Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney : Alissa Duke

Congratulations to Kate and to the the Sketching in Nature blog for winning the Making a Mark Award. This is a wonderful site and opportunity for sharing and exploring nature around the world  through art!

Last week, a sunny Summers day in Sydney was the perfect opportunity to do some urban nature sketching in the Royal Botanic Garden in the center of Sydney.

I sketched with three friends and we started under the shade of a large Moreton Bay Fig. I was distracted by a Dusky Moorhen that had built its nest right next to the fountain spout in a nearby pond. There were a few young dusky moorhens around the pond area, so I am not sure if there were any eggs. I wonder if the Gardens staff have kept the fountain off during these months.?

These White Ibis are prolific in Sydney city, seen around rubbish bins, as well as in the parks and gardens. They are very beautiful lookings birds. If only there were not so many of them., and they were not a nuisance.They are great subjects to capture quickly on paper. I used ink and then added some watercolour pencil.The tagged one caught my eye. I have since found out that Research is currently under way that involves banding and wing-tagging Australian white ibis (Threskiornis molucca) within the Sydney region. The aim is to monitor ibis’ movements, breeding and habitat preferences. Colour-banding and numbered wing-tags allow identification of individual ibis; observations have been received from across the Sydney region and as far away as Shepparton (Vic), Coffs Harbour (NSW), Brisbane and Townsville (Qld).

The Lotus Pond is  always changing. There was only one Lotus flower in the pond, but lots of green leaves to draw.
And my favourite, quintessential  duck is the Pacific Black Duck. They have so much character in their face with those lovely markings.


  1. Nice work Alissa. Sidney must be a fascinating place. Your ibis sounds like our seagulls. They are always found at the beach but also at our parking lots, shopping centers and trash bins. They've totally adapted to city life.

  2. Wonderful sketches, Alissa, I love seeing your corner of the world.

  3. You sketches say to me you had a wonderful day of sketching. .. a very different world from what I have here.


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