Never a Gull Moment

Duncan Butchart's brushes with birds

This blog is a collection of watercolour sketches (and occasionally photographs) that capture recent observations or recreate some of my past encounters with birds. I have watched birds on six continents, but have yet to have a memorable moment with a gull of any kind. . . .


Moon Moth Meal

Brown-hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris) with Lunar Moth (Argema mimosae) The bird hide at Lake Panic in the Kruger National Park is a terrific spot that

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Vulture Watch

White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis), Kruger National Park, South Africa I’d been in the hide for about four and a half hours, staring out at the

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Amani Ndegi

Green-headed Oriole (Oriolus chlorocephalus amani), Amani, East Usambaras, Tanzania Dense early morning mist was swirling around the old buildings at Amani, as I emerged from

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Tightrope Walker

Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus), Londolozi, South Africa Rocking gently from side-to-side, the Bateleur cut a unique shape as it glided above the dry woodland. It peered

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Sapphire Fairy

Splendid Fairy-Wren (Malurus splendens), Quaalup Homestead, Fitzgerald River NP, Australia It had been a surprisingly cold night, not far from freezing, and I was up

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Gecko Grab

African Wood-Owl (Strix woodfordii) with Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia)                               

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Pitta Patter

Gurney’s Pitta (Pitta gurneyi)  male. Khao Nor Chuchi, Thailand We’d been in the rainforest since daybreak and were all completely soaked from head to toe.

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Bon Voyage

Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis) Pretoriuskop, South Africa Having arrived in South Africa during November, the Woodland Kingfishers are now preparing to return to their non-breeding

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Silent Swimmer

African Finfoot (Podica senegalensis) male. Mbuluzi, Swaziland. I was observing dragonflies darting back and forth on the fringe of the Mlawula River when a male

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Blue Blur

Half-collared Kingfisher (Alcedo semitorquata) While crossing a low level bridge over the Elands River, south of Machadadorp on the eastern Highveld of South Africa, my

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Big Drummer

White-bellied Woodpecker (Dryocopus javensis): Sukau, Malaysia (Borneo) The rain was finally easing up, after an extraordinary morning downpour. All around me the tropical foliage was

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Amber Assassin

Grey-headed Bushshrike (Malaconotus blanchoti), Nelspruit, South Africa A series of strange, mechanical noises coming from the tree canopy outside my window had me out of my

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