Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A belated Christmas Robin sketched at Attenborough. Very obliging it sat still in a Hawthorn bush for some minutes (possibly waiting for us to throw it some food). On the water were a good selection of birds including Goosander, Teal, Wigeon and a few pairs of smart Goldeneyes.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day walk round Bennerley. Two Bullfinches munching the buds of a Hawthorn and a large flock of Redwings; this one perched at the top of a tree buffetted by the wind.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pintail (again) at Lound. Lots of ducks here! This single male fed on the scrape relatively close to the hide.
Great White Egret. Lound

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A quick visit to Netherfield lagoons and this time managed to find the Pintail feeding in a quiet corner with Mallards, upending in a patch of waterweed.
Walking back, I flushed a Male Goldeneye from the near side of the deep pit. It settled on the opposite side of the pit and immediately started diving.
(memory drawing)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A visit to Netherfield to see if the Pintail were still there. They weren't but 2 Goldeneye gave distant views. I settled for the large Gull flock on the slurry lagoon, which contained many Black-headed Gulls, some Common Gulls and a few pairs of Herring, Lesser and Great Black-backed Gulls.
Lesser Black backed Gull sketched from the kitchen window. It was tinged salmon pink by the setting sun.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Smew on the Main pond, Attenborough. While I watched it kept to the edge of the water diving near a patch of flattened and decaying rushes then concealing itself under overhanging shrubs. As I moved closer it swam off and was noticeably smaller than the local Mallards.
Winter Grebe on the Works pond.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Third time lucky! Good views of the Squacco Heron after two other fruitless visits when the bird had been flushed. Hope it finds its way home.

Friday, 28 October 2011

A view of Wollaton Hall from the Lake. As I sketched a Jay flew into the Oak tree doing a very good impression of a Buzzard (which made me look up at the sky expecting to see a Buzzard circling!)
Gadwall at Wollaton. Subtle colour scheme; almost the antithesis of a Mandarin Drake.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Shoveller resting under trees on submerged branches as it rained at Wollaton Lake.
Because of the wet weather there were fewer people about and less disturbance. This Shoveller was feeding at the edge of the lake near the path.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wollaton Autumn scene with Red Deer.
Red Deer stag with his harem of females. They all sat down as he patrolled, roaring at other stags waiting in the wings.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Wollaton Park. Loads of Grey Squirrels running around the golf course gathering acorns. Saw one bury an acorn in a sand pit, another ran across the putting green while a golfer was trying to put.
Further down the Golf course 2 Red Deer stags battled. Turf was ripped up as they dug their hooves into the ground trying to push each other off balance. Another stag watched from the sidelines and began 'roaring' when the fight had finished.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Saturday, 8 October 2011

This unfortunate adult male Kestrel was picked up by my brother near Chesterfield. It had been hit by a car, its neck broken. Its outer 2 primary feathers were still growing and sheaths were visible at their base.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Another opportunity to visit Kedleston Hall and sketch the Mandarins which were perched in their favourite overhanging Willows. With Mallard, Shoveller, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Coots and Morrhens.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The hottest start to October since records began! The waterfowl of Kedleston Hall sought shade in the overhanging trees and bushes. Mandarin Ducks were well hidden. Some were in full winter plumage, others were in different stages of moult.
A few Shoveller swam under the overhanging trees, all were still in eclipse plumage with a bit of white coming through on breast.

Heron catching some rays.

Young Mute Swans resting beneath an overhanging Horse chestnut tree. There were 4 young in this group. The adults were on the main lake busy defending their territory against another pair.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Heard about this obliging Nightjar perched on a couples backgarden fence in Codnor!! Couldnt wait to finish work to get over to see if it was still there. Right at the end of the garden it sat very still (even when people were no more than 10feet away from it). A juvenile bird, it only made the smallest movements and was in many respects the perfect model - if not for its amazingly intricate, complicated plumage pattern! I have had distant murky views of Nightjars in the past so this was a great opportunity to study one. Primitive looking bird that seemed to me to be a cross between a frog and a moth! The lady who's garden it was perched said it would be off migrating South on any clear night.....then again it could stay around for a few days yet.
On getting this sketch home I tried to repeat it in colour though i feel i havent quite got the colours right. i may have to go back for another look.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

2 Black-tailed Godwits behind a screen of Weld. Attenborough Tween pond.
While the Godwit were in hiding I had a go at this group of Black-headed Gulls asleep.
Quick movement sketches.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Silver Y moth that was attracted to the kitchen light. I released it into the back garden.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Crows enjoying the strong winds around Wollaton Hall's turrets. They seemed to be drawn to the lightning conducter and would grab hold in their beaks before attempting to grip with feet. Jackdaws would perch on the stone ball pinnacles occasionally. Their aerobatics were great to watch and gave the impression they were just having fun in the wind.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Netherfield Nature reserve. Bullfinches in transition from Juvenile to Adult. They haven't quite grown their black caps yet.
Impression from memory. The white rumps really glowed as they flashed into cover.

It was great to see 2 Immature Pintail (I think) on the lagoon with a good selection of Ducks, Lapwings, Gulls and numerous Herons.

The Pintail looked overall a biscuit brown colour with dark sepia back. Its bill was most distinctive showing steel-blue and black.
Heron preening, Pintail upending.