Biro Bird of the Day: Pheasant

Definitely the most interesting bird I've seen today, on the train back from Hull.

... And the most time consuming draw.


Biro Bird of the Day: Med Gull

Soo, I saw my first Med Gull yesterday, as I already blogged, so I thought it would be fitting to draw one. Unfortunately I have no pic to draw yesterday's so this is just a random pic of a 2nd winter from google images.



So yet again, another weekend spent at Tophill. My last weekend for a couple of weeks because I start university next week!  I was up early on Saturday to look at the moth traps, which was interesting, as I learnt a few more species, my favourite of the day being the burnished brass. The rest of the day was spent looking at Galls and Gulls, but still no Med. Highlight of the day on the gall front was a nice bright pink one, and highlights of the day bird wise were definitely the hobby, and marsh harriers.
             Today I was back at Tophill for volunteering, but the torrential rain meant we didn't get a whole load done (also down to the fact there was only two of us), and so the majority of the day was spent scouring D-res for med gulls. And I saw one, eventually! Much harder to pick out than I'd thought, but now I know exactly what to look for hopefully I'll be able to distinguish them from the black heads. Other birds were a barn owl, which we got great views of, buzzard, and eleven curlew on the way back home, and that was about it for today.


Biro Bird of the Day Kingfisher

I've been really lucky with the Kingfishers this 'summer', and there's no doubting they are one of the nicest looking British birds.


Biro Bird of the Day: LBB

Soo, with my new found interest in Gulls, here is my second drawing. A lesser black backed gull. Not the one I saw today, but a recent image taken on the Approach road, from the Tophill Blog.


Incredibly, I managed yet another Osprey today, my 5th or 6th in just over a month! Despite it being much higher than the ones I saw from Borough Pits earlier in the month, it stuck around for a good few minutes meaning I got a good look at it, shortly before being joined by a buzzard above it, which was great for comparative purposes! And that wasn't all on the raptor front, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks were present, along with 2 other unidentified raptors! 

When the work was done, I went over to the Car park hide to test out my newly acquired Gull knowledge (not very much at all yet) and practice id'ing the more common species, which was a nice end to the day!


Biro Bird of the Day: Common Sand

I have seen three common sandpipers in total, but I got some great views on Sunday from south marsh, when one went looking for worms on the sandy island directly in front of the hide. This is drawn from Richard's Picture on the Tophill Blog.


Biro BH

This is my first Biro Gull. It was more for me to practice drawing gulls rather than artistic. I actually found it quite difficult to draw because when it comes to gulls proportion and shapes are everything, if you want to be able to tell them apart, as I recently learned. For that reason, it's no where near perfect. Just to clarify, it's supposed to be a second winter black headed.

Next time, I'll make sure the beak's a bit less chunky, and that I leave enough room for the tail in it's entirety. I welcome constructive criticism  from Larid experts.. 



Today I was volunteering again, but only for the morning. I spent a bit of the afternoon looking at South Marsh and looking at some interesting new Fungi. Then I spent the rest looking for Gulls from the Car park hide, and successfully managed to id 5 species which made me v happy. Unfortunately, however, I did miss a Med by 10 minutes, as I was later informed...


Biro Bird of the Day: Whitethroat

This is the Whitethroat from yesterday, copied from James's picture. As you can see, I had to re do some parts, hence the little pieces of paper carefully sellotaped on top.

And the hand is also terrible, but meh. When I see another Whitethroat, I'll give it a second go.



So I've been at Tophill the past two days! Yesterday I went for the usual volunteering, and got off to a great start with 52 Yellow Wagtails, and a Wheatear and Whinchat on the way in alone! (Unfortunately, I'm slightly sceptical as to whether I did see it before it flew away, but Richard got a great pic anyway!) During volunteering the usual suspects were present with Kestrels and Sparrowhawks, along with the Curlew Sands and Ruff, which I saw for the third time. Sadly, we missed an Osprey flying overhead whilst volunteering, but I suppose I've been pretty lucky to have already seen four in the past month! However, I did have a first, with 5 Goldeneye on D-Res. Now I've seen them, I can see just how different from Tufties they are; definitely unmistakable (Something which I hadn't really been able to see from looking in a book). 

And today, I had another lifer (Which isn't exactly difficult right now); Sedge Warblers. The bird ringing was fascinating again, and although we didn't exactly have a great deal of success quantity wise, there was certainly a variety with Wren, Treecreeper, Whitethroat (my second), Blackcaps, Willow Warbler, and Robin. A couple of images here, thanks James for letting me use the Whitethroat pic (biro doodle to come tomorrow). Along with this were more Kestrels (this time, not in the net). And since seeing the Kestrel last week, up close, It's only now I really appreciate how brilliant they are; and their plumage is incredible. Definitely one of my favourite birds.


Biro Bird of the Day: Oystercatcher

Today I opted for The Oystercatcher. Unfortunately, the large amounts of biro it took, made it really crinkly, and so quite hard to take a decent picture.


Biro Kestrel

I was so surprised to see a Kestrel be one of the captured birds at Bird Ringing on Sunday! But it was a great character, and their plumage is one of the best close up! (although that might not be all that clear from this picture as a) it's only part of it, and b) it's only a biro sketch.

It feels even nicer to draw what you have actually seen, and this is copied from the great image on the Ringing at Tophill Low Blog!


Biro Blackwit

I shaded this a little on the neck and (what I could fit in of) the tail with what I thought was a bronze crayon that actually turned out to be purple...

If I did it again, I'd alter the proportion of black on the beak, and make the eye a bit smaller.



So today was a packed day at Tophill. I was up really early to go to the bird ringing station, and although I'd been briefly before, I absolutely loved it, and I can't wait to go back another Sunday! I learnt so much in such a short space of time, and it was truly fascinating! Catching a Kestrel was a great added bonus!

After the excitement (I'm not being sarcastic) of the Bird Ringing, A quick stop off at South Marsh east provided a 3 Curlew Sands, 2 Ruff, and a sole Black Tailed Godwit. If only they had been closer, but still really good to see, especially the Curlew Sandpipers which were a first for me!

Anywho, next we went to do some 'work' but actually just ended up going on a wild boat ride (not exactly) through the undergrowth, the highlight being a Grass Snake coming up for a quick look at the boat before swimming away! I had no idea how amazing they look until today, having never seen one properly! (Picture to come, courtesy of Richard If he doesn't mind).

After Lunch, another interesting activity was emptying the Moth Trap, but I forgot the name of my fave catch! I do remember some other stuff though like the Square Spot Rustic, and their varying colours, and Green Carpet Moths. The Sexton beetles, also made a very colourful addition!

And that's about it... 


Biro Wheatear

I saw my first Wheatear yesterday afternoon at Tophill. This is drawn from David Ware's picture of what I'm guessing was the same one!
                                              I hope it does it some justice!


Biro BoP

I saw at least one Osprey today, and since I also saw one on Sunday I thought it would fitting to try and draw one. It was not easy so it's no masterpiece. Having said that, I did spend about 10 minutes or less on it.

The beginnings of the Osprey

The finished thing.