About africagomez

NERC Advanced Research Fellow, University of Hull

Little Owl

Little Owl4I was lucky enough recently to see some Little Owls in the Yorkshire Wolds. One of them sat on an old, gnarled oak, well camouflaged. The only give-away its rounded silhouette in the fading light. It stared to the camera, unsure, before flying off. Watercolour and Pencil on Wacom tablet.

Mediterranean Gull strutting

Med gull strutting

Mediterranean Gulls are back in their breeding ground at North Cave Wetlands in their striking summer plumage. One walked about the much more numerous Black-headed gulls in the colony, adopting this pose, neck straight and bill pointing down, as if to make sure everybody knows how great they look this time of year. The Black-headed gulls are smaller, and their heads, in comparison, are actually chocolate colour. The bill and leg colour in the Mediterranean gull is more intense red. A quick sketch on Wacom tablet with pencil and watercolour.

Singing Reed Bunting

reed-bunting-singingcrop

In a visit to a local nature reserve I heard the first singing Reed Buntings of the year. It is not a song that will blow you away, more three notes repeated with not much musicality. If you look toward the reed patch, dry flower heads or bushes, the contrasting black cap and white collar, which is often fluffed up when singing, will reveal the singing bird. Watercolour and pencil on Wacom tablet.

Goldfinches fighting

goldfinches-fightingnewGoldfinches have an underserved reputation of gentle birds, but, if you have spent any time watching them feed, either in gardens or in fields margins of brownfield sites where teasels and burdock grow, you’ll realise are quarrelsome birds that defend their flower head aggressively. Usually a hunched posture -bill open, pointy as a dagger- towards an oncoming bird suffices to scare it away. Other times both birds fly and chase each other fiercely, hovering with their tiny claws trying to grab the enemy.