Thursday, August 25, 2011

Badger Painting Sold

I've sold one of my paintings of a badger! I chose to use a combination of pencil and acrylic paints to bring out the texture of the badger's fur.

Pencil is a very underated medium and yet it's the first one everybody uses when they draw.

I shall be putting out lots of pencils and paper in the gallery for a special event to encourage people to draw on September 24th .

The Big Draw is part of a nationwide push by the Campaign for Drawing to promote art for all ages.

The event at the gallery is free and I shall be on hand to give advice and encouragement.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kestrel Kids

A family of kestrels have been nesting in an old sycamore stump I put up for them near the garden! They actually nested in the garden to begin with, but sadly lost their first brood to a carrion crow.
These pictures are of their second brood. I spent some time watching the three chicks as they grew.
To read all about their antics click here to link to my latest column in The Yorkshire Post.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Otter watch.

I have seen otters in the sea in Scotland many times, especially in Islay and Mull, but I've found it much harder to find them in fresh water.You may remember my failed attempts to photograph an otter earlier this year. I got pictures of an otter holt, photographs of otter prints and photographs of otter spraint, but no otters. Now, four months later, I have finally snapped one hunting close to the River Hull.

Unfortunately there was a reed in the way as I took the photographs!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Who...Who are you? Fotherdale's Tawnys

The Fotherdale tawny owl family are growing up fast.They still come at night to feed from my bird table and in the day they perch in the line of sycamores below the house. Three of the young usually sit together.

Sometimes it is very difficult to see the family.

The male is usually the hardest to spot.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Shooting Season Begins

The shooting season opens this week for red grouse. It's not a sport I take part in but I accept that the grouse we see on the moors are only there because of it. I took these photographs whilst in the Dales this spring. These youngsters will be about ready to aim at now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Regent's Park still an oasis of calm

My article for the Gazette & Herald this month was on my visit to Regent's Park to see the famous heronry what an oasis of calm this photo is in light of the recent looting and riots in London. The herons were not thankfully caught up in any of the riots as the violence is only in small pockets in London.

The day that the article was published I sold this original of a Regent's Park heron in the gallery. The customer said that it was the subtle colours in the heron's plummage that made her buy the painting. The lady is originally from London but it is going to be hung in her home in County Durham.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Serengeti Highway

I'm very worried about the plans for a road across the Serengeti. It looks as though it will slice straight across the migration route. Click here to read more about it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Roe Buck

I photographed this handsome buck at the edge of a small wood last week. I had spotted it with a doe in a nearby hay meadow but didn't have my tripod or camouflage jacket in the car so I had gone home to fetch them.

When I got back the doe was lying down and was barely visible. I waited for half an hour before the buck reappeared.

He casually wandered off to graze the hay and then began grooming before vanishing into the wood again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hare Abundant

For an animal in decline, there seems to be a lot of hares about on the Yorkshire Wolds at the moment.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kingfishers on Road to Recovery

Kingfisher populations were among the most serious casualties of last winter's bitter snows.As ponds and streams froze over there were reports that some populations tried to relocate to the coast, where their fragile systems are unable to cope with the salt water over prolonged periods.
I know of several local sites where I usually find these brightly coloured birds and can confirm that in some the populations have died out.
But there are encouraging signs in others. Pictured above is a kingfisher that will have fledged earlier this year and the pair went on to have a second brood too!