Woodpigeon shower

Woodpigeon showeringWoodpigeons truly enjoy a shower. Downpours, drizzle, torrential rain: they will be sitting in prominent perches, preening and grooming, often in pairs and occasionally lifting a folded wing up to show the rain its underside and get a good soak. They look totally relaxed while showering. I took a sketch of this behaviour using ball pen some years ago while waiting for a train in the rain and I worked on it with pencil for this sketch.

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Surprised Jay

Jay pencil

The first time I saw a jay, many years ago, I surprised an individual not far away, which looked at me with its crest erect from a small tree. For a few moments, I had no idea what bird it was, Hoopoe crossed my mind, but as the bird flew away its pinkish, black, white and blue pattern accompanied with a screech, gave its identity away. The jay’s crest is not always obvious, as it is kept flat over its head much of the time, looking like they have long hair brushed back, and is not often pictured in bird guide books. I based this sketch on my memory of that first encounter with the Jay.

After a first poor attempt at painting it, I gave it another try. So this is the next step.

Jay no background