The early (or not) birder gets a lifer!

I am SO excited…and not just because my book will be out in 4 months. I have a new lifer bird sighting. This handsome fellow showed up at our feeder and has been hanging out for several days now.


Harris’s Sparrows don’t normally occur in our range (Indiana):

so you can imagine our excitement when it showed up one day like it had always been around and owns the town.

blurry iPhone-through-binocs photo…House Finch to the left

We aren’t the only ones to be excited. After reporting to eBirds, a number of other birders trekked out to our house, with our permission, and were rewarded with a sighting of this obliging bird.

dated and time-stamped evidence on the DSLR

We used to be thrilled about seeing the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks show up during migration, but the Harris’s Sparrow has totally upstaged them. 🙂 Hearing and seeing warblers and vireos return have also been a treat!

What a week…and not in a good way

In the past several days we had trespassers we had to call the county sheriff for, I had a couple of agent rejections, my dad has had recurring dizzy spells (he’ll be 80 next year), and a dear family friend (our age) died of cancer.

This old sketch (5 minute Inktober drawing) kind of captures how I feel right now.


#DoodleDay “you pick” Kakapo

I’m going to post one more old piece (I hope I’ll have something new for tomorrow). This one is of a kakapo. I’ve previously mentioned that I’d been working on a picture book of this highly endangered flightless parrot of New Zealand for about five years. If I ever find a publisher for it, I plan to donate 100% of the earnings to the Kakapo Recovery Fund. Unfortunately, no publisher I’ve approached thus far has been interested (one editor whom I met at a conference thought it was lovely and lyrical but she doesn’t do nonfiction or creative nonfiction). And so it languishes in a virtual drawer.


I first learned about kakapos through David Attenborough’s Life of Birds series, and then again in Douglas Adams’ Last Chance to See book (he had a TV series to go with the book). Attenborough and Adams are two of my favorite people ever. Is it any wonder I want to champion the cause of the kakapo?

#DoodleDay “you pick” – zitting cisticola


What the heck happened to the morning and half the afternoon?? The last four days of June’s Doodle Day Challenge were supposed to be pick-your-own-animal days, but they’ve turned out to be more like “use an old piece” day, which is okay, too. I’m choosing not to be hard on myself about it.

I do apologize for slacking off on visiting other people’s blogs though. But it’s summer time and the internet is iffy (because satellite internet is stone-age technology), so what’re you gonna do?

Guess what? It’s #BirdDay #NatureDoodlewash !

Today, the 8th, is the monthly Bird Day on WordPress. And because it works well for #naturedoodlewash, all the better! This was actually the first painting I did (a couple of weeks ago) with the Winsor & Newton watercolour markers my sister gave me for my birthday but I saved it for today so I could use it for Bird Day.

You know what they say: “Waste not, kill two birds, but not literally.” I made that up in case you couldn’t tell.

FullSizeRender(6)If you want to join in the fun, go let the lovely Laura (at Create Art Everyday) know!

Draw a #Bird Day #art #doodlewashaday

It’s Draw A Bird Day again! How a month doth fly…like a bird. Heh. I doodlewashed an American Kestrel this time. Nina and Kerfe over at MethodTwoMadness will compile the list of participants.


I chose this bird to paint because someone recommended these graphite “paints” somewhere and I bought a set so I wanted to try them out. The tints are blue, black and sepia…perfect for this bird.


The so-called “red” wasn’t red at all! What? Anyway,  either I’m using them wrong or this set is defective because the permanent paints are really gritty. The instructions say to stir well before using but the grittiness never goes away.

Draw a #Bird Day!

I don’t know if Laura or Kerfe and Nina are collating this month, but here’s my entry for this monthly challenge. It’s an Araripe Manakin from Brazil rendered in Inktense blocks and Neocolor crayons.


#DrawABirdDay January 2016

I could only spare 10 minutes to do a sketch for this month’s Draw A Bird Day. I thought this appropriate since I’ve been thinking about sociopathic people who deceive others for their own gain, and, sadly, con artists are not confined to humans.

This was done with a Tombow Calligraphy Pen in a 9″x12″ sketchbook.

Draw a Bird Day is the 8th of each month. I learned about it from the lovely Laura of Create Art Everyday but I forget who is compiling the list this month.


National Bird Day #sketch

I skipped drawing #Jeopardy contestants tonight and opted to do a 15 minute sketch of a Snowy Owl instead because it’s National Bird Day.


A little #bird…

…that is, a little dear bird named Laura of the Create Art Every Day blog, told me about the 8th of the month being Bird Art Day.

Going with oldies, here’s one I did of a Common Yellowthroat (colored pencils) from about 17 years ago.