Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow day

Today was supposed to be our 'big day' of birding up and down the coast, but inclement weather caused a mass wimp-out. Rob couldn't unbook his day off so instead we spent much of the day at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, which looked like this:

The feeding station was busy with Blue and Great tits, Chaffinches, Robins and the odd Dunnock and Blackbird.

We were besieged with Robins all the way round, desperate to appear on 2010 Christmas cards. There was even one inside the Tyler hide - we helped it find its way out. Many were incredibly confiding - one in particular bumbled around a few inches from our toes after I cleared away a bit of snow to expose some soil for it to search.

Coot + ice = entertainment.

Have not often seen (or maybe just not noticed) Little Grebes on the main lake. This one seems to be hurrying away from the looming shadow of Mr Mute Swan.

This Snipe looks very sorry for itself, in contrast to the Cormorant who seems eager to get a really good feel of that chilly Arctic air.

Two of a flock of four Egyptian Geese.

Grey Heron, being miserable.

There were several parties of Long-tailed Tits around. I can't help but worry about them in this weather, as they don't often seem to exploit feeding stations. They were being as uncooperative as usual from a photographic point of view, so I guess they must still be feeling chipper.

I found this! Much satisfaction. Very nice views too. I also earned good karma by sprinting back to the new hide at the other end of the reserve to pass on the news to a photographer there.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Stuff I found under the bed

My hopes of a mild winter have come to naught, or maybe minus 1,000 - it's been freezing for weeks now and no birding has occured. However, last night I cleared out the junk under the bed (to make room for some new junk) and found some bits of artwork in my old portfolio folder thingy that were too large to go in the binder where most of my stuff is. So I have scanned it in (actually, Rob did it after I was beset with TWAIN woes, not-being-very-good-at-stitching woes and possible scanner-being-about-to-die woes), as I've yet to put any of my piccies up on this blog. So here's the first:

A Crested Lark, which reminds me of what's nice about using pastels (and tinted pastel paper).

More fun with pastels, Common Buzzard this time.

This Peregrine was done with pastel pencils, which are not quite as much fun as pastels but a bit more manageable. Not so keen on the finished look as with the proper pastel pics.

I think this is a mix of gouache and watercolour pencils. A bit odd. But hey. It's a Rough-legged Buzzard.

Golden Eagle in pencil. I cheated and digitally rubbed out the sludgy, smudgy grey background of the original to a nice clean white.