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Sketches made in Procreate app, trying to capture different angles of a feeding oystercatcher at Rushy Common
Birds of Rushy Common: Great White Egret
Little Egret’s are fairly regular at Rushy Common, but the Great White is less so. I saw this single bird skulking around the reed beds last month, and it’s bright white body made a nice contrast with the reeds behind it.
Birds of Rushy Common: Peregrine Falcon
Last month, just as I was about to leave the hide at Rushy Common, a Peregrine Falcon appeared. After trying to take out a Black Headed Gull in mid-air, it then perched on a nearby pylon (the closest thing to a cliff in Oxfordshire). I took some photos of the sunset and some very fuzzy close ups through my scope as reference for this painting.
Birds of Rushy Common: Great Black Backed Gull
I’ve recently been getting to grips with Procreate on the iPad Pro and have started painting wildlife again. I’m finding the process really relaxing, and long way away from my days painting with acrylics and all the paraphernalia it needs.
Rushy Common is part of the Lower Windrush Valley Project, and area of gravel pit lakes, created by gravel extraction when the A40 was built. It’s what I call my ‘local patch’ – not necessarily a birding hot spot, but my closest place to relax and watch birds. It’s the place where I observe the comings and goings throughout the year, and feel inspired to to paint what I see.
So this is going to be a series that I’ll be posting here and to Instagram. Starting with this resting Great Black Backed Gull.
This weekend I rekindled an old passion. For various reasons I haven’t done a lot of birding over the last few years, but the mood and opportunity presented itself and I took it. Only 3 miles bike ride away, Rushy Common nature reserve is part of the Lower Windrush Valley Project. Created after gravel extraction ten years ago, it’s now a lake that’s been quickly been taken over by birdlife.
Pretty much the whole reserve can viewed from it’s bird hide. I love hides – they make it so easy for a lazy birder like me. You just take a seat, open up the hide windows and everything is laid out in front of you like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Binoculars for general views, and a Scope clamped to the hide shelf for detailed close ups.
On a warm, sunny afternoon, with the golden light behind me, it was two peaceful hours of utter tranquil bliss. It felt like the first time I’d relaxed and not thought about work in ages.