Sketch Tuesday: Birds

 Thayer’s Gull

GraceNotes spends a lot of time in the backyard cavorting on the swing, watching her blueberry bush (she races the birds) and keeping an eye on the fennel (we have more caterpillars!) She also has a gaggle of goslings that she feeds when they sail over, and at one of these dried bread banquets, she is pretty sure she spotted a Thayer’s Gull.

This time of year we often see gulls and ospreys and occasionally, a brown pelican, fish in the shallow river water behind our house.   She looked in our National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (Eastern Region) to try to identify it, and decided that the gull she saw is a Thayer’s Gull.  Later, we looked it up and we’re not quite sure based on the range, but she is!  Since birds rarely pose for a portrait, she sketched a Thayer’s Gull from our wonderful bird guide!

Great Egret

Sunday morning, very early, finds me at the kitchen table in front of the window.  A new sketch pad (smaller, less intimidating) lies open, the first page sits empty and waiting.  Prismacolor pencils, freshly sharpened, stand at attention.   Sketch Tuesday theme: birds.  A cup of coffee, perfectly blended, steams within reach.  I have at least an hour of uninterrupted time ahead of me.  Surely the planets have aligned…

It is low tide.  A flash of gleaming white swoops in from the east; a Great Egret glides, low and smooth, skimming the surface of the water.  Wings gather, long black legs stretch out, and with barely a splash, the bird lands in the shallows.  There is a moment of stillness before the slow majestic stride begins, ever alert, ever watching.  His head turns; he halts.  Poised, every muscle tense, yet motionless.  With barely discernible movement, the long slender neck draws in, tightens like a spring.  In the blink of an eye, he strikes –  Success! A silvery fish dangles on the spear-like beak, and then with a flip of the head it disappears…

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