Monday, 30 December 2013


Last painting of 2013 is done- Golden Plovers in wet stubble from October on the Stour.   I tried to get something done whilst they were still in summer plumage and roosting in the potato fields in August, but was too slow off the mark.  So here they are in the last few weeks before they disappear (to who knows where) for the winter.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Back-lit sprat loon:

Here's a Red-throated Diver from last week when the light was shining through the top of the waves at Walberswick.  Them winter RT-D's must have one of the most conspicuous eyes in all of birddom.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Buzz club:

Slightly confusing up at Haddiscoe today with a Common Buzzard flashing a bit o' white behind the Roughlegs.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Ghostly roosters

Greenshank painting done.  It's ended up with a bit too much paint blatted on, especially the Curlew.  But hopefully still a reminder of bright autumn days.


Saturday, 30 November 2013

Another shot at the shanks

Greenshank painting underway- just the splooshy undercoat at the moment, but thought I would get it posted before it goes wrong!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Back to bug-eyes

Ooops- two autumn paintings have gone wrong on me, so  I've returned to a Stone Curlew from September to get the ball rolling again.   Deliberately done with quieter tones and hues than a glaring summer's day.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Belisha Wigeon

Drake standing out like a beacon amongst the Dunlin today.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Attack of the cling-on

Can anyone ID the striped mussel that has got a hold of this Great Crested Grebe?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

a stack of three

A Redshank kindly completing the vertical format, despite the high wind.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

October excitement: ducks moulting and paint drying

Hopefully things will liven up later this week..

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Bean fangs

Here's today's output- CGI teeth for a Bean Goose. Scary, if you are a blade of grass.
Here they are digitally implanted into the digigoose.  Next I need to tackle the nostrils...

Monday, 23 September 2013

Reddish roosters

Here's the Curlew Sands from earlier in the month, shown here when they were neatly parked up with some Grey Plovers.

I have to confess that I prefer the freshness of the initial sploosh and pencil version, before the detail got bludged on.   But it's a bit late to wipe it down and go back now.   Onward!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

South Hide sludgepeckers

No time for a proper painting this week, but here's an ultra-quick scribble of juv Greenshank and juv water Rail striding along together at Minsmere.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Kipping bug-eye

Here's a sleepy Stone Curlew keeping half an eye on me, whilst having its portrait done.

Sunday, 1 September 2013


Don't be fooled by that long thin neck- Black Swan striking like a mamba and clearing 60 Mute Swans out of the creek in 10 minutes.  I expect DEFRA has its mind on other things.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Rubble at t' mill

Godwit at Stutton Mill solves ancient mystery of whether BTGs are brick-red or brick-orange.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Rack and Pecker

Freshly done oil painting- title might also make a good name for a gastropub in Cape Town.   

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Wind-shy shanks

A stiff breeze today and the Greenshank really don't like it.   Other roosting waders not bothered, but the G'shanks running to get in the lee of some muddy lumps.   30-40 in the roost this week, including 4 pristine juveniles and the colour-ringed adult RR-OW who breeds in Sutherland and has wintered here since at least 2010.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Dog day of summer

Small pic of a very big moment- Wild Dog has been right at the top of my most wanted list for simply years, but I've been too stubborn to go to Mana Pools or any of the other few places where they are twitchable.  This pack is denning against all the odds in the heavily-grazed Masaai lands east of the Serengeti- currently enjoying a fragile truce with the locals, but goodness knows that the future holds for them.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Fish-flushing falco

Quick 'n' messy pic of a first-summer Hobby at Minsmere- fish fry were jumping for their lives each time the H swooped in to take 4-Spot Chasers low over the water.

Hobby from Bittern Hide Minsmere

Friday, 12 July 2013

When there was no green

Little Grebe at Island Mere in May.   July just isn't my time, what with everything parched and stripes of lurid green overall.  So this afternoon I grabbed an old canvas and finished these from Minsmere, when the sky was blue, but all was still sepia and sienna. 

Sunday, 30 June 2013


Still playing with Hobby headshapes and getting the eyes in right place- here's a try-out at a 3D model rendered in shiny blue to reflect a fine summer's day.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Hobbies and black holes

This version of an Island Mere Hobby should have been done/painted/posted/filed last month, but it went all muddy on me and had to be hosed down and re-painted:  now it's done I think, although I'm still puzzling over whether to paint in a hint of the eye that is in shade.  It will go wrong for sure if I try..
It's a tricky one- usually when I see a Hobby you just don't quite get the eye-ring, but still when you paint a Hobby, things just seem not right until you stick it in.

Here's another from a couple of years ago initially painted as seen (so dark holes where eye should be) but I've recently cracked and dabbed in some detail.  It looks better for it [feet are still too lumpy and prominent but that can be fixed another day].

Here's weird looking Hobby with wrong-shape eyebrow and no eye-ring..

Improved Hobby below with a bit of face detail in roughly the right places.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

sticking at it

Today's inspirational image- after 275 unsuccessful attempts (pic1) a Woodpigeon has finally got 1 stick (pic2) wedged on ledge in my garage.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Boom boom

A marvellous booming Bittern yesterday, blue skin in front of the eye brighter than a damselfly's bum.  This one was booming with his neck stretched out a bit, not as hunched and inflated as sometimes.  Still grand though.


Thursday, 30 May 2013

loafing and moulting

This seems to be the week when the drake Shovelers that have been loafing about start their moult.  So here's a shot at capturing a full plumage drake from last week, doing his harlequin hippo thing and maybe pondering the spring that has passed.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Such a fine shrike day at  Lowestoft last Sunday.  Absolute pearler of an R-b Shrike, with a scimitar shadow cast on its breast by its bill.  Plus as bonus feature the Woodchat, bouncing around on a bramble bush.

Friday, 10 May 2013

trying too hard?

Time to accept that in terms of my patch
1 I have missed Willow Warbler for the year and
2 I am not competent to find my own Garden Warbler by song.
So scraping the barrel for patch ticks (see for why) had a wee scan for Black Brant.  No joy, but here's what I take to be a Pale-bellied Brent Goose from amongst the circa 400 Bark-bellied Brents hoovering up my brother's barley crop.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Happy day

First Hobby of the spring at about 8:30PM against the setting sun.   Strange to reflect that it will be four long months before hopefully there are juveniles bouncing about the old dead oak..  

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

too much time on my hands

Happy day- I retired from the London commute yesterday and on my first morning of freedom had the pleasure of 2 Wood Sandpipers at Cattawade, long range digipic of one of them here captures the moment.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

showing some leg

These godwits- still fun.  Here's how much extra leg a Blackwit has over a Bartail- enough to accommodate a cluster of bling.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

now you see them

Bar-tailed Godwits sticking out like sore thumbs yesterday amongst Black-tailed Godwits and then merging into the crowd with Grey Plovers today.  Wobbly digipics in a blustery spring gale, but catching the moment nonetheless.

Bar-tailed Godwit, Stour Estuary