Leo du Feu is a young artist from the central belt who is staying out in the Lowlight and experiencing the May is full seabird breeding season frenzy. Here are his first thoughts and more importantly first pictures.
” I’m on the Isle of May! My first time here having studied it originally in Keith Brockie’s ‘One Man’s Island’; having heard often about it from my friend retired wildlife filmmaker/photographer Chris Mylne; having attended various talks and slideshows about it through RSPB and SOC Lothian groups, and a talk each at the Scottish Birdfair this year and last. It’s funny to arrive on a place you’ve never been to yet feel you already know it.
In fact I don’t know it, I only recognise it: there is so much here. It’s unwise to let yourself think about that too much or you’ll be overwhelmed and not know where to start. On day one, after settling into Low Light (basic but very comfortable, very adequate [unless you want a daily shower…] amazing views of puffins, gulls, guillemots, shags, all from the bedroom windows), I headed out to paint. I’m an artist (see www.leodufeu.co.uk ) and my primary reason for coming here was to paint.
Prior to arriving both the birds and the islandscape interested me greatly, so I’ll be interested to see what I focus on. Over the first two days I’ve worked on a razorbill, a guillemot, puffins, and cliffs. The razorbill and the guillemot that you see here are both in watercolour, made on my first day. If you want to draw seabirds incredibly close-up this is absolutely the place to come.
Look at my own blog site to read a full account of day one – http://landscapeartnaturebirds.blogspot.co.uk
I’ll blog more throughout the week, or some time next week once I’m home.
Finally, two interesting sightings today:
– a clifftop puffin, sunlit, four or five eels in beak (the puffins apparently only began bringing food back three or four days ago, so pufflings must be hatching.
– a great black-backed gull flying to sea, a dead puffin clasped in its webbed feet, dangling limply, head-down.”