Friday, 17 February 2012

Feathered friends, and all the beautiful things we can't see

We put a little bird house with birdseed in the tree outside our office, and now we're happily watching birds, and trying to identify them. It's definitely become busy and noisy out there. There's a couple of cheeky nuthatches coming to the feeder, and a few chaffinches, and a bunch of chirpy great and blue tits, as well as a sweet little marsh tit. Yestery, we spotted two new visitors, but haven't really been able to identify them. It's probably either a couple of siskins/black-headed goldfinches, or a couple of greenfinches.

I've also taken up going for walks during my lunch break again. There's fields and woodlands and the river, all part of a big nature reserve area, out there. I keep meeting a bold little robin on my walk, busily picking away at whatever he finds there on the ground. He gives me those side glances - keeping an eye on me in case I should get the idea of stealing his lunch, but otherwise isn't very bothered about my (close) presence. I've started to take some bird seeds with me in order to try to win his trust and get even closer :).

Now that all the trees are bare, I finally saw that beautiful great spotted woodpeckers I've heard so many times in the parks. He's certainly a beauty. There's also a couple of elegant, but very shy great egrets or great white herons around. Most of the time, I would have passed them without even noticing, but they're so shy that they take flight even when you're still quite some distance away. But the most beautiful of the birds around here is probably the stunning kingfischer, with his iridescent turquoises and oranges. I've only seen it once, down at the river. It was really more of a turquoise flash zooming past, glittering in the sun, just about identifiable as a bird, but truly beautiful.

I didn't have any time at all to do any painting this week. I was hoping to find some time tonight, but Inow I'll be too busy too. So, very heavy-heartedly, I even have to give the Paint Party a miss today :(. But I thought that I could at least do some little drawings of the birds, together with some notes, into my little Moleskine notebook I always carry with me.

Oh dear, I think I'm turning into a birdwatcher!! Well, that's the kind of thing that can happen to you if you're working in a remote, secluded and often pretty quiet place out in the sticks, with nothing but birds and squirrels around...

Btw, the beautiful and already very colourful plumage of the blue tit apparently has a very distinct pattern in the ultraviolet range which we humans can't see. It makes me wonder what else, how much there is out there that we can't see. Our seemingly colourful world might in reality be very bland indeed...


  1. You should absolutely link up with PPF as your bird illustrations in your journal are very much little works of art-really lovely. It sounds like you work in such a beautiful area,do you mind if I ask what you work at that is based somewhere so wonderfully remote. I work in a city centre and a walk at lunch for me is certainly not the lovely experience yours sounds to be!
    I had no idea about the legend of the dragon under wawel castle, by the way! Thanks for that!

    1. I'd love to work in a city centre, with cafés and take aways just around around the corner, some people around to chat with, and a convenient commute away from home. One problem with working in a remote place is that it's takes some time to get there. I commute almost 4 hours every day - I'd much prefer to get back home earlier and go for a walk back home. But then, one must make the best of what's available :). I'm a librarian btw.

  2. These are so gorgeous & unexpected I love the fact you shared this art with PPF - it's a lovely blog addition :)

  3. These are beautifully drawn and annotated. You will never forget the day you created these little mini artworks:)