“Goldeneye and Longtail”


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by Archibald Thorburn

Gouttelette Print

Paper Size: 18 x 24 ins / 46 x 60 cm

Image Size: 14 x 20 ins / 36 x 50 cm

Archibald Thorburn wrote: Looking at things with the eye of the ordinary lover of nature, one can only attempt to represent with brush and pencil the wonderful beauty of the living creatures around us. The chief essential is to acquire the faculty of observing and noting down the many subtle differences in toes and little tricks of habit in different species, and this knowledge can only be obtained by patient watching.Ó

The Goldeneye is a medium sized diving duck. The male is generally black and white with a greenish head and a circular white patch in front of the yellow eye; the female is mottled grey with a chocolate brown head and is generally smaller. In the UK, the birds are mainly found in the Highlands of Scotland, where they eat mussels, plants, small fish and insect larvae. The Goldeneye is a sea duck but naturally nests in cavities in large trees.

The Longtail is a small sea duck with a rounded head and a steep forehead. In winter the male is mainly white with brownish-black markings and greatly elongated tailfeathers; the female duck is browner. Longtail ducks do not breed in the UK and can be found principally in northern Scotland. They are gregarious birds, forming large flocks in winter and during migration.

watermarks do not appear on prints