As the hustle and bustle on the Hillhead sea-front began to settle to a background murmur and the light transformed from bright sunshine to a glorious glow, we tucked ourselves away on the canal and watched. Rosie immediately picked-up a flying barn owl in the distance, just before it disappeared, moving further up the valley. A promising start.
We waited. The light drained further, at first casting strong low shadows across the water meadows, the sort that artist's relish and then slowly faded as if someone was turning the dimmer switch down. We resigned ourselves to having only had that one brief view and thoughts drifted to hot soup or something a little stronger, when at the appointed time of four-thirty there she was, right in front of us. And with what light was left to us she peformed. Flying on silent wings as if controlled by a puppeteer,we were treated to a full performance. Quartering the meadow, she twisted, turned and cartwheeled in search of her breakfast.
Our last sight of her was as she landed in a sallow tree, startling a dozing wood pigeon out of its stupor. She slipped quietly out of the back of the tree and into the treacly dark of the night. Time for a toddy.
I had made quick notes and sketches on the spot, watching her constantly making marks without looking at the page. Then when we returned home I put colour to paper whilst the shapes and hues were still fresh in my mind.
Crikey that was almost lyrical for me. Anyway we had the Christmas craft fair at Titchfield Haven this weekend. I would like to thank everyone who braved the weather and came out to support us. At one point on Sunday afternoon there were so many familiar faces there from the past it felt like a throwback to the birding days of the 1980's - I had forgotten how loud they can be, so
apologies for frightening the other stallholders.
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