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Blackbird Bathing

Friday, 23rd March 2001, West Yorkshire

frogspawn ITS A MISTY morning, more like autumn than spring, but after that cold snowy spell the Frogs are back in force on our garden pond. I count 21 of them and a couple more clumps of frog-spawn. The pebbly corner is now full to capacity of spawn and one of the new clumps is by vegetation in the deeper part of the pool.

blackbird bathingThat pebbly corner is a favourite spot for birds to take a bath, but there's no chance of that at the moment. Instead, a male Blackbird takes a dip by the opposite bank.

Watching its repetitive routine for a minute I decide I'd like to have a go at an animated version. It repeatedly dips its head then, as it straightens up again, it vigorously shakes its wings.

frog I made 4 sketches; two for the shaking wings, one for the head dipped down and an in-between stage used when it is both dipping and raising its head. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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