Thursday, 26 March 2015

The Colour Collaborative - March - Bird





Do you know much about birds? I don't. Some people, like my mum and my friend Kate, can correctly identify a bird by it's song or a glimpse of an outline in a tree, and what a skill that is. I wish I could do that because, if it's not a seagull or a blackbird, I'm pretty useless. Actually, no, bluetits and robins, I know what they look like. And an emu, I'm fairly confident I could correctly identify an emu if I saw one wandering around. 


But seagulls, oh you know I love seagulls. I even embroidered one.


I'll tell you one thing I do actually know; a "seagull" is not one single species of bird, but more a generic label given to all different kinds of gulls which happen to be coastal, and are commonly and collectively known as seagulls. I know, I know, they're mean, they're bullies, they steal chips and divebomb innocent holiday makers for ice creams, but they charm me. I can hear their squawks often now we live on the coast, and it delights me, it truly does. It's a sound which makes me think of summer, of holidays, of long days spent at the beach, and I hope I never tire of it.


There is something very quintessentially British about the humble seagull and I think it is because it's colours so closely and beautifully reflect those of our shores. Grey and white with the odd splash of yellow or orange, the colours of our beaches.



Our seas are more often silver than turquoise, and the skies more often cloudy and white than deep blue. Variation and contrast is provided by the yellows and browns of the shoreline, the grey-green of the sea grass, a bright orange buoy bobbing around in the water. 


It's a moody palate, subtle and always shifting with the weather, but it's as beautifully British to me as eating chips on the pier. 

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Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River

What is The Colour Collaborative? 

All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.






24 comments:

Jan Doling said...

I loved this post. I too love the sound of the seagull's cry. Never fails to make me think of lazy summer days spent on the coast. I love the colour of the sea and coast in all it's moods from the greys through to the bright aquamarine blues so your post made me feel happy. xx

Susan Smith said...

I too love birds as you probably know from what I post about at times. If you look skywards, you can often work out what bird it is by the way it is flying. Some flap madly, others occasionally and the birds of prey use the updraught and glide so gracefully. Loved your post, but of course our seagulls here in Oz are much smaller than yours. Emus of course can't fly, but do run extremely fast and even pinch trucker's lunches when working in the forest (lol, hubby knows all about that). Take care.

Penny said...

Like you I have a soft spot for seagulls, partly as a result of reading 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' in my teens, and partly through exposure to huge numbers of them through living near the sea in various places. They are beautiful, I agree about the colours. Great post X

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

Yes, they instantly take me back to childhood holidays at the seaside too. Even if I hear one where I live, which is rare as we're about as far from the sea as you can get! I love your photos though, I think you get better and better with your photography, I love all your shots. My favourite is the close up of the gull and the palette is beautiful too.

S x

CJ said...

I do so love those greys and the light shining on the sea and the screaming of gulls, wonderful. Although I did have a particularly sleepless holiday once in a place called Gull Cottage. CJ xx

Amy at love made my home said...

Like you I don't know many birds, but I could identify some, including that emu and an ostrich too! xx

Life With The Crew said...

Since we do not live near the ocean, seagulls are a novelty for us too. In fact, my husband is taking me on a surprise trip this weekend and one of the clues is that we'll see seagulls - so I'm excited!

Annie Cholewa said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous colour palette in this post.

It's not seagulls but the dunlins, sandpipers, godwits, whimbrels and curlews that have my heart. I have been trying to better learn the calls of the different birds but these wading birds I would recognise anywhere from the sounds they make.

VeggieMummy said...

I too love the sound of seagulls on holiday. One of my '50 new things' last year was to learn more bird songs - unfortunately, I wasn't terribly successful! x

Gina said...

I love the sound of seagulls too. And what a fabulous range of colours. I would like to decorate a room in them!

Jennifer said...

I've always lived near some large body of inland water (the Hudson River, Lake Ontario, the Rio Grande), and there have been seagulls in each place, even here in the desert near the Rio. I didn't expect that but we even have a road nearby named Seagull. I find them to be really interesting - messy, but fun to watch and I love their sounds too.

steph said...

seagulls are such resilient creatures.....in my youth, I used to put myself in harms way to feed them (and get dive-bombed by them) at the shore, and they always reminded me of all those great vacations as a kid. But....who would have guessed that they now have adapted and regularly show up around our very very mid-continental lakes----not a real seashore within hundreds of miles. You, go....gull!!!

Joanne Wilson said...

I like the sound of the seagulls at the seaside, apart from a weekend break once where they never shut up! Now, while I admire your embroidered seagull I'm a little more impressed by the embroidered box of fish & chips by it x

the linen cloud said...

This is a lovely colour palette Gillian! I love birds but don't see too many seagulls. They don't often come this far inland, although there are some which scavenge on the landfill near a local town. Bee xx

Sarah said...

Seagulls, I find them a bit scary - I once made the mistake of feeding one a chip whilst on holiday in Scotland and within seconds things all got very Hitchcock...
They do reflect their habitat though in terms of colour. And their cries immediately transport you to the coast. Just like the sound of peacocks makes me think of stately homes...
Lovely post and images.
S x

Ali Whale said...

I love the colour palette here and had never thought about it and the connection to the gulls but seagulls?? Controversial!
We get seagulls where we live which is well inland but close to a couple of large RSPB reserves. I know it's winter when I hear seagulls overhead as I don't hear them much in summer.

loop and bar said...

aaaah what a lovely post - I get excited when people start talking about birds - I've just started to get into them in the last couple of years and have a bird identification book on my windowsill! My heart skips a beat when there's a bird question on Pointless!! Oh dear! Seagulls can be maddening - I remember being woken every day at five in the morning by our resident gulls when I lived in Totnes - I live in Wales now and can enjoy the occasional cry of a gull over the farm to remind me of the sea:) I do love their their charm now that I'm not plagued by their early morning din!! I love your coastal colour palette - it's nice to be reminded that in nature, there are many colours in one thing and it is something we constantly strive to depict in our creative doings!
Kate x

Jane said...

The call of gulls always reminds me of family hols in Margate and Ramsgate on the Kent coast when I was very young, along with ice cream, chips and sand getting in all sorts of places. I'm always inexplicably surprised at how big gulls are - I know they're big, but whenever I see one I always say 'gosh, aren't they big?'. Have a great weekend. Jane xx

Christina said...

I don't know much about birds at all but I have started to appreciate the variety of birds I see on my way to work (through the woods on a bike). I do love gulls, cheeky and elegant at once. x

galant said...

That cheeky blighter, sitting there, is (I am pretty sure) a herring gull. We have loads of them here in Torbay. When there used to be a holiday camp not far away (now a housing estate, thank goodness) we were directly on the flight path of the gulls between the waste bins of the camp and the coast and of course, they used to strafe the car regularly ...! But like you, I actually like gulls ... it wouldn't be the seaside without them!
Margaret P

Gracie Saylor said...

When I was a teen, one day I came upon my dad sitting in our living room listening to a recording of Ebb Tide that included the sounds of ocean waves and seagulls. We lived in the middle of the USA at the time, thousands of miles from New England where my dad was born. The tears I saw in my dad's eyes then ignited a passion I have to this day fifty years later for enjoying the sea and seagulls and the palette of colors you celebrated in this wonderful post, Gillian. Thanks. :-) xo

Marion Ogden said...

I have to admit I'm not a fan of seagulls. I was in Cornwall on my birthday a few years ago and a cheeky, greedy seagull snatched away my ice cream as we walked down the pier in St.Ives. I was left with the ice cream cone which didn't help at all : ( Seagulls aside, there are many other beautiful birds that I see whenever we're out and about and it's lovely to hear birds singing especially in the morning. X

mags said...

I was amazed by these photos Gillian, fantastic! So difficult to capture. I love gulls, the size of them close up amazes me. When I was a teenager the cult book was Jonathan Livingston seagull (which I still have) which is all about their beautiful flight, and yes they remind me of holidays as well. I don't blame them for the cheekiness! Xxx

Jacqueline said...

A lovely post. Seagulls are the most hesitant of the birds that sometimes land in my garden. They hover and dive for ages before having the confidence to drop down for a few scraps. Once on the ground they never linger, the 2 fat wood pigeons that dine here every day soon shoo them off!