It was no good, in spite of my noblest efforts, the twitchitis still courses through my body - maybe a long session of colonic irrigation will flush the nastiness out of me? Whatever the cure, for now I had to sate my avian addiction with a twitch. The form of the temptress this time was a shore lark, a horned lark. Spooky! Perhaps I'm possessed by a little horny devil? Hey, it was only a fifteen mile dash down the motorway to the oysterbeds at Hayling, so why all the angst? There are madder buggers out there than me, yet like Gollum obsession can eat you up - shore lark? County tick my preeeecious.... Crikey, I'm scaring myself now. We only went for a walk in the countryside to look at some nice birdies, not look for a punch-up with the cohorts of Mordor!
So, there we were in the mouth of Sauron's breath..... stop it now and get on with the blog. But there lay the problem. If it's blowing a hoolie at home, then the effect is doubly felt at the oysterbeds, making viewing very uncomfortable and tricky. And so it took a little while to pin the little beauty down. Once we had worked out that the little brown stone tucked-up against some seaweed was indeed the shore lark, we could settle down ourselves and enjoy this little cracker with the tiny horns and improbable yellow face. Mike taking pin-sharp photos with his pin-hole special and me making out-of-focus sketches as normal. Eventually the numbness in my head became greater than usual and the general concensus was 'get thee to a pubbery'. Where ale and hot soup were readily supped - Rosie finally getting her bowl of soupy!
It had been too blustery to paint in the field. So once at home I quickly added some washes to the pencil sketches and put the 'can't see the lark for the geeses' painting together - it came from the moment I imagined I was at two feet distance from the lark, yet still couldn't see it!
Oh yes, I finally caught up with some Mergansers.
For a fuller account from a less confused mind, I suggest you take gander at http://chalkhilldigital.info/2012/01/strangers-on-the-shore/
If you're expecting words of wisdom from Dan and Rosemary you may be sadly disappointed. However, if you want to keep up to date with our current projects then pick up the feed at the top of this column.