Apples for breakfast… sketching the winter birds visiting the garden – Alice Draws The Line

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Apples for breakfast

Sometimes something will catch my eye, and that’s it I’m completely distracted and focussed only on that. Just as we were as children if someone in the passenger seat of the car rustled a sweet wrapper!

This happened this week. You may remember me saying that I have apple trees in my garden? (Scroll to the bottom of this post for a refresher!)

In the autumn there were so many apples that I had to keep clearing them from the lawn, and so I rolled them (as I if was playing lawn bowls) onto the ‘will-be-veg-patch/flower-bed’.

In the cold snap this week the birds (and a squirrel) have been loving the apples that remain. They are nice and soft, and are probably a bit like stewed apple now!

I sat by my window earlier this week and sketched what I could.

Birds eating apples for breakfast by Alice Savery, Alice Draws the Line

There was a bird there that I didn’t recognise as being one that I knew. I tried to capture what I could see of it but it was about 10 metres away and moving a lot. It was also first light, with the sun rising behind them so quite hard to see any detail. 

I love taking photographs. But know that I can’t be out there as the birds won’t visit - unless I’m in camouflage and sitting extremely still, and, as it was -3 degrees, I really didn’t fancy that. Then I remembered that I had a Bluetooth remote control that I can use with my mobile phone! 

I used my tiny tripod and put the phone on the edge of the ‘will-be-veg-patch/flower-bed’ and ran back inside to my vantage point at the window. The mobile was on silent and no flash so there would be minimal disturbance.

Slowly but surely the feathered friends started to return! I took a lot of terrible photos, but here is one of my favourites. 

Apples for breakfast for the blackbird, fieldfare and starlings photograph by Alice Savery of Alice Draws the Line 

We have a blackbird on the left, the bird I wasn’t able to identify originally turns out to be a Fieldfare (centre) -they like to feast on fruit here in the winter apparently, and on the right we have a starling! I was thrilled all three hopped into this frame. 

I love the thought that they call gathered to have apples for their breakfast. I think I might do some more sketches, now working with the photographs I took to add details I couldn’t glean before.

 Blackbird eating apples for breakfast by Alice Savery of Alice Draws the Line

Starlings eating apples for breakfast photograph by Alice Savery of Draws the Line

Fieldfare having apples for breakfast by Alice Savery of Alice Draws the Line

An extra little detail that I noticed when I went and collected the camera was how they were eating some of the apples - the part-eaten apples looked like very fancy presentation dishes - look at these!

Apple breakfast bowl by Alice Savery of Alice Draws the Line

Apple for breakfast by Alice Savery of Alice Draws the Line

Sharing these I’ve just thought of the line in the film ‘Miss Potter’ (yes, it’s one of my favourites) where she confesses to being mesmerised by something and then realising it was the pig’s swill bucket. I’ve just realised I’ve been gushing about a half eaten, rotten apple! It if makes me a bit like Beatrix Potter I can cope with that!


Apple tree reminder - 

I painted this picture in late summer 2023

The Bramleys by Alice Savery, Alice Draws the Line
It went to the gallery briefly where it sold, but you can still buy a card!).