Pied Flycatcher in territory

Pied Flycatcher

Last week I was in the Peak District. I woke up early to explore a local nature reserve, RSPB Coombes and Churnet Valley. I took the longest circular path, and as I approached a stream, I heard an unfamiliar song and searched for the bird. It was a male Pied Flycatcher. It sung persistently and have a quick visit to a nest box nearby. I have known this species for a long time, as it was a regular migrant in my local park in Spain when I was a teenager, and I have seen it in migration as well in Spurn. The song reminded me of a Great Tit, although more thrilling and diverse. Pied Flycatchers breed in mature beech and oak forests, habitats that are pretty scarce in East Yorkshire. It is red-listed in the UK, due to severe recent population and range declines. Watercolour and pencil in Wacom Tablet.

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Little Ringed Plover

LittleRingedPlover

After a mild winter, spring is well on its way. Some resident species are feeding chicks, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps are in song, I’ve seen my first Swallow and in the wetlands of local nature reserves, the first Little Ringed Plovers are back too. They are often in very contrasting light, which helps with their camouflage on bare pebbly ground. In typical plover fashion, they stand still bobbing lightly every now and then, watching the ground intently, and then quickly darting forward to pick some tiny morsel from the ground.

I watched my first one last week at Tophill Low Nature Reserve, and decided to sketch it, trying to grab the contrasts the harsh light of the middle of the day on their plumage. Wacom tablet using pencil and watercolour features.