Canal Art Exhibition – 13th March to 9th April 2016

Venue : Canal Art Exhibition – Audlem Mill, The Wharf, AUDLEM, Cheshire CW3 0DXKingfisher Portraiture

The exhibition is a group exhibition where artists from the UK come together to bring artwork; a representation of the canals.  

What inspired you to make these drawings?  On my part; my contribution has come together over the past few months.  I have been working in different mediums, sketching together with putting words to pictures, I hope this compilation comes to describe how we meet kingfishers along the way on our travels.

'A Shroppie Kingfisher'

Common Kingfisher : Facts and Information

The Kingfisher : as a member of the Alcedinidae family,  they are a gem among birds; they are so brightly coloured as it is almost a dazzle to the eye in certain lights.  I have seen one on the wing in flight looking like a bright blue flash of light rather than anything solid.  At that instance; for a moment, I wondered if it was a dragonfly as the blue was so vivid.  In another light when sitting without movement on a branch just above the water, they appear to be comparatively dull, with dulsive tones.  When travelling on our boat sometimes we come so close; just enough to see the variation in their colours.  The upper parts are vivid blue with a greenish flash on the crown and wings.  The under parts and ear-coverts are chestnut red, and and and a part on each side of the neck are white. Male kingfishers and female kingfishers are are almost identical except for an orange colouration with a black tip on the lower part of the females beak/mandibles. Young kingfishers are similar to the adults in appearance, however, they have duller and greener upperparts, paler underparts, black beak and initially, black legs.

Kingfishers are territorial birds living by lakes, rivers, streams, canals and sometimes the coast.  When the water freezes they tend to move to the coast.

They nest in sand banks above the water, burrowing down into the earth, laying anything between 6 to 10 eggs, which are white with flecks, rather round in shape than oval, around April to June.  Their diet is quite adaptable, fishing for water insects, shellfish, tadpoles and small fish.

Their song is a sharp whistle, or a warbling song.  When fishing they are quiet, being a shy creature it a privilege to see them.  Which is sometimes possible if you are quiet; or maybe they are more accustomed to human presence.  How big is a kingfisher, I paint them in various sizes so you can see the detail; to the best of my ability, a sketch to show what you could see if they were a little less shy.  They are in actual fact 6.1/2″ 17 cm in height.

Status : Resident on the Amber list of endangered birds.

Audlem 2016

‘Canal Art Exhibition’ Audlem Mill, Audlem, Cheshire. CW3 0DX