Diary Of A Wildlife Artist – A Bounty For Blackbirds And Others

In between my first large solo show for a couple of years, in late November whilst leading of group of enthusiastic painters, i came across a line of Crab Apple trees, that were a blaze of fiery orange fruit. As i sat nearby,  populations of  Blackbirds in took in turns to bound in and feed, some feeding from hanging fruit, some stripping smaller apples clean off before heading into the cover of nearby Scots Pines to feed. With a succession of winter storms through the branches began rapidly losing their colour, and I concentrated all my days working beneath the Crab Apple trees.

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With late winter progressing and spring on the horizon, I am regularly drawn to the bay of Aberlady, a good size estuary that is home to large populations of wintering birds. When I am here, I usually find an area where I can sit for the whole day, and become attuned to the goings on around. Often it is the alarm of a Redshank or Oystercatcher as one of the Peregrines or Merlins hunts overhead. There has been a male Peregrine in the bay this year, who hunts within sight of where i work often. I have seen him tease Teal by flying alongside watching them, only to suddenly stoop on a different individual frozen to the ground below. He is a very efficient hunter.

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Lapwing are constant inspirations for me, and especially so in the intense low inter sunshine.

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