the once common farmland birds that has declined dramatically over recent years. it is fond of damp pasture but not as damp as these fields flooded by torrential autumn rain.
  Autumn Floods  
     
 
  Patient Robin   Title: Patient Robin
Medium: Watercolour

The wonderful robin is familiar to all gardeners in the autumn and winter. Often perched low in a nearby shrub chuntering softly to itself and keeping a sharp eye for a juicy bit of diced worm turned over by the spade.
 
     
 
  Title: Redshank at Low Tide
Medium: Watercolour

Towards the end of July redshanks come down to estuaries and salt marshes from their moorland and hill pasture nesting sites. Here they fatten up by dipping for the rich invertebrate fauna in the muddy shallows.
  Redshank at Low Tide  
     
 
  Snipe   Title: Snipe
Medium: Watercolour and Pencil

These days there is a certain privilege in being able to watch a Snipe root around in the rough damp margins of a local field. That kind of margin is not often to be found and, unfortunately, neither is the Snipe.
 
     
 
  Title: Great Tits on Alder
Medium: Watercolour

Gilbert White enjoyed watching the ‘great titmouse’ and was impressed with its agility - it "draws straws lengthwise from out of the eaves of thatched houses, in order to pull out the flies that were concealed between them, and that in such numbers that they quite defaced the thatch".
  Great Tits on Alder  
     
 
  Barn Owl   Title: Barn Owl
Medium: Watercolour and Pencil

The ghostly hunter is very well adapted. It has soft downy plumage and raised barbs on the leading-edge feathers of its wings so that it is almost silent in flight. It has huge forward facing eyes give it binocular vision and large hidden ears that act like ear trumpets so that it can locate prey by sound in almost total darkness.
 
     
 
  Title: Nuthatch
Medium: Watercolour and Pencil

The nuthatch is named for its technique of nut-cracking by which it wedges a nut tightly into deeply ridged bark, as there is on this oak tree, and uses its hatchet-like bill to break the nut open.
  Nuthatch