Monday, June 22, 2015

Kestrel tug of war

My nest cams offer me a window on to the hidden world of growing chicks and its been such fun to watch their most intimate moments: messy meals, sibling rivalry and all! 

This video is particularly endearing as two kestrel chicks have a tug of war over their dinner! 
These clips form part of my research into animal behaviour and inform my final paintings - in which I like to try to capture the individual character of a creature. 

I painted this kestrel last year. Now that I have this new footage I think one of a kestrel chick would be a great new challenge.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weasel kits on film

The weasel I have been watching in the garden has had seven kits and this week she moved them into  my purpose built nesting chamber which means I can now watch the weasel family on CCTV.

Watch this fascinating footage as she carries each weasel into the nest one by one. There are seven kits in total, under a week old. 

The last thing she drags in is a dead mouse. It is amazing to see the blind kits trying to eat the mouse at such a young age. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Strange food cravings. A Barn owl struggles to eat mole

Watch how this brooding barn owl reacts to the unusual meal its mate brought for it. 

Well, it was mole!!!

A bit of favouritism in this kestrel family

Watch how one chick seems to get all the grub!!!

Is it favouritism or is this one a survivor?

Kestrel chicks too big to brood?

The chicks seem a little big to brood now, but this kestrel mum is determined to do her duty.

Trouble is she can barely fit onto them!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Stunt Stoat's TV Debut

Did you catch my stunt stoat on BBC's The One Show this week? Presenter Mike Dilger described it as the only performing stoat in the world!!!

Click on the link to watch my footage of this daredevil stoat as it negotiates the maze I made for it.

I became enchanted with a family of stoats after I spotted them in my garden last year. I built them an assault course, which I baited to encourage them to run, so that I could watch them closely for this painting.

Before I sit down to paint a new wildlife subject I need to study it closely. But it is difficult to get much more than a fleeting glimpse of a stoat in the wild. I wanted to see the whole animal, including its feet, so I needed to get it up off the ground for long enough to get some good shots of it.

The assault course helped me to do this and the CCTV footage of its antics gave me a real insight into the behaviour of these tenacious creatures, which in turn has inspired some new artwork!

I'm giving a talk on how I trained the stoats to run the course as well as on how I study all my wildlife subjects at my gallery in Thixendale at 7.30pm on Saturday 20th.  Click here if you want to book on.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Enjoy Natural Wonders at my Summer Art Exhibition

I've just finished a new series of paintings for my summer wildlife art exhibition which opens at my gallery in Thixendale, North Yorkshire, tomorrow.

This buzzard portrait is among the new paintings on show. The exhibition is designed to inspire wonder at Britain’s natural heritage - like hares that can run at 45mph!

It follows the year I spent filming owls, badgers, kestrels, stoats and weasels.

See these detailed pictures alongside my photographs and rare video footage of secret animal encounters.

Among the recordings are the wild stoat I filmed running through a maze - part of the assault course I made for it in my garden.

The story of how It persuaded a tawny owl pair to foster three tawny owlets will also be screened - and you can see the paintings they inspired too, like the one above.

My entire collection of oil and acrylic paintings, pencil drawings, limited edition prints and bronze sculpture  will also be on show.

And there are a number of exciting wildlife events for you to join in too:

Choose from:
Wildlife at Millington, 10am-12.00, Saturday 13 June, Tickets £9.50 A walk through ancient ash woodland, ponds and open pastures to see yellow hammers, redstarts, kingfishers and deer. Suitable for children aged 13plus and people of moderate fitness.

Gallery Wildlife Walk 1 pm, Saturday 13 June & 10am Saturday 27 June, Tickets £9.50 A nature walk through the breath-taking valley of Thixendale looking for the owls and other birds that feature in my paintings.

Falconry, 10am, Sunday 14th June Tickets £4 children £6 Learn to fly owls, hawks and falcons at this fascinating falconry event run by expert falconer Danny Carpenter. This event is suitable for all ages.
Also on: June 21st and June 28th

Slideshow by Robert E Fuller: 7.30pm, Saturday 20th June, Tickets £9.50 Amazing wildlife tales of rare and unusual sightings, including I trained a wild stoat to run an assault course in my garden and how I witnessed a fierce nest box battle between warring birds of prey.Groups are limited to 70 so book early to avoid disappointment.

Wharram Quarry M Flowers 1pm Sat June 27th  Tickets £9.50 Group size 15
A walk through a disused quarry with professional naturalist Michael Flowers. Find rare orchids, butterflies and birdlife such as redstart, spotted flycatcher, willow warbler, blackcap, whitethroat, chiffchaff, marsh tit, and treecreepers.

Build a Hotel for Bugs, 10am-11am Saturday 13 June, Tickets £4 children £6 adults
Children can build their own hotel for bugs out of bamboo and then take them home to encourage wildlife into their gardens. This event takes place in the stunning setting of wildlife artist Robert E Fuller’s private woodland where bugs draw flocks of garden birds daily.
Super Strong Animals, 10am, Sunday 14th June& June 28th  Tickets £4 children £6 adults.The chance to see and hold super powered creatures, including a polecat, a ferret, a mighty mouse and a super strong garter snake at this mini zoo at The Robert Fuller Gallery.