|Watercolour on paper, 38x30 cm, life-size|
It is difficult to spot Tawny Frogmouths. Walking through the park I noticed three Magpies on the ground, all three looking very inquisitive and curious towards another bird right between them. The bird was facing away from me so I could only see its back side, a big round head and a rounded body nearly invisible because of its amazing camouflage. Strange to see one on the ground in the daylight.
|On my desk|
Although Tawny Frogmouths - Podargus strigoides - are very similar to owls, they are not, they belong to the order of Caprimulgiformes and to the Frogmouth family, Podargidae. They are very skilled night hunters with big eyes and very soft feathers for a perfectly silent flight. The Magpies eventually lost interest and the bird (a female) then flew after a few minutes on a nearby tree where a nearly fully grown young was looking straight at me. On another branch there was what looked like the remains of an old nest, a flimsy pile of thin twigs, half of it on the ground. I found some feathers.
|Work in progress|
When painting feathers there is often a feeling of being more a scientist than an artist, or something in between at least, like observing things through a microscope or a magnifying glass. Their feathers are covered with a layer of what appears to be fur, very very soft and this is the reason for their silent flight, just like owls.
To be continued next week...