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The Magnificent Frigatebird…my tropical love

There was a time when I though I wanted to be an ornithologist.

Quite earnestly and sincerely.

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Either an ornithologist or a marine biologist, I imagined happy hours trampling thru forest and fields or wading in the ocean, scuba diving, collecting samples…But then I realised that what I really wanted to do is photograph and draw the things and creatures and not actually dissect them and pickle them in formaldehyde and that was that.

One of my biggest loves in the bird world is the Magnificent Frigatebird and I’m always thrilled when I see them, no matter where I am; can’t get enough of this aviary pirate, the Blackbeard of the sea.

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Today we were having a rest day. Every once in a while we declare a rest day and it seems to pay dividends in our future energy.

So today I decided to study the Frigatebirds and sketch some in my travelling sketch book.

I couldn’t really get up close and personal with them and so took a liking from some on-line images for the close-ups.

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We scooped ourselves one of the beach beds this morning, hung up our beach tote and stayed all day.

A certain freckle faced girl kept stealing my new sun hat. ๐Ÿ˜€

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And I watched the Frigatebirds and sketched.

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And C watched the people around us and chatted with some of our fellow holidayers.

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I used my water soluble charcoals and watercolour pencils, plus a light green and a grey crayon and India inks, and slowly, over a few hours, Magnificent Frigatebirds began to emerge and started to do their rolling, boiling, tumultuous flight on my journal page.

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So here they are. I figure I’ve drawn four males and two females. We’ll call them Demetrius, James, Heyreddin and Eustace, Rusila and Elise. All fine pirates, all Magnificent.

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Comments: 10

  • March 27, 2014

    Fantastic!! you know how to make the most of a rest day, don’t you ๐Ÿ˜€

  • daryledelstein

    March 27, 2014

    delightful .. ‘all’ we get here are garbage eating gulls .. no pirate Frigates

  • March 27, 2014

    Magnificent is right!! Frigates always take my breath away. I love them, they are magical. And I love your drawings/paintings too. Beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

  • March 27, 2014

    Wow, I really like the gritty darkness of the charcoal for the sketches. For a while I wanted to be an entomologist–those probably wouldn’t have been as lovely to draw.

  • March 27, 2014


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