Migrating Wheatear

In the last two weeks I’ve seen migrating Wheatears, flying over or feeding on grassland. They are one of my favourite birds, I love their warm sandy tones and their upright stance, allowing them to spot insects on flat areas from the ground. Oil and pencil on Wacom tablet.

Willow Tit

This weekend, on a local walk, I came across a Willow Tit, a very pleasant surprise given that they are one of the fastest disappearing birds in the UK. It returned several times to the same hawthorn, so, with a bit of patience I could take some photos, which I used as a reference for this oil and pencil sketch.

Peregrine falcon

A Peregrine falcon on scaffolding. I love watching Peregrines on human-made structures, Peregrines are doing very well as urban birds, nesting on power stations, cathedrals and high-rise buildings. There are now several web-cams showing some of these peregrines nesting attempts live. One of these pairs are the Newbury Peregrines and I based my sketch on a photo of the breeding female, Mrs N.

Singing Whitethroat

I love Whitethroats. In the last week males have arrived from their winter quarters just South of the Sahara Desert and have started setting their territories in little scrubby corners even in the middle of cities, constantly singing their angry, scratchy song, like they are asking females ‘I am here, where are you?’ Females will be arriving soon and settle down to nest. I’m still experimenting with the oil setting in my Wacom tablet. I hoped to capture the atmosphere of a whitethroat in the dawn chorus.

Singing Blackcap

During the last week, males of the summer migrant Blackcap population have been arriving at their territories. I heard my first one in the cemetery near home. Today, at my patch, four males were singing. They have a musical song, with a typical cadence. Occasionally a male will emerge from the thickets they prefer and sing in the open, from an exposed branch. Watercolour and pencil in my Wacom tablet.