Friday, 20 February 2015

190. Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)

Purple Swamphens may also be known as Purple Gallinules (not to be confused with the American Purple Gallinule) or Purple Moorhens, and are indeed related to the more familiar (to those of us in the UK) Moorhen. In fact they look a bit like a massively souped-up Moorhen, maybe what a Moorhen might look like in a dream it had in which it was a superhero. Purple Swamphens are nearly twice the size of Moorhens, with purple-blue plumage, a large red bill with forehead-shield and pinkish-red legs. Juveniles are more of a slatey blue-grey colour. The one in the image below is actually the African subspecies madagascariensis which has a green back and is found in Egypt (as well as various other parts of subsaharan Africa); the subspecies porphyrio has a blue back and is found in parts of Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and on some Mediterranean islands. Further subspecies continue the Purple Swamphen's range in tropical and subtropical regions right across to several islands in the south-west Pacific. Its preferred habitat is fresh or brackish water in marshes, lake edges, swamps and damp pastures, with dense emergent vegetation such as reedbeds, bulrushes and sedges on which it can climb about.

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) ©Derek Keats via Flickr Creative Commons.
Purple Swamphen painting.
Hurrah! I've started painting again :o) My thumb is feeling much better these days, I never did get a steroid injection in the end as the pain has become very mild and intermittent after I got an awesome ergonomic mouse and keyboard at work. So I thought I'd recommence my painting, I'll see how I get on - hopefully it won't aggravate my thumb again. Quite pleased with this painting despite being a bit out of practice, it was very nice to be using some bright colours for a change (I've nearly run out of brown from doing all the raptors). Very tricky to get that shade of turquoise right though.

Things are pretty busy with me at the moment, I'm in the final year of my degree now (exciting!) so it could get intense, also I am finally learning to drive, and alongside volunteering at Sandwell Valley I've also been building and maintaining a website for a new group I'm involved with, the Friends of Rowley Hills. We'll see how many paintings I can fit in around all that!

No comments:

Post a Comment