Tell us about your bird watching logbooks
I wanted to use my [many!] bird paintings for something more than simply wall art, as I endeavour to capture the personality and character of the bird, and the gouache gives great blocks of colour that reproduce well digitally. I also wanted to encourage people to note down where and when they see the birds as this is an important part of getting to know the different species.
Your latest is focussing around Rye Harbour birds?
Yes. I have compiled a range of generic habitat ones but having a specific area allows me to incorporate other birds. It also highlights the conservation efforts meaning a greater range of birds that visit or reside there.
How well do you know Rye Harbour Nature Reserve?
I have been birdwatching all along the Sussex coast since we moved here from Dorset in 1986, but visiting somewhere to get to know it for a book is very different. I have to pick just 22 birds to represent the site but those which also make for an attractive book with a balance of shapes, colours, sizes, and bird families.
When did you first develop an interest in wildlife?
I have been interested in wildlife since I was a very small child - my parents are keen birdwatchers and I grew up with field guides and binoculars in the house and car. I love beetles and birds particularly, and my qualifications in agriculture, ecology and writing have allowed me to use my skills to inform others.
Do you have a favourite bird?
I’d never seen avocets before I came to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, but the stock doves have an understated beauty which I find very appealing.
Avocet on new saltmarsh © Barry Yates
Who are they aimed at?
Primarily at people who perhaps know a few of the more common birds, or who want to get a little more interest out of a walk or visit to Rye Harbour. The tables and ticklist add a fun challenge so are great for families.
Birds of Rye Harbour cost £5 and are on sale in the Discovery Centre shop
This post is also available on Sussex Wildlife Trust website