Sunday, January 22, 2012

African Snipe

Between the two seas the sea-bird's wing makes halt,
while with lifting head he waits
For breath to re-inspire him from the gates
That open still toward sunrise on the vault
High-domed of morning.
- Algernon Charles

HB Graphite pencil and colourwash in Moleskine notebook

Sketches of various angles and detail of an African Snipe I spotted in St. Lucia (Zululand, South Africa).

The African Snipe, Gallinago nigripennis, also known as the Ethiopian Snipe, is a small stocky wader. It breeds in eastern and Southern Africa in wet mountain moorland and swamps at altitudes of 1700 - 4000m. When not breeding it disperses widely, including into coastal lowlands.

Some other interesting information on the Snipes : After following the birds’ migration south from Sweden to central Africa using tiny tracking devices, Swedish scientists found that the birds fly non-stop over a distance of around 4,200 miles (6,760km) at a phenomenal 60 mph (97kph). Now how great is that?!


  1. I love the simplicity and energy, Maree.

  2. Ah, thank you Kate, they are fast and flighty and one has to be quick to get a couple of lines down!

  3. Thanks a lot PJ, no time for detail on these chaps!

  4. economy of line continues to amaze/inspire me.

  5. ...and you know I meant to say your economy of line.

    1. Yes, I got that Paula! hee hee! Pleased you also like the minimalism of only a few lines!


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