Friday, April 27, 2012

Gannets at Bempton

The gannets have arrived at Bempton RSPB reserve in huge numbers.
The reserve near Flamborough is always a great place to visit and at this time of year it is at its busiest. I visited to see if I could spot puffins, but there were none about that day. The sheer numbers of gannets made up for the lack of puffins though.
This stretch of coastline is home to the only mainland gannet colony in the UK and these elegant birds are among thousands of sea birds that come to breed on the spectacular chalk cliffs here.
It is mesmerising to watch them as they jostle for nesting sites.

The sites are just a pecking position apart - which makes it also a very noisy place!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Olympic Art Show- May 26th-June 10th

I'm staging an art show of Olympian proportions next month. I'll be showcasing my latest paintings of some of Britain's greatest wildlife athletes at this free exhibition.
And there are plenty of nature events for you to book on to too, including bird watching, wildlife safaris, flower-arranging and cookery demonstrations.  Below is a list of all that is on offer:

Badgers by Owlight.
Friday 1st & 8th June 7.30pm-10pm Tickets £15
Let myself and professional birdwatcher Michael Flowers guide you across the Yorkshire Wolds at twilight. Click here to book

Birds of Millington Pastures
Sat 2nd June 10.30am-12 noon and Sun 10th June 1.30pm-3pm
Tickets £10A walk across this Wolds valley led by professional birdwatcher Michael Flowers
Click here to book
Wildlife of Wharram Percy
Sat 2nd June 1.30pm-3pm Tickets £10.00 and Sun June 10th 10.30am-12 noon. Tickets £10.
See hares, abundant birdlife and deer in this abandoned medieval village. Walk led by Michael Flowers
Click here to book

Italian Cookery
Sun June 3rd 7.30pm-9pm Tickets £10.00
Former intensive care nurse Sara Danesin-Medio shows how she wowed TV’s MasterChef judges with delicious Italian dishes in a cookery demonstration.
Click here to book

Landscapes of the Wolds
Sat May 26th 7.30pm-9pm Tickets £10
Superb photography of the Yorkshire Wolds sideshow by Paul Moon.
Click here to book

Fabulous Summer Flowers
Sat June 9th 7.30pm-9pm Tickets £10Flower arranging by Fiona Hogg To book visit Click here to book

And whilst you enjoy the paintings, let the children join an art workshop, take lessons in bush craft skills or join a mini mammal safari. Choose from the kids events below; all kid's tickets £6.50:

Essential Bushcraft May 27th 3-7yrs 10am-12 noon, 8yrs+ 1pm-3.30pm
June 10th 10am-12 noon 3-7yrs 1pm-3.30pm 8yrs+ Teach the kids to light fires, forage for dinner and build shelters at these lessons in survival skills.

Mini Mammal Safaris 3+ years May 26th & June 9th 10am-12pm
Catch voles and shrews in animal friendly traps and learn the differences between the species.

Art workshops
Branch weaving May 26th 11am-12noon 8yrs+
Nature gardenMay 26th 1pm-2pm 3-7yrs
Clay sculpturesMay 27th 11am-12 noon 8yrs+

Leaf printingMay 27th 1pm-2pm 3-7yrs
Nature Collage June 9th 11am-12 noon 8yrs+ and 1pm-2pm 3-7yrs

Nature in the FrameJune 10th 11am-12 noon 8yrs+
& 1pm-2pm 3-7yrs
There is disabled access to the gallery/ Please wear appropriate footwear for all outdoor events.
Please click on the invitation below to download your own personal invitation to the exhibition.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


What about this drought then? It's rained non-stop since I dedicated this month's column in the Yorkshire Post to it! Luckily I had a positive stroy to tell about the badgers and owls that abound on the Yorkshire Wolds in spite of the weather.
Click here to read it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Power line tragedy

The dangers of power lines was brought home to me with a jolt last week when I found one of the tawny owls that I often paint had been electrified on the transformer opposite the gallery.
I really hope it isn't one of a breeding pair.

And I really began to despair when I later found a clump of little owl feathers at the bottom of the hill where I know a pair are nesting and will be laying soon.

Little owls, being so small, are especially vulnerable and are often taken by other birds of prey such as sparrowhawks, buzzards and tawny owls.
I have only seen one little owl here since, so I suspect that one of the pair hasn't made it. I was beginning to feel quite despondent when I spotted a pair on the other side of Thixendale.
I took lots of photographs to lift my spirits!

Despite the fact that they were so well camouflaged!

It is good to see little owls back here. This area lost its population of little owls after a particularly bad winter two years ago.

I caught this one as it turned its head to keep an eye on a kestrel pair flying overhead!