Continuing on a similar theme is a Golden plover piece that I have wanted to paint for a long while. The inspiration came whilst out feeding my Partridge feeders on the ground I fly my falcons on. We always get large flocks of wintering Golden Plover there . Its a very open high plateau of ground near the coast that the plover seem to like and you can see the Moor which they also frequent from this location too with uninterrupted views straight across the beautiful Devon countryside. This Particular day it was towards the end of the day and I had finished topping up feeders and was about to drive home when my eye was caught by the typical wing stretch of a Goldie on the plough of one of the exposed fields on the top ground. I stopped the truck and glassed the individual which revealed a mass of plover all roosting on the plough there cryptic camouflage blending them perfectly in the young winter wheat. I did some sketches using the scope and then tried to stalk closer for a few shots with the camera. I managed to get some distant shots but nothing fantastic and I just lay on the field watching them sleeping,preening and moving about amongst one another . It must have been high tide and this or the more is where they come to await the turning of the tide. Soon some unspoken signal filtered through their ranks and they all took to the air to head out to the estuary. Because I was already low to the plough I got some good shots of them coming straight towards me and then passing to my right across the low now Golden sky . The sound of their piping calls and the rush of hundreds of wings speeding past is an unforgettable experience.
Another piece I have just recently completed is of the Cann Quarry Peregrine female. Its amazing how attached one gets to individual wild birds that you come to know . This female and her mate unfortunately failed this year to hatch fertile eggs and as I type this they are still at the site but not incubating any longer. I have not been able to visit the site for sometime but I am kept informed about how they are doing by friends that are on the watch team that monitor the site. These are generally a successful pair in recent years and its puzzling why they have failed .However these things do happen and I'm sure they will succeed next season.