I was commissioned to make a flock and made my first trip to Southern Africa to find them. The trip ended before they arrived and the commission fell through but I fell in love with Southern Africa and returned the following year.
I first saw these on the banks of the Rio Grande River at Big Bend, Texas. I knew that I had identified them when the Audubon field guide said “possibly the most colourful bird in North America.”
I was commissioned to make a pair for a Summer wedding. I searched in vain for them along the top of the High Sierra Nevadas in California and finally found them near the car park when we were heading back to our cabin.
Regularly and easily seen flitting through low woodland in Yosemite National Park around our cabin.
On top of tall trees in Yosemite, as though it was auditioning to be a Christmas Trees decoration.
The woodpeckers hammered early and long this Spring and their offspring visited our nut feeder long into the Summer.
A Southern African high wire act so small, fleeting and distant that I need to use reference material to capture its colours subsequently.
Water treatment works in Israel offered a great opportunity to see these in good numbers.
Seen in Northern India and Southern Europe - but never when you’re expecting them.
Noisy flocks can be found in regular haunts at the beginning and end of the day in Provence, Portugal and Southern Africa.
When I see swallows in the Southern Hemisphere I have difficulty believing that it’s winter at home.
Seen in Zimbabwe: the messiness of their nests meant I could incorporate some rusty poachers’ snare wire without demeaning their weaving skills.
Seen in Madikwe (South Africa) by the game lodge dustbins in between the main course and dessert by torchlight with the lights of Gabaronne, Botswana twinkling in the distance.
I was asked to make a waxwing by the great grandson of an ornithologist who lived on the border between Norway and Russia. Before he left to go south to build his career the great grandfather ate waxwing eggs for breakfast.
The birds will be part of an exhibition entitled Wanderlust from 9 October until 24 November 2019 at the Blue Ginger Gallery near Malvern in Worcestershire.