Bye Bye Blackbird

BlackbirdRecently I have seen an increased incidence of Sparrowhawk sorties targeting the birds at the feeders in my garden. I try to accept the harsh reality of nature along with all the pleasant sights and sounds. After all it is as natural for a Sparrowhawk to predate songbirds as it is for Blackbirds to feed on worms and try as it might a hawk cannot feed on peanuts. There can hardly be a more exhilarating spectacle anywhere than a Sparrowhawk streaking by at such speed you are left with only blurred impression of it’s passage.

My acceptance of the natural pecking order was somewhat tested when a young male Blackbird which had become increasingly tame and almost accepted tidbits from my hand, appeared to have fallen victim to the raider. I went out into the garden and disturbed the Sparrowhawk, it flew off with the victim in it’s talons. On examining the crime scene I did not need CSI to establish the unfortunate bird was a Blackbird. I feared for my new friend and looked in vain all that day. However I am pleased to say that ‘Blackie’ turned up for breakfast the next day unhurt and hungry as usual so it was not his time.

I have been invited to exhibit at the Great Yorkshire Show this year and I am looking forward to the three day event. It is a great venue and I always enjoy talking to the public about my work.

I am working on a painting of an Amur Leopard at the moment, I captured images of this beautiful cat on a visit to Edinburgh Zoo. I must be the only visitor to the zoo recently who did not want to see the Pandas! I am on a bit of a roll with big cats having just completed a Sumatran Tiger, this will be on my web site shortly.

Speaking of exotic animals; check out the photograph of a field vole on my feeder. A real you’ve been framed moment.

Field Vole