Monday, October 27, 2014

Wild About Yorkshire

I'm busy finishing a new collection of paintings of Yorkshire wildlife for my latest exhibition, which opens on November 8th. 

The event, which I've titled 'My Yorkshire', will be a celebration of all the wonderful wildlife that can be found here.

I'm hoping the new paintings will inspire people to go out and enjoy the wildlife for themselves and
I've organised bird watching walks and photography courses to accompany the exhibition.

I've also compiled a list of my top five places to spot wildlife during the winter to share with you.

Here they are:

1. Barn Owls at Sunk Island
Sunk Island by the river Humber is a birder's paradise with a high population of barn owls that hunt along the ditches. They are particularly visible from mid-afternoon onwards and are usually most active after bad weather.

2. Red Kites at Nunburnholme
This village on the Yorkshire Wolds is host to an established red kite roost. You can see up to 60 red kites from the roadside as you drive towards Warter. Red kites are unusually sociable and like to group together on winter nights, but just before they settle down they swoop and swirl through the air showing off some incredibly acrobatic movements.

3. Otters at Tophill Low Reserve, Driffield
The Sourthern Marsh hides at this reserve are good spots from which to spot otters. Look out for their wake in open water or a row of bubbles which often gives the game away. Listen too for their high-picthed birdlike calls.

4. Kingfishers at Howsham, nr Malton
Lookout for them along the footpath between Howsham Bridge and Kirkham Abbey. Listen for their high-pitched calls. Now is a good time to see them as there are less leaves on the trees and you get better views of the river.

5. Red Stag Rut, Studley Royal
This is the time when the stags tussle over hinds. My painting above is taken from studies I made of the rut here. The rut is exciting, dramatic and set in beautiful parkland graced with ancient sweet chestnut, beech and oak trees.

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