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The Dotterel – Red listed

There are 70 birds in the UK on the BTO red list (Red-list species are those that are Globally Threatened according to the IUCN criteria; those whose population or range has declined rapidly in recent years; and those that have declined historically and not shown a substantial recent recovery).

RSPB‘Dotterels are unusual because the adult female is brighter than the male, mirroring the role-reversal seen in how they raise their young. Adults have largely grey-brown upperparts and bright chestnut belly, with a white chest band, throat and eyestripe which contrasts with their dark cap. When migrating in spring, this member of the plover family is often seen in groups, or ‘trips’, at traditional stopping places’.

Time and stitching speed won’t unfortunately allow me to feature them all in stitch (though I hope to paint a number of the other 70 for the exhibition).

I have never been fortunate enough to see a Dotterel but when researching which birds from the red list I would select to stitch this little beauty ‘popped out’ and became one of the ‘chosen few’! The fabulous photograph above was taken by Gary Faulkner, a wonderful nature photographer who kindly allows me to use his images as inspiration.

Above – painting stage complete, ready to select embroidery threads and begin stitching.

Below – the Dotterel, almost complete and ready for framing.

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