Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas break?

 Have had little time in the field since I finished college for christmas. After a failed search for some waxwings, I sat down to check the gulls. No sign of anything strange so I spent some time sketching the black-heads as they were fed by the locals. Have had med and glaucous gulls here in the past and an adult ring-billed gull last march so I always check when I am passing.
In a small patch of scrub I found a chiffchaff, it looked and sounded good for a siberian, but just wouldn't give itself up. It was still there the following afternoon, but not seen on subsequent checks. Fingers crossed it will turn up again.

 Black-headed gulls, Goldenbridge luas stop, Drimnagh.
 Upland Sandpiper study.
Dropped into the Natural History museum for a look around after finishing the christmas shopping. Despite having a few projects due by the end of January, I am already looking forward to the next one where I get to make up the brief. Have a few ideas, waders in flight or harrier id plates being the two favoured options at the moment.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Some more recent work

 It has been a while since I have posted on the blog. At the first chance I got in a while I went down to Tacumshin in Wexford to try and catch up with the northern harrier and hopefully a few other birds also  around. In the end I stayed between Lingstown and the forgotten corner all day, over 20 reedlings fed along the road although mostly low down and would have been very difficult to pick up if not for their constant calls. I also had five flying south high over head while walking across the patches, they stalled and circled for a minute before dropping towards the forgotten corner. It was bizarre to see them so far from reeds!
 The flock was made up mostly of males, but it was one lone female that gave the best views as she sat for a few minutes just visible above the densest reeds.
 An adult female hen harrier sitting on the shore of the main lake made a nice subject.
The northern harrier finally appeared late on in the afternoon but quatered the reeds for almost an hour. I worked these sketches up from a lot of quick roughs done while watching it.
 I have tried to scrutinise every stonechat I come across, from a distance this female looked ok for siberian with a seemingly pale throat. It took a while before I got close enough to it to make out some dark feather bases to the throat and a spotted rump.

 A flock of over 100 waxwings were feeding on berries along the walls of James' hospital last week very close to my front door. I had a good bit of work to get through for college but it was too good to ignore and I spent most of the afternoon enjoying the close views.
 Collared dove, I sketched this in my parents house as it sheltered under a rowan tree from a heavy shower.
As part of college we had to produce a range of christmas products for a christmas fair. I made a series of cards and present tags using prints of original illustrations. Was delighted that they sold well and I may have to make a few more for another sale next monday.
1 of the many waxwings distracting me from college work last week!