An Invitation to Harewood House

No this wasn’t an invite for a tete a tete with his Lordship, rather it was a Red Kite Event at Harewood House for which I had to fork out £10.00. It was money well spent; despite dismal weather I had a great time. The evening was hosted by Doug Simpson MBE who is the project manager for the Red Kite release in Yorkshire. It was a fascinating talk; Doug’s enthusiasm for the subject was very evident. I won’t try to relay all the statistics of birds succesfully introduced to Yorkshire nor the sad stories of the birds who fell foul of the appalling practice of poisoned bait left out for foxes and crows (allegedly) but please visit the web site for a comprehensive account of this stunning success. Contrasting with this is the seemingly inevitable general decline of our wildlife. There are many reasons for this sad tale of attrition, suffice it to say that the recent Badger culling experiment is the latest example of wildlife sacrificed for dubious reasons. I say dubious because this practice has been rejected by Scotland among other regions as being counter productive and many farmers are concerned by the public reaction to the shooting of such an iconic creature, especially as the jntended effect on the spread of Bovine TB is far from clear.

Eider Ducks

A recent trip to Aberdeenshire presented me with the chance to see large numbers of Eider duck, despite the birds largely being in moult and not their usual handsome self I was thrilled to get quite close to them. On the way from the beach back to the car I chanced upon some fledgling swallows; guessing the adult birds would be along soon I settled down to wait. Sure enough they appeared and despite my presence began to feed the youngsters. Brilliant! I noticed when looking at the photographs that one of the adult birds had only one leg, plucky little bird.

My second exhibition at Fountains Abbey is set for Friday 26th August for a week and I am really looking forward to it. Last time I really enjoyed being able to speak to people about my work and with my easel and paints; enabling those interested to see work in progress. After my inspiring evening at Harewood I fully intend having a painting of a Red Kite finished for the exhibition.