Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Back to PNG. The leader of Isurawa village, Ivan Nitua knew a lot about birds in his area. He showed us the display site of a Magnificent Bird of Paradise:

















We quickly built a hide for me, where I spent several hours observing the behaviour of this fantastic bird:

















It was very unconfortable in the hide, but I managed to do a few sketches of the male:

























Here's a short videoclip of the bird:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddjRSHF_-M4&feature=youtu.be


Sunday, June 15, 2014

In the June issue of British Birds magazine there's a big article about the identification of Slender-billed Curlew. I've painted the illustrations for it.
You can see a taster on the magazine's webpage: http://britishbirds.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/SBC-taster.pdf

Male and female from one of the plates:















I've always been fascinated by this species. Sadly it has a very sad sory, probably this is the first European bird that went extinct since the demise of the Great Auk. I'm extremely lucky having seen it once, back in 1996. I travelled through the whole country on night trains to twitch it on Hortobágy. It was long time ago, the memory is faded, but probably I will never have the chance again in my life.

In 2002 I won the identification category of Birdwatch magazine with a plate dealing  with the SBC. It was more than 10 years ago, so now I look at these paintings with very critical eye:
http://kokay.hu/lg_phat.jpg

I have several paintings depicting this species, trying to include their doomed fate on these.
The latest from 2010:














And an older version from 2001:















A flight 'shot':












 In Hungarian museums we have several specimens, so I had the chance to study them. Here are some feather studies:














I could even borrow one some years ago and put it in natural settings in the right habitat (in fact in the same area where the very last reliable sighting of this species happened in 2001):






















Monday, June 09, 2014

I had an exhibition in Scotland with my fellow artist friend, Jonathan Latimer. We went to collect the unsold works last week, and spent a week travelling around Scotland birdwatching and sketching. I will put some of my fieldwork on my blog.
Our first destination was the estuary of Ythan river. It has an oversummering male King Eider. We had amazing views of this amazing bird.
It is the first bird on the right:















It was resting with Eiders during high tide: