AFTER PECKING at fallen sunflower hearts on the ground, the chaffinch attempted to
fly up onto the feeder, displaying it’s double white wing-bars and its white tail-sides.
Because of its dull colours I assumed that this was a female but Barbara thinks that
it’s a male because of the red on its breast. She’s right; when I check in the book
the female (and juvenile) always has a buffish grey-white breast. This is the male
in his subdued winter plumage. The rusty red of his breast and cheeks becomes greyer
- what I call ‘plummy’ - at this time of year.
The female pheasant may not be as skittish as the smaller birds but she pirouettes
around continually, pecking under the bird feeder, as I draw her.
She’s a gift to draw as she’s got so much character with those slightly mad eyes
that look as if she’s applied a little too much mascara and with real expression
in the busy helter-skelter way she moves around.
After feeding, she takes an elegant sip from the bird bath; I feel that Gerald Durrell
might have said ‘like a country lady up in town, pausing for a gin and tonic after
a hectic round of the January sales.’
*sigh* I guess I’ll never be able to write like Gerald Durrell.
I’ve been enjoying drawing (using my Parker Reflex fountain pen) roughs for a comic
strip in my walks booklet and colouring them using the paint-bucket tool in Photoshop
(note the joined-up outlines of all the shapes so the colour doesn’t ‘overflow’).
It’s a way to quickly generate a page and get over all that scary blank white space.