A Finch-y start to the day

A few days ago I noticed a Greenfinch singing lustily from the top of the beech tree outside my kitchen window. I have not seen Greenfinches in the garden for years, and only rarely see them when out walking, so it was a real joy to see him. This morning he was there again, just outside the back door, and sufficiently relaxed to sit on the branch for long enough to make a few sketches possible. Please excuse wobbly phone video (and affronted hens in the background).

I even managed to sneak upstairs and get a few scribbles of him preening. While I was watching him, I saw a male Bullfinch in the main part of the tree amongst the ivy. I haven’t seen a Bullfinch in the garden for years either! I do see them along the lane as there are hazel shrubs either side and they seem to like the buds, but the last time I saw them in my garden was a long time ago, eating dandelion seeds on the lawn. The birds visiting here have dropped dramatically in both variety and overall number, so seeing these two today was a joy. I have had a Garden Warbler pick the aphids off my brambles just outside my lounge window, and the male Blackcap appeared in the tree a few weeks ago before being chased by the nesting Robins – who sadly lost their brood to the cats next-door. Grrrr…

Anyway, here are my sketches.

I have also been enjoying Springwatch, and sketching while I watch. I have a Drawing Nature workshop for families today at Wilderness Wood so all this scribbling is great practise for observational drawing. I have 5 families attending and although I said age 9 and up, I seem to have quite a few younger ones coning along! Still, I have some lovely beeswax crayons and lots of paper, so I am hoping they will be kept amused.

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