Category Archives: Uncategorized

Muchelney pottery exhibition

Muchelney pottery have produced a nice looking invitation for upcoming exhibition. If you’d like a hard copy please contact the gallery or me directly … otherwise it would be good to see you there.

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prema exhibition & nature notes


I hung the mini exhibition at prema arts centre in Uley, Gloucestershire yesterday. Pretty much a revamp of the Slimbridge exhibition but I think they look much better in this space.  The exhibition doesn’t officially open until 3rd March and isn’t labelled as yet, but if you are in the area it is a good place to visit with tea room etc.
The frogs in the garden pond hit a maximum of 16 back at the weekend. Didn’t seem like the amount of spawn increased hugely.. all of it laid in the shallow end of the pond. Just ones and twos now.
The most unusual sighting of recent days was a peregrine sitting on the school at the back of our allotments. A great vantage point looking over most of Bristol, first time I’ve seen one perched from the house, even flying over I don’t see them that often.
Blackcap song a couple of days ago and blackbird starting to become the backdrop.
Huge leylandii at the base of the allotments, end of our neighbours garden being felled as I write so a lot more light for the allotment and more skyscape from the house.

garden & pond

214‐6892 pond frogs    

Not wanting to deviate from focus on Senegal studio work but I do want to get better at posting nature notes… especially once my mini meadow gets going. First UK butterfly for me last w/e. A comma sunning at the end of the garden on Sunday.
Pipistrelle bats were out on tuesday evening… saw something flit by at last light that didn’t look like a bird and went out to check with bat detector…
Frogs started to appear in the pond at the w/e and were up to at least 10 yesterday. Today the first patches of spawn.
Lots of bird song at extremes of day, wren, song thrush (these usually disappear before doing any nesting) and slightly subdued blackbird. A male blackcap has been a regular at the bird table for a few weeks, haven’t noticed him singing yet. Last winter there was a brown headed bird around for months. They seem much more catholic in their tastes nowadays…taking chunks of bread off to a bush to chew on.
Turned colder again now but definitely feels springy.

To view all SENEGAL FIELDWORK consecutively please click on this link. I’ll start another ‘category’ for studio work… choose from ‘categories in sidebar.

Djoudj Gainthe pond

afternoon here after morning by roadside with turtle doves …  warthogs up to their shoulders in water grazing on lotus. Night Herons hidden away in fringe of tararisks and acacias.Squaccos emerging. Purple heron, great white and little egret gathering around hog.
Black rail clambering over submerged roots. red legs , yellow bill. laat seen in South Africa under splattering hippo.

Djoudj National Park – Grand Lac

Drive to Grand Lac. Less divers birds than yesterday but huge numbers. mostly pintail and whistling duck. Marsh harriers putting up massive flocks. Later a peregrine plunging into them . Sand martins accumulating as sun lowered. Honeyed… flickering of their wings seeming to take on the rhythm of the whistling duck calls. Huge flock of flamingos coming in , several thousand.
Waders along the edge, ones and twos of odd species, ruff, marsh & wood sandpiper, ringed plover, spotted redshank, not sure of calidrids. Over the flamingos whiskered type terns. Looking away from the water the wind making mini sandstorms, yellow wagtails and ringed plover hiding behind bushes or micro dunes.

St Louis/Langue de Barbarie

Not far outside St Louis on the road to Langue de Barbarie. The bridge that we stopped at less than 2 days ago. This morning a huge throng of pelicans on the other side of the road, close in. Opting to sketch the wealth of species and the boat on the other side.
The mud with puddles wriggling over it. mass of wading birds.  A chequerboard of young ringed plovers.  little stint, curlew sandpiper, sanderling, greenshank and grey plover .whimbrel.
the shrine man and koran chanter…..
warm sand cement of houses. big arc of warm mauve/brown mud. pocks of soft blue water filling with the rising tide.
2 men wait in boat for water to rise. sacky canvas patched sail.
Gull billed tern, long tailed cormorants, grey heron, dark reef herons, white egrets, spoonbills, pelicans…

 

St Louis

End of long day viewing the senegal river from hotel balcony… Starting to be able to better articulate the people after picking from the stream of models crossing the Pont Faidherbe.
Birds gathering on the mud as tide drops. not masses of activity on the rise or fall but seemed like pelicans came in when rising and later there were spirals of them over the other side.
gulls mixed the majority black headed and then slender-billed and grey-headed in smaller numbers.

somerset levels flooding

134‐6751 lapwings & golden plover somerset levels ink pen A5 sketchbook 
After dropping my niece off at her new house in Wells I spent the end of the afternoon at Greylake … knowing that it was mostly under water but thought it might be interesting. . just the tops of bunds above water (often only lines of straw coloured vegetation marking them).. gates and fences and odd trees rising above the flood.

On the grassy higher bunds masses of lapwing and golden plover huddled.. flighty, and at the edges starlings and winter thrushes looking for creatures forced to the margins  or maybe chaff washed up.
My sketches  are cyphers for the 100’s and thousands of birds that were actually on these islets. I reckon around a 1000 golden plover across the marshes… not sure about lapwing. Towards last light the ground became covered with a writhing carpet of starlings, covering what ground there was. Seemed like some last minute, wash & brushup, come snack, come drink before bedtime.  The lapwings like face painted pebbles amongst a sea of chittering starlings.

134‐6750 lapwings & golden plover somerset levels ink pen A5 sketchbook 

134‐6749 lapwings, golden plover & starlings somerset levels ink pen A5 sketchbook 

redwings on holly

158‐6733 redwings on holly garden, bristol ink pen 21 x 14.5 cms (A5) 

Little nature watching over the christmas/New year time… the redwings still around though. Wishing all visitors to this site all best for 2014.