This first winter sinensis cormorant has been at Swords estuary in north Dublin for several weeks. I spent yesterday morning there to try and get some studies of it compared to carbo's, but this was the only cormorant there in over 2 hours! It showed really well, sitting out and preening for most of my stay before flying to the outer estuary. A little egret and a few buzzards were also around, and a female sparrowhawk made a few attempts at the huge flock of golden plover present.
Some head studies of the cormorant. The angle of the yellow gullar patch on the throat is the simplest way of separating the continental sinensis from the atlantic carbo.
It was great to work with such a co-operative subject!
I was given a waxwing wing before Christmas by a friend so I could see the details up close. I have been busy in the last few weeks with college and finally had some time to work on it in recent days, but still couldn't finish it. It was great to see how the tertials and secondaries overlap.
I finally managed to pin down the ring-billed gull at the end of last week. It spent all of friday on the dulux roof top and was there again on sunday morning. It was only this time last winter that I first found it, so hopefully it will hang around until march again.
On saturday I was down in Cork and travelled out to Baltimore to try for the American herring gull that was found last weekend. I have missed countless Americans over the years and was really hoping to break the pattern. This 1st winter glaucous was one of 2 behind the fish factory as soon as we arrived and remained on show throughout our stay. The 2nd bird flew out into the bay very quickly.
We were there almost 2 hours with no sign of the American, and I was beginning to give up hope. Half way through my final loaf of bread, the smiths arrived in from the harbour and landed infront of us. We had great views of it for 30-40 mins before it flew off again without warning. Above is the only flight shot I got of it.
Smiths and glauc from saturday morning.
Ring-billed and black headed gull from Rialto last week. The ring-billed refused to come down to bread and I was only able to see the head and upper body over the edge of the roof.
Worked on a few illustrations today trying out bristol board as a surface. I have been pretty frustrated with water colour paper lately, and over the weekend I was lucky enough to see an Ian Lewington original. The paper was similar to bristlol board so it gave me the motivation to try it out. So far I am really happy with it and have a few more illustrations to work on. Above is the american herring gull from saturday.
Great excuse to do up a few collared flycatcher illustrations. Still trying to figure out the best way to to paint on the card.
Brown shrike, sketched from a photograph of a juv. cristatus from China a few years ago.