I love the widely ranging variation in plumage that can result in the most gorgeous gilt edging to the feathers, especially among juveniles and I can't resist slopping the wet washes over the paper and mixing the colours wet in wet to try to capture the iridescence and sheen! Greens, bronzes and purples of every hue that change constantly as does the light, are a real challenge.
I also love the infinite variety of poses that provide some challenging sketching exersises and result in some strange and bizzare shapes as the birds preen and stretch! Great fun!
I leave you with a watercolour that I did of a Lapwing sitting on eggs as seen in Norfolk this spring. It does one's heart good to hear the plaintive cry of the Lapwing as it dances overhead against a brooding sky and I am fortunate to have witnessed this on many occassions from the mountains and moors of the north and the rugged coasts, and to the flat marshes and mudflats of east anglia as well as my own patch in Hertfordshire. Long may it continue!