Monthly Archives: March 2017


A drawing of an Osprey at North Fremantle. 275 x 350 mm. March 2017  Drawn with coloured pencils, Neocolor and Neopastel.

Perched at the pinnacle of North Mole lighthouse the Osprey surveys his space.  His penetrating eyes register every movement.  When he is ready he will swoop off the narrow ledge to patrol on the air currents.  He will dive-bomb the blue swells for fish, splashing down on impact.

Pandion haliaetus is an alpha bird.  Standing beneath this large fish hawk and peering upwards, I respectfully acknowledge my place in the pecking order.

One of my photographs which shows the Osprey at the top of the lighthouse.


Stepping Out

“Stepping Out”
A silver gull in Fremantle drawn with coloured pencils, Neopastels and Neocolor.
205 x 250 mm. March 2017

Sometimes I am forced to fully prostrate myself in order to get the reference shot I need for a drawing.  Such was the case for the series of photos I took of this particular silver gull last August.  If anybody saw me lying flat on the dirty concrete at the port, well, too bad!  I needed to be at bird level so I had to pretend to myself that I didn’t look ridiculous.

“The Humble Seagull” is a drawing of the same bird which I drew several months ago.

There are people who tell me they like birds but not seagulls.  Yes, seagulls may act aggressively if they feel threatened, or greedy when they want our fish and chips.   I am quite sure that seagulls have variable personalities just as we do.  I’ve met some friendly and inquisitive gulls during my photography trips who come close to see what I’m doing and then linger with me for a while.  I think they are handsome birds with quirky and gregarious personalities.

“Port Side” – drawn at the same time as “The Humble Seagull”




Turn! Turn! Tern!

I find myself unexpectedly in Busselton (Western Australia) this weekend.  At the end of (very hot) Saturday, I walk out on the town’s famous jetty to see what the birds are doing.


Busselton on the coast of Western Australia

As the sun sets, the beautiful light is caught in the feathers of the circling terns.



I am sure this one is studying me as I pan his movements with my camera…


…then continues on his way over my head.


“To everything, turn, tern, turn,/ there is a season, turn, tern, turn,/ And a time to every purpose under heaven…”




As I turn to leave, I look up and there on the light pole is a tern observing the scene – and close by (but also far away) is the moon.


I think I will head back.  The sun has set now but the terns continue their flights and aerial strikes in the ever-dimming light.


“Good night.”



Just Looking

"Just Looking" Coloured pencils and Neopastels on Arches Aquarelle smooth. 195 x 375 mm. February 2017

“Just Looking”
 195 x 375 mm. February 2017

Scattered between reconnaissance missions and precision dives for fish are periods of standing still – while ever-ready to take off again in an instant.  The tern regards his environment as the light fades around him on a summer’s evening in Fremantle.

The drawing “Just Looking” is a combination of coloured pencils with Caran d’Ache Neopastels on Arches Aquarelle smooth watercolour paper.