golden oriole - mc wood
azure-winged magpies - mc wood

Golden oriole

Seen at the Finca Santa Marta near Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain, this is as much a portrait of the ancient cork oak as the bird.

 

Image 308 x 240mm.

 

Azure-winged magpies in olive grove

Seen at the Finca Santa Marta near Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain.  Family parties of these birds forage among the contorted branches of small olive trees and meadows full of flowers such as tassel hyacinth.  In a landscape which gets baked in the summer heat, a single stem of reed was growing in the damp pocket of the hollow olive trunk.

 

Image 340 x  260mm.

 

golden-headed quetzal
Golden-headed Quetzal, Ecuador
I watched these birds high in the canopy of the cloud forest at Mindo, generally inconspicuous despite their bright colours.  Occasionally a shaft of sunlight would break through the mist and highlight the metallic emerald iridescence of their plumage.

Image 352 x 225mm.
tanagers at bellavista - mc wood
Tanagers at Bellavista, Ecuador
This was the scene that greeted me one morning looking from the balcony at Bellavista Lodge in Ecuador, with Blue-winged Mountain Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager and Flame-faced Tanager competing for attention.

Image 320 x 220mm.
golden plover - mc wood
Golden Plover, Iceland
Seen against a backdrop of volcanic rocks and snow in the valley of Öxnadalur in northern Iceland, on the way to Akureyri.  The arrival of these birds in spring is an important moment for Icelanders, rather like hearing the first cuckoo in Britain.

Image 368 x 270mm.
harlequin ducks, iceland - mc wood

Harlequin Ducks west of Grundarfjordur, Iceland

These beautiful ducks gather in small parties on the coastal creeks after breeding up river.  The glistening white markings on the males break up their shape against the dark grey volcanic sands and rocks.

 

Image 222 x 326mm.

 

 

moorhens - mc wood
Moorhens at Milton
This mat of backlit water-lily leaves is a favourite foraging patch for a pair of moorhens at a local pool, just north of Cambridge.

Image 390 x 250mm.
long-tailed tits - mc wood
tree creeper - mc wood
Long-tailed tits
A regular visitor to my garden and allotment - in fact a young one recently landed on my shoulder, called a few times to its companions, then realised I’m not  so inanimate after all.

Image 352 x 265mm.

Tree Creeper

Seen exploring the sinuous bark of an old willow, at one of my regular haunts north of Cambridge.

 

Image 310 x 212mm.

 

Galapagos finches
Showing the variety of bill structure, with a list of the species below.

Image 280 x 280mm.
Stone barn near Petra, Lesvos
A watercolour of this small building and its parched setting, seen at the end of summer.  Not a bird in sight, but you can hear the black-headed buntings and subalpine warblers in the background.

Image 280 x 205mm.
Toucan barbets, Ecuador
Seen near Bellavista Lodge, at the top of a cecropia tree.  One of the notable endemic species of this part of the Andes.

Image 335 x 240mm.
Wren (The Violin-maker’s shed)
This shed on a neighbouring allotment seems to lean more sharply every week, and would probably collapse if the whole family of wrens landed on it.

Image 355 x 260mm.

All images © MC Wood.

Goldfinches
Regular visitors to my garden and allotment, easily identified by their distinctive calls as they pass overhead.

Image 350 x 262mm.