The Baby Boom

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This is the season where our wildlife does it’s damnedest to ensure it’s survival with an explosion of new life. The air is full of young birds demanding to be fed. The feeders in my garden require almost daily replenishment with a frenzy of feeding. The payback for this chore is the wonderful sight of young songbirds and woodpeckers who provide a daily soap opera which rivals TV’s Springwatch. I suppose I am fortunate in where I live, on a recent early morning walk I lost count of the Wrens, Goldfinches, Tits and Finches I saw or heard. The ability to recognise specific bird species by their song or call is a skill I am struggling to acquire. Apart from the birds which I can see regularly in the garden I cannot identify individual birds calls as I walk through woodland or by the reedbeds at our local RSPB site. The almost mystical skill of people who can suddenly stop and say ‘listen; a Wood Warbler’ leaves me envious because the birds we can hear far outnumber the ones we can see. I have obtained a CD of bird calls and intend to make this my required listening when driving, we shall see whether this pays off in future.

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The Birdfair at Tamworth was not a huge success from my perspective, too few visitors combined with wildly flapping marquee walls meant that I, along with many other exhibitors, packed up early on the Sunday and put it down to experience. In an attempt to put that behind me I arranged to re-visit Fountains Abbey for a week; taking in the August Bank Holiday. If I enjoy this as much as the last exhibition there I will be delighted, it is a great venue (with a great cafe) and the staff are really nice.

I am currently painting a pair of Canada Geese, these birds are a common sight and as such can be overlooked for more exotic wildfowl but they look majestic and I hope my painting will capture their almost muscular elegance.