Short-eared owl

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Oil on Italian linen, 51cm x 86cm

Short-eared owls can often be seen during the winter hunting over rough grassland and marshes around the British coasts, where milder weather generally keeps the snow at bay. Our resident population is usually boosted in winter by birds escaping the harsher continental weather, particularly from Scandinavia.

They are day-flying owls and one morning I watched this bird quartering a narrow strip of rough grassland by the coast of the Firth of Forth, near my home in southern Scotland. The sun shining through its wings gave it an almost angelic quality and its colours were echoed in the dead grass stems, sculpted into rhythmic patterns by winter winds.

This painting can be seen at my one-man show at the Donald Watson Gallery, Waterston House, Aberlady, from 19th November 2016 to 11th January 2017. Please click here for more details.

 

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  • At the waterline
  • Winter fox
  • St Mary’s seals
  • The Gathering
  • Short-eared owl
  • Abernethy Forest pool
  • Redshank alarm
  • Evening pools – wigeon
  • Silver light
  • Aberlady Bay
  • Fishing in the flow tide – Little egret
  • Long-eared owl
  • Shrimping
  • Purple sandpipers
  • Morecambe Bay waders
  • Storm surge – gannets at Bamburgh
  • Sandpiper flight
  • Lindisfarne Bay
  • Heading north – migrating dunlin
  • Redshank
  • Against the light
  • Spring tide
  • Marsh grass
  • Warming up
  • Snow petrel
  • Smiling at the sun (rock martins at Abu Simbel)
  • Salt marsh sentinel
  • Making waves
  • Log pile
  • The sand martin and the jellyfish
  • Humpbacks in the Gerlache Strait
  • Dipper
  • Beachcombers
  • Run-off