Since writing Jenny Wren to the rescue and and illustrating the book with my paintings, I decided to paint for fun rather than for a specific purpose.
I’ve been experimenting with both watercolours and gouache. Looking back over some of my earlier works I can see improvements.
Here are some of my recent works.
I regularly walk through the nearby countryside and this hollow oak always looks so good. It is a popular place for children who can go inside and maybe visit secret places…
There is a ruined church near us that caught the morning light so beautifully.
I’ve been trying to find the best way to paint bark and leaves. Here is a study of a tree with ivy growing round it.
I often take photos of birds, both from my walks and those that visit my garden.
Last year we had Great Spotted Woodpeckers bring their young along to show them where the food is. It was great to see the parent feeding the young. This inspired the painting of the three woodpeckers.
Along the river we get many waders. This is a dunlin.
And finally, here is a composite picture of several birds that I have seen nearby. Of course Jenny Wren and Bobby Robin are here, but Jason Jay was away. Can you recognise the others?
This week I heard the first cuckoo heralding the arrival of the summer migrants. The nightingales have returned and have started their singing. I’ve seen many birds lately on my morning walks and thought I’d share some pictures with you.
Nannie RaRa has been out and about with her camera taking photographs of nature both during her morning walks and in her garden. She is lucky in having woods, fields, a river and a wildlife site all nearby.
Here are a few pictures from those walks. I’ve named the birds as best I can, but do correct me if I have them wrong.
First up is a black cap. I heard him singing every day as I walked along the path and managed to get this photo.
Then over the wildlife site I saw a jay. I first noticed it when a lot of the smaller birds were making a ruckus.
Down by the river I stood watching a cormorant drying its wings. It stood there for ages.
On the river one morning when it was as still as a mill pond I watched two great crested grebes doing their neck dance.
The last two photographs are not the clearest as the birds were a long way away.
A goldfinch was perched on the overhead wires.
The next two photos are of a common whitethroat. It was among the brambles which were growing near a small lake on the wildlife site.
This bird looks similar to the common whitethroat. Is it the same or is it a lesser whitethroat?
Also near the lake on an old tree stump was a rook, or was it a crow?
A group of long-tailed tits were in a tree.
A chaffinch was patiently sitting on a twig.
This bluetit was taken in the garden as it was looking for insects among the holly.
Nearby there have been some robins nesting. First I saw the male robin with insects in its beak. Then the baby robins appeared and were fed for a while before finding their own food.
There was a family of starlings in the garden looking for food. The young sat there waiting to be fed, then opend their mouths and squawked when they couldn’t wait any longer.
Finally there are a few photographs of insects found in the garden.
Do let me know if any of the birds are mis-identified. Nannie RaRa is fairly new to birdwatching and to photographing them. There are so many blurry photos I won’t show you.
Today the weather was perfect: sunny, no wind and warm. Snowdrops, crocuses and the first daffodils are out. I went for a walk to the riverbank and saw several birds that appeared to be posing specially for a photo.
These first birds were in the trees and bushes.
Then at the waterside were curlews, gulls, turnstones and other water birds. The water itself was like a mill pond, so still with brilliant reflections.
I need to learn what the different birds are especially ones by the water. If you know what these are do tell me.