Monday, January 16, 2012


Our village from the south east.

A bit nippy on Sunday morning, -5 degrees, up to about 3 degrees by lunchtime. The bonus though, was the crystal clear sky and bright sun with no wind.

A walk down the Long Walk and back by the coast was mainly uneventful again, but a few new species were added to the year list - 1 male Sparrowhawk was hunting near the frozen pond, observed by the swans, bored of standing on the ice, 3 Golden Plover flew S at the burn mouth, 10 Skylarks flew north in a tight flock over the Village Wood and a nice male Reed Bunting was coming into summer dress just outside the village hall. 

Also of note were 3 male and 6 female Goldeneye on the sea and a flock of 70 grey geese flew south too far out to id. On any other year they looked like pinks, but this year they may just have been whitefronts so I'll await a better view.

A golden sunrise lights the hoar frost.
Village Wood 'on ice'.
Although the weather has been 'easier' this winter, the birding has been slow. In the hard conditions of the previous winters, species including Water Rail, Mealy Redpoll, Raven, Woodcock, Peregrine and Merlin had all been recorded by now. The first three may be a struggle this year.

Reed Bunting.


Yellowbelly in Exile said...

Your notebook must be a delight to read with all those wonderful sketches.

About how long does it take you to do something like the Reed Bunting?

I used to draw birds and mammals as a teenager, but I was never quick enough to do decent field sketches.


Stewart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stewart said...

Hi Andrew.

I have sketches and scribbles all over the place of varying quality! I wish I could be a bit more consistent, like 'proper' artists are but I think I'm too long in the tooth for that.

I like doing sketchy drawings like the Reed Bunting as they are quite quick to rattle off. This one took no more than half an hour while waiting for tea to be cooked.

A massive inspiration of mine in recent years was a chap called David G Measures who died recently. He used a childs multi coloured biro, watercolours and his finger with spit on to sketch butterflies. They were fantastic.

Try drawing again but keep thinsg loose and un-pressured. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Graeme Lyons said...

Hi Stewart
Just seen your blog, love the sketches! This might seem like a strange request but could you email me your age for a presentation on pan-species listers I will be doing soon? Try No worries if you don't wanna!

Stewart said...

Done it Graeme, I hope you got it....

Jerry said...

I agree completely with the first comment here - your notebook must be fabulous! I've always admired the way you manage to combine spontaneity with accuracy - keep it coming!

Graeme said...

Hi Stewart,
I am also a fan of your sketches. I was wondering if you would consider commission work and/or licensing out some of your previous art work? I am creating a range of bird-related products and your sketches would be most suitable for them. If you are at all interested, please contact me at:

Thanks in advance, Graeme