black-headed gulls & coots, permanent marker
A rare field sketching outing. Focussing on one of the bays at local reservoir. Sense of autumn ripening… lots of birds moving in the hedgerow alongside the north-south lane. The cover so dense and their movements so quick it was hard to see what was what. Blackcaps (males with both grey and brown backs… not sure of the significance of that?), chaffinches, tits, phylloscopus warblers… a day for sketching not for identification though.
From the hide a large flock of black-headed gulls.. probably resting after their efforts in a newly cut or muckspread field. Deciding to focus on them… the water movement and their bobbing and flighting. I’d spent some time working with this theme before and never got to any kind of resolution… coots and mute swans on the periphery.
Distracted by birdwatchers looking for lesser scaup and even more by 4 hobbies that were whizzing around the foot of the bay. 3 youngsters and an adult. Skimming low over the bistort at the waters edge and then up over reeds and willows.
The vegetation on the edge providing more id challenges… common spiked rush with some small black pupae type insects. Marsh woundwort and a very toothed tall plant that I’ve never got round to sorting out.
In the meadow more dark bush crickets than I’ve ever seen before. Lots of migrant hawkers… fewer darters and common damselflies.