Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Painting the Cliffs

Today was a glorious day, but although it doesn't show on the picture below it remained misty, especially over the sea, all day. As it warmed up I walked round the Paddock, down to the farm and then on to Hope Point. The most noticeable thing was the complete lack of Swallows and Martins. I did witness an interesting confrontation between a Green Woodpecker and a Sparrowhawk, near the monument. As the Sparrowhawk flew through the Woodpecker took off and the two birds almost collided. Both seemed startled by the near collision and disappeared in opposite directions.

When I got to Hope Point there was a artist just beyond, set up rather closer to the cliff edge than I would have been comfortable with.

Although it was still a bit misty out to sea, his view along the cliff top would still have been breath-taking.
I stopped to watch and listen, in the hope that something would pop up or make a sound that I recognised. There were birds around, still a few Chiffchaffs and good numbers of linnets, but not that elusive rarity that would illuminate the day. Eventually I did get onto a few Blackcaps, or in the case of the female above, brown cap.

Blackcaps were still numerous in the area, but such id the density of the scrub and the difficulty is seeing them it is difficult to know quite how many are there.

I walked on to the Lees and Kingsdown and then all the way to the Golf Course, but in all honesty it was almost birdless, save for the odd sight of about 10 crows at the top of two trees at then end of one of the gardens. They seemed very intent on something, almost as if they were expecting food to arrive at any minute.

On my return journey I could see the artist still working on his canvass, a small figure in a huge view of sea, cliffs and fields.

Walking closer I could see that he had a range of instruments to apply the paint, but that these did not include brushes. using various trowels and other tools the paint on the canvas was very thick, so that when it dries he will have created a three dimensional painting.

I had been careful not to impose on him on my first encounter, merely exchanging a good morning, but now I was intrigued and he seemed more relaxed so that we got into a conversation, about art and how we saw the modern trends. As on most subjects I know very little, and of course feel that this gives me the right to express my opinions. Since we coincided on many things, but not Georges Braque, who I just don't get, we had a pleasant chat. It turned out that our artist is one George Rowlett, a man who is quite well known in the art world and has held exhibitions in several countries. I think his next exhibition is in London, at the Art Space Gallery in Peter's Street (N1). It is called, "Paintings 2011 - The Outer Hebrides & East Kent " There is an on line catalogue.

Back at home there seemed to be a queue for both bird bath and shower. Great Spotted Woodpecker have large beaks so they don't have to wait for the warblers.

The water level was a bit low, so the Chiffchaff arrived and then disappeared when it went into have a splash.

When it came out it was clear that it had made a thorough job of getting wet.

On the other hand these two didn't seem to clear on what to do with a shower.

Standing on to of it wasn't going to get the feather washed.

It did manage to drop it's wings down to get a bit of feather care done, but it didn't seem to get the idea of standing under a shower. The only bird I've seen do this on this little fountain is a Blue Tit.
As you can see only the wings are wet, so in the controversy of shower vs bath, in the case of Chiffchaffs bath wins hands down.

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