Today I drew my hundredth bird! So I thought I would reflect briefly on my efforts so far, which I think have certainly been successful in that I have widened my species knowledge somewhat. However I'm not sure my drawing has improved so much though, it still seems rather hit and miss to me and I keep making the same mistakes. As an exercise for getting to know birds it is helpful, but I think if I want to get better at drawing I probably need to draw from life more, wherever I have read or heard advice about depicting birds the same thing is always said, there's no substitute for working from life! I think this would also help me with being less precious, I get a bit obsessed with producing a drawing that looks 'finished' but this doesn't necessarily produce good work or teach me anything useful - in life though, the birds are usually moving around and there's often very little time in which to capture something of them on paper - I find this daunting but at the same time it's a skill that comes with practice, hopefully I will get better at this and will be able to produce more spontaneous, less highly finished but more lively drawings. Unfortunately my circumstances are still the same, and will be for some time to come - working full time and studying - so there is very little free time in which to get out into the field to draw. I do think that the very few drawings I've done in the field show some progression which is good at least!
Incidentally, in the front of the Collins' guide it says there are 713 birds covered in the main section of the guide - so that means that I have now drawn 14% of the birds! Onwards and upwards!