iconic wildlife

Enjoying the rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus moluccanus) in the palm trees at dawn.

This guy was on the kitchen floor this morning, barely alive. I thought it was a leaf and picked it up, then noticed a leg waving weakly. I put it outside and it must have recovered somewhat because when I came back with my sketchbook, it was gone.

Only a few more days in Aus, so it may be my last honking big spider for a while.

rhipidura albiscapa

Australia is famed for its colourful birds, but the little monochrome ones can be just as fascinating. Grey Fantails live across most of Australia. Hyperactive, agile and graceful, they perform rapid aerial acrobatics, constantly splaying out their tail feathers into a fan. They feed on flying insects which they chase out from the edge of shrubs and bushes and snap up mid-air. Cute!


We’re planning a trip Downunder. I’m practicing my cassowary-sketching, just in case we’re lucky enough to spot one in Far North Queensland. I’d better start practicing kangaroos, snakes and parrots too. I can’t wait to get back there, it’s been three years!

ensifera ensifera

The Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) is found in the temperate zones of the Andes from Venezuela to Bolivia at elevations of about 2500 to 3600 m. It has the longest bill in relation to its body size of any bird in the world. I’ve only shown about a third of its bill in this sketch.

Reference photo by Vivek