Pheasants are all over the wheat fields behind my house at the moment enjoying the worms, and the males are posturing and sizing each other up while the females look on. They are really quite magnificent birds and seeing them on the short greenery and dark earth coupled with low winter sunlight can be a stunning visual combination if you catch the moment.

I was reading about pheasants in my new Illustrated Book of Birds, and how the first pheasants were introduced from near the Caspian Sea over 1000 years ago – these do not have a white collar. The Chinese ring-necked which – as the name suggests – have the distinctive white collar were brought in late in the 18th Century, and have continued to be introduced since along with other races. This explains the diverse range of plumage and colouration: some are blue green, some silver, some burnished copper and gold.

I love the illustrations in this book. I have done a gouache painting of a pheasant but that is now sold so I only have stickers! I thought the tail would be really lovely in Lino as they have stripes on them.

Here is my Lino:

This print is available for £15 including UK postage. It’s 21x15cm and printed on cold-pressed watercolour paper in sepia water-based ink. The prints are not limited edition and each one is different and unique as the outcome varies.

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