Shetland 2021: Birds

Bird raising its wings

Here is a herring gull. These are numerous and float on the sea as well as fly in the air. They also stand on cars and on chimneys. This one stands on a wall, waiting for someone to come out of the kitchen, ideally with a slice of bread.

Herring gull

Then there are the oystercatchers. They fly but don’t swim. They poke around in the seaweed, and, amazingly, also use those long beaks on the lawn, to dig up worms.


I started drawing the birds when I saw a wonderful picture in The Shetland Times. It showed a “Long tailed Skua”, described as a “rare passage migrant”. Here is my version, inspired by the photo in The Shetland Times by Jim Nicholson.

Long tailed Skua, rare passage migrant

All drawn in watercolour on Amatruda paper, size A5, using Daniel Smith watercolours.

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