Saturday, 15 August 2015

204. Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

Collared Pratincoles are very smart if slightly weird waders. They have long pointed wings and forked tails, making them appear tern- or swallow-like in flight, and they feed by hawking for insects in flight. For a wader they have relatively short legs and bill too. The plumages are similar in both adult males and females; in summer it is as in the photo below and in winter they lose their black collar and red at the base of the bill. Juveniles also lack these features, and have mottled wings and a broad spotted breast-band. Their preferred habitat is open, flat, dry areas near water, mudflats, saltpans, wet meadows, canals and river and estuary edges. They breed in various parts of southern Europe and north Africa around the Mediterranean, and further east as far as Kazakhstan. They winter in sub-Saharan and parts of east Africa; there are also resident populations here too. Every so often a vagrant turns up in the UK and other parts of northern Europe.

Collared Pratincole, ©Pedro Jordano, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Collared Pratincole painting.
Hmm that Pratincole on the right is a bit of a big fella! I did have two attempts at sketching it out, the first time was even bigger.... This was the last page of my current sketchbook, the next one is bigger so hopefully going off the edge of the page will be less of a problem.

It's nice having a bit more free time now for painting as my degree is nearing its end, I only have one more assignment to submit in September. As well as work for my blog I've also been doing some other paintings (hence fewer posts on here) which will remain secret and mysterious for now! Have been practicing my newly-acquired driving skills too, with mixed results - today I drove to the Clent Hills with Chris for a lovely walk, but my driving was not quite so lovely. I was feeling a bit discouraged by this but doing this painting cheered me up a bit, as I enjoy painting in and of itself (obviously) and it also reminded me that when I first started, my bird paintings and drawings were of a lower standard than they are today. If you practice at anything, you will improve!

View towards Birmingham from the Clent Hills.

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