A bittern in the dusk

After an hour or so painting, I was packing my materials away with icy hands.  There were several cars in the reserve but I had seen no one about.  A newcomer arrived.  “Is it still there? he asked.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  He led me to the one patch where the birders had gathered, concealed, and directed my scope to a shadow in the reeds.  I made out a broad based triangle in the fading light.  As it moved and then stretched I saw the brown and white  striped plumage of a bittern.  I had known they were resident, but had never seen it before.  I paint the common birds and have not skill to spare to hunt down and draw those that hide from me.  Still, now I know where to look …

Wigeon roosting

Here then are the quick sketches of the birds I commonly see.  Wigeon were in abundance and in plain sight.  The solitary heron stood opposite the hide, then stalked off round the water’s edge.

2013 01 13 Marsh Lane (7) Heron stalking the marsh edge

I am by the way most grateful for the generous and infectious excitement of the birder who dragged me to the spot and pointed me in the right direction.

2 responses to “A bittern in the dusk

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