Attracted by the Sea Buckthorn

Artist  Marjolein Bastin
Painted  2010
Medium  Watercolor
Subject Location   Ameland, Netherlands

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Artist Notes

Have you ever seen a rabbit climb a tree? Well okay, so Sea-buckthorn is more a shrub than a tree, but still, something just doesn’t look right when you look up and see a bunny balancing itself on a branch.

Common sea-buckthorn is dioecious, meaning there are male and female varieties. When they are in bloom it is very difficult to tell the difference, but only the female plants produce orange berries. The intense color of the berry is a result of carotene, and it is full of vitamin C. They attract many migrating birds, from small songbirds to flocks of starlings, crows, magpies, pheasants and…rabbits!

Until this visitor turned around I thought it was a blackbird. But the half moon on its chest indicates it is instead a Ring Ouzel. This bird is also a migratory visitor, on his way to the Mediterranean from Scandinavia. What a nice surprise to see it here! The female Ring Ouzel is a bit more brown and her half moon a bit more faded.

In my garden in the Veluwe I have seen a part-albino blackbird with four or five white spots, but he does not have the half moon!

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