Hello, I'm Leo du Feu. I'm a Scottish artist, a painter of landscape and nature. I live and work in Linlithgow, near Edinburgh, and exhibit in galleries around Scotland and the UK. You can see my work on my website - www.leodufeu.co.uk
I anticipate using this blog to show what I'm working on in my art and also as an encouragement to me to write - I find writing brings a similar satisfaction to sketching and painting. Birds are also a passion and it'll be good to be able to post some of my birding experiences here.
My interests in art and environment come together in an ongoing project to explore Scotland by rail. I've been getting to know countryside and towns along various lines, sketching as I go. The project has been possible thanks to the support of ScotRail for the past four years. I intend to post accounts of my railway explorations on this blog, detailing walks, sites of interest, flora and fauna to be seen, etc.
I hope that'll do for an introduction, now here's one quick encounter with a bullfinch:
|male bullfinch, 23.12.09|
In the latest edition of RSPB's Birds magazine David Lindo writes in his 'Urban Birdwatcher' (http://urbanitybirder.blogspot.com/) article about the decline of the bullfinch. (Since their 1950s-1970s peak the UK population of these beautiful chunky birds has severely reduced in number, due probably to changes in farming practice and woodland management.)
Anyway, David talks about the song of the bullfinch and the fact that most of us aren't even aware it exists. Certainly until I read his article I thought the low plaintive whistle was the only noise they made. But this morning, walking to my studio, I stopped to look through my binoculars at a flush pink male in a tree across the canal and realised that his black-wedge beak was moving - he was singing! A lovely, gentle, unassuming burble. So I can confirm that yes, bullfinches do indeed sing!