Thursday, 25 January 2018

Returning for the Big Garden Birdwatch

Okay, so I deserted my gardenwatch window space in favour of a small upstairs room with a view over the roofs of my neighbours’ houses shortly after seeing a red squirrel in the garden! Why on earth would I do that?

Well, believe it or not, I favoured a black and white Koala over a red squirrel. Ha-ha… no I haven’t discovered a new species of Koala or had a new garden visitor to add to our growing species count. You’d have heard about that in the news (even you, Lisa in Indiana) had that been the case – that secret would have got out!

However, the black and white Koala that was in my upstairs room was growing in secret. This very special Koala was a Christmas gift for my, garden visiting companion, daughter and required a fair bit of my attention. Cups of tea & coffee to keep me going and for the Koala, black ink in 0.7mm and 0.25mm technical pens ;-)

Understandably, as this is a gift to my daughter,
I haven't scanned her Koala but wanted to include it here :-)


Pen & ink line drawing is a creative medium I really enjoyed in my teens and what a refreshing revival this has been! I can’t believe that I have managed to just pick it up again. On leaving college I worked as a graphic designer, the job I hoped for, but sadly my drawing hand was dropped in favour of a design one.

My drawing revival began with a Scottish landscape (a gift again) before the red squirrel visitor of my last blog. Confidence growing after being surprisingly comfortable with my pens again, I moved on to the idea of family Christmas gifts. The Koala for my daughter was based on a phone capture taken during a visit to Edinburgh Zoo, a very special moment as my daughter and I silently watched these animals. She’s had that image as her phone background since then - she was thrilled with her picture and I was thrilled by her reaction!!

A group of baby penguins came next for my eldest daughter and finally last weekend I finished the set (belated birthday gift for OH) with the familiar, family favourite, landscape of Tentsmuir forest from Kilshandy beach as we would walk over the shells towards it.


The bedroom/new drawing space with beach picture in the making,
to create mood, light watercolour washes were added in this one.


The behind the camera view at the gardenwatch window back in November.


Returning for the Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend, I will be back at my gardenwatch window with my paper garden journal and note taking pen at the ready to record the garden visitors that decide to show! Tripod at the ready, I will also return to capturing images with my camera again. Perhaps I will have a drawing pad handy too for the quiet spells (rough fast pen sketching this time which I also enjoy). If you are taking part, wishing you many birds for your count :-)

Returning to the world of bloggers and blogging, for the first time in 2018, I’d like to wish everyone a great and healthy 2018 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Phew, got that in before the end of January ;-) Wishing you all a great garden, wildlife and blogging year too! Spring is just round the corner, before we know it birds will be collecting nesting material and spring bulbs will be bringing colour to our gardens. I do enjoy our changing seasons :-)


This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in January 2018.

6 comments:

Lisa Greenbow said...

Oh Shirley, your sketch of the koala is marvelous. You are a woman of many talents. I can't wait to see what you come up with in the future. Do share. It will inspire me to draw more. I don't have your natural talent for drawing but I love to sketch. I keep plugging away, or I should say drawing and painting. I do more journaling. I know your family appreciates your efforts.
I like seeing the overall photo of your garden as seen out the window. It looks like a perfect habitat for your birds. Best of luck on your bird count.

Lisa Greenbow said...

P.S. So good to see you back at your blog. I have missed you and all of your nature posts. Especially the nature of your garden.
Thanks for the link love. :)

Sue Garrett said...

The koala is beautiful. I will be taking part in the birdwatch but I suppose our regular c=visitors will desert us again

Shirley said...

Hello again to you both, nice to connect with you again, thanks for leaving your comments :-)

Lisa, thank you for your kind comment re the Koala, I really enjoyed working on this and look forward to more drawing in 2018! You are very modest, I’ve seen your images on your Artsy Endeavours blog and they are a delight! I do know how much you enjoy journaling and do enjoy seeing images on your blog when you share them. Thanks, I should show more overall garden images and all the hidden corners too – I enjoy working on them too. Thanks, as Sue agreed with me below in her comment, the birds seem to know when they are to be counted and desert the garden – strange but true based on both our years counting on this weekend. Thanks, also for your kind comment re blogging again, it’s only when you post again that you realise that you’ve missed it. I hope to have the time to share the nature of the garden throughout 2018 :-)

Sue, thank –you! Landscapes were quite different to the full face in the Koala and I have to admit to it being quite daunting and I took it in stages in the beginning so not to overwork it. I don’t expect either of us will be over worked in our hour counting birds over the weekend but it’s always good to take part and I am always hopeful of a surprise visitor. Enjoy your count :-)

L said...

Wow! Talented lady.Good to see you back.
I will be doing the birdwatch on Sunday but, although we have loads of birds at our feeders, they seem to know about this event and stay away for the hour I choose.

Shirley said...

Hello again L, thank-you to both, nice to be back. Yes, you are definitely right there on the birds going scarce. Hope you saw a nice variety of species – I was delighted with mine :-)