Picture Profile 2408: “Norfolk Visitors 2023” (European Bee Eaters)

Artist Code 2408. “Norfolk Visitors 2023” (European Bee Eaters—Merops apiaster). Water colour on Aquarelle Arches 100% cotton paper 140lb. 12″ x 16″. Completed 10th April 2024

These beautiful little birds (about the size of a Starling) appeared at Trimmingham Sand Quarry in Norfolk in 2022. They attempted to breed, but birders believe the nests may have been predated by stoats or weasels. They returned in 2023 and the story inspired this painting. Resources of the birds were from some wonderful photographs I took on a holiday to Spain (Cortijo Grande) some years ago, and the driftwood and seascape are taken from other photographs of my numerous trips to Norfolk.

As well as eating bees, the birds like to eat dragonflies and other flying insects—causing a spectacular show when they flit from their perch and grab an insect in the air as it flies past.

Climate change may be behind the migration of these exotic birds to breed around England’s fair beaches, and they are a wonderfully colourful sight to behold. They remind me of little flying bandits!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *