Saturday, 24 January 2009

Big Garden Birdwatch



Here in the UK, it is 'Big Garden Birdwatch' weekend - an annual event organised by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). 

Gardeners are asked to devote just one hour over the weekend to monitor their 'bird-visitors'; feedback helps to ascertain trends in garden bird population.

We go one better and monitor birds all year round, using a bird-spotting chart I devised about four years ago. Results are quite significant and very weather-dependent. You can see our completed chart for 2008, and a photo of our bird-feeding station in my gardening blog. Click on the link just given; it will take you to my website; all you then need to do is to click on the 'blog' heading. I have included the web address of the RSPB in my website-blog post for today, in case UK followers would like to become involved.

I painted the little Robin watercolours in around 2001; no initial drawing, a paint wash straight on the page. From the look of them, I guess they may have been one of my challenges to myself to paint with my left hand; they are certainly rather wobbly!

10 comments:

  1. Anne we have a similar thing here. We had a warm day today and it sounded like spring outside with all the birds chirping away. The other day a mockingbird was chortling away blissfully, making me think spring is not far away!! Bill

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  2. Well I think they are adorable. Now I have to go and check out your chart.

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  3. oh Ann, these are just the sweetest little birds - I really love how simple your brushstrokes are!

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  4. Thankyou to you all for these words. I now recall what the painting 'exercise' was (I must have been following a self-help art book at the time): first you painted a light grey silhouette of your chosen bird, and whilst it was still semi-wet added the colour and details. I think it was to make you look at shape and proportion (I have the beak all wrong). They were heady days, not that long after we 'retired'. Whatever happened to that state of existence!

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  5. Such charming little fellows. Ann, no matter if it is your right hand or left hand, your "mark" is uniquely beautiful. Just imagine a small journal of bird sketches to accompany your bird count charts. Oh, delicious!

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  6. How wonderful your journal pages are on your other blog and I adore these bird paintings here. I am going to add yarn to my pages. I like your effect. Here in the US we also have "bird watch" coming up. Our neighbors get many more birds than we do because they feed them consistently. We have more cats (!) than anything. jeanne in Oregon

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  7. Jeanne - thankyou for your kind words (couldn't access your blog so can't respond properly). Cats can be a problem here but we are fortunate in having a very large garden and overmuch wilderness.

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  8. Hi, Ann! What beautiful little birds and I am really enjoying reading your blog. It's so fun to see what someone else is creating in another part of the world. Thanks so much for your compliments on my birdhouse!

    Kelly

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  9. Dear Ann Wonderful to hear from you with birthday wishes from my big sis. Have lost your email address in transit to new move, which is proving a good one - so far. My personal email is rosemary@gmail.com and the gallery one info@waterstreetgallery.co.uk. web (under construction)
    Hope this gets through to you.
    Yes, we MUST meet up soon. As regards birds, we have a starling on the Rochdale canal, just outside our pitch, which mimics the most convincing curlew call ever.
    Love - Rory/Rosemary

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