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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Birdwatching Paint drying?

Hello there. A mixed bag of blogging today. I love to watch the Birdies, love Birdy paintings etc etc. This weekend 28/ 29th Jan was the annual Big Garden Birdwatch that the RSPB instigates. A one hour birdwatch that anyone can participate in. I've done this for many years now, I like to think it helps record the fluctuations in species throughout the country.
I feed the birds every day, I don't always get to watch them, but it's something I've always enjoyed doing. My Brother probably introduced me to this, he was always bird spotting and would draw them too. He is my Skylark now, as before he passed away last year, I was telling him how we had been watching the skylarks while out walking. He said how lovely, I just remember him that way.

Anyway Saturday morn was sunny, hurrah, I decided to feed the birds just before going up to my workroom to sketch, that way I could look down on them. Sure enough all the regulars came, including 2 big fat woodpigeons, who I had to shoo away, they are too greedy, along with the magpies who target the dried mealworms and hide them elsewhere! There were also the prettier birds, Goldfinches, bluetits, coal tits and then Swoosh...., right under my window , the amazing blue/grey and barred stripes of a male Sparrowhawk. He must have landed near because all the birds disappeared. Sparrowhawks visit regularly, they tummult in, wings tipping and tilting so low over the wall or fence. So for the next 10-15 mins all was quiet in the garden. Then birds gradually came back and I had a real treat as a pair of Siskins, I thought they were goldfinches at first-but no, binoculars out and a pair of pristine looking Siskins sat eating the niger seed. These birds sometimes visit at this time of year, but they turned up for the first time on my birdwatch. So I had a couple more interesting species to note down this year.You can just see a goldfinch I think, my photo is not so good.

My sketching turned out OK, despite the distraction of birdwatching?

I've been ordering some art materials too and with them came these lovely little tester dots of Daniel Smith paints, they look like little jewels, I'll enjoy trying them out, what a good idea, to be able to try colours out. On the back of the cards is a description of the colours which is just lovely, enough to entice you in.... You might be able to request these little testers from the manufacturer??
Hope you've all had an enjoyable weekend, see you again soon.


  1. We love the birds here too. When my girls were younger I always considered our backyard to be a sort of nature school. We have several bird books that we keep nearby in case we have exotic visitors. :) I have seen those cool Daniel Smith tester sheets online but have never tried one. DS paint is supposed to be quite nice. Have a good week!

  2. I also meant to say that I am sorry about your brother and I think that is a lovely way to remember him.

  3. I am glad you have something good to remember your brother by. I know that when I am out in the wilds and hear a skylark, the first thing I think of is being out on walks with my family when young.

    I meant to take part in the big bird watch and forgot. It is snowing today (Monday 31.01.12) so I suppose even if we could participate a day late the snow might throw things a little?

  4. Thank -you for your kind words, it is a nice way to remember my brother. I don't see skylarks very often, when we were young he used to pretend to shoot them, as they fall quite dramatically from the sky after finishing singing, we lived near cornfields then. I love enticing those birds in,I don't think a day late will matter and you may get more because of the snow?

  5. I suspect I'd get little done with my desk near a window to the world... I got mesmerized watching squirrels just yesterday... the husband finally asked what exactly was I watching that was so fascinating out there! ha ha
    We've had such a mild winter here, the birds are not around as much as usual... I've only got one feeder out; and the squirrels are mauling it! :(
    I'm not completely up on my birds, is a skylark different than a swallow? Funny how certain things can triggers memories... I think of my Grandfather everytime i see a Red Winged Black bird. It's nice to have a moment of happy memory of those we've lost, when you least expect it!

  6. I would love to sit and gaze out the window all day, the birds fascinate me. I have a bit of a thing about birds and remembering people.... it is a bit unbelievable,so I won't go on. Skylarks are wonderful, they soar up and up singing their little hearts out, then suddenly stop and plummet down, hence the shooting, you had to time it well and he made me laugh with it. I think we've got some freezing weather coming this week, so we may get more birds, Yeay! Just 1 squirrel, he's planted acorns all over the garden??

  7. If you had asked me about the birdwatching hobby a few years ago I would have said that birdwatching is boring. Yet after I have started feeding blue tits and sparrows in my garden I catch myself more and more often slowly approching the window and watching! Watching the little birds spreading their colourful wings, gathering every little crumb... I guess you can never say "no" before you tried it.


  8. Ah yes Kristina, and when something new appears, it can get a bit more exciting. A male bullfinch last spring was a real wow, such amazing colours! Thanks for your comment your site is very interesting.


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