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Meet the Models | Wildlife Photo of the Week | Spring 2021

From birds building intricate nests, to the first sight of hares boxing, meet the wildlife art models that inspired my paintings this season.

Click here to see a weekly update of paintings these photos have inspired.


April 17th, 2021

Kingfisher (Alcedo Atthis)

Wildlife Photo of the Week

Kingfishers are courting now. Listen for a high-pitched ‘peep’ along riverbanks and streams. If you hear it, look for a flash of electric blue. And if you see more than one they are likely to be courting so its worth stopping to watch. The male will fish for the female. If you are lucky you can watch as he offers her his catch. Read about kingfishers courtship here
wildlife photo of week

 


April 11th, 2021

Cuckoo (Cuculus Canorus)

Wildlife Photo of the Week
The sound of a cuckoo call is one of the most welcome signs of spring. But the arrival of this African species can seem sinister. Cuckoos lay their eggs in native bird nests and their chicks then push the host eggs out of the nest. Pictured is a meadow pipet tricked into bringing up a cuckoo chick. Read the story & see the paintings this inspired here.

cuckoo chick wildlife photo of week

 

April 3rd, 2021

Leveret (Lepus Europaeus)

Wildlife Photo of the Week

Hares can have up to four leverets at a time and give birth in a shallow hollow, or forme, scratched into the earth. The adult female will leave them hidden during the day and only visit once, at dusk, to feed them. It is very rare to witness this secretive behaviour. Read my blog post on filming it. 

 

March 27th, 2021

Stoat (Mustela Erminea)

Wildlife Photo of the Week

Stoats are extremely agile and will slink through small gaps and into burrows, hollow trunks, banks or thickets to nest. They make these nests out of grass and usually have litters of up to seven. But they keep the locations secret and move them frequently. Click here to read about TV stoat Bandita, the elusive stoat mum who moved her nest countless times during her filming debut. 

meet the model stoat
 

March 20th, 2021

Wren (Troglodytes Troglodytes)

Wildlife Photo of the Week 

Today is officially the first day of spring, or spring equinox, and what better way to celebrate than with this photo of a wren perched on cherry blossom and singing its heart out! The wren’s Latin name, Troglodytes, means cave dweller, and as it emerges in full voice from the dark of it feels like a symbol of hope for our times. Click here to see the painting it inspired

 

March 12th, 2021

Blue Tit (Cyanistes Caeruleus)

Wildlife Photo of the Week

The brighter the blue crown on a blue tit’s head, the better mother it makes. According to research by York University, the intensity of colouring on a blue tit crest acts as a sexual signifier to potential mates. Researchers discovered that female birds with duller crowns tended to find chick-rearing more stressful than those with bright blue crowns.

wildlife photo of the week blue tit
 

March 5th, 2021

Long Tailed Tit (Aegithalos Caudatus)

Wildlife Photo of the Week

Long-tailed tits are one of the first birds to begin building their nests and can be seen in gardens now collecting moss, lichen and cobwebs. The elastic strings of cobwebs are an ingenious touch since they stretch to accommodate the chicks when they grow.

Click here to read more 

wildlife photography

 


Read More:

Enjoy my wildlife photographs? Click here for more snapshots taken throughout the seasons. 

Want to see the paintings these wildlife models inspire? Click here to follow my ‘Wildlife Painting of the Week’ blog

 

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