It is the 1st September and the time for north westerly winds to start blowing interesting seabirds towards the UK from their haunts in the far north. When gales arrive in the Irish Sea, then the Leach’s Petrel shall be with them.

Leach’s Storm Petrel

This large watercolour features the typical presentation of the Petrel, skitting and dancing over wild waves cresting on a foreshore – seemingly oblivious to the conditions, revelling in its quiet authority as a pelagic species, one well acquainted with the ocean.

Foreground waves are collaged from studio scraps of ink chromatography plus a complex background created from multiple watercolour washes and spray paint. The Petrel remains distinctly rendered as a calm counterpoint to all that the forthcoming winter will throw, at its mere 40g.

Leach’s Storm Petrel (2021)
Watercolour and ink on paper


BTO campaign: Our Lost Seabirds