This Squacco Heron Illustration has to be one of the most painful illustrations I have ever done in all the time I've been drawing birds. Not because I have never seen one in Yorkshire, or the fact it was at Spurn but the fact I received a text message from my girlfriend that simply read: 'SNIFF'.
In my circle of Yorkshire Birding mates this simply means I watching a bird you didn't see, or in the case of 'SNIFF, SNIFF', I've just found a bird you've never seen or aren't watching and you should be.
Usually I wouldn't be fussed by either of these types of messages (Pine Grosbeak excluded) but given the fact my girlfriend had just seen Yorkshire’s first Squacco Heron since June 1994 and has no real interest in birds apart Puffins and the odd comment like 'is that a Penguin' or 'is that a Goldcrest' whilst shes sat with me drawing I had good reason to be a little annoyed!
To make matters worse she has also seen (and basically found) Great White Egret at Spurn that I am still yet to see at Spurn even though I was with her at the time.To be fair to myself I was relocating some Ringed Plover Chicks whilst I was a Little Tern Warden to avoid them getting trampled and had missed what she described as a White Grey Heron flying over her, that was soon picked up by Adam Hutt and Steve Lidster going south east out to sea! GREAT...........what next GREAT BLUE HERON
Fortunatley for me I had made some good observations and had some photo reference of Scuacco Herons I had observed in Bosnia
The King Eider escaped her detection thankfully and was a pleasure to draw! I was in quite an agitated mood whilst I drew it which may go to explain the harsh pencil lines achieved with a soft water soluble pencil and bleeding some ink from a child's handwriting pen
This next piece is a blueprint for a piece I am debating using in the forthcoming Spurn Bird Report that depicts both Lapland and Snow Buntings taking to the air after being flushed by a fox. I'm still undecided and intend to continue working on some other ideas. I May just give in on water soluble pencils