Updated Dec 2009


Mike Langman - Field Sketches


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Black-throated Thrush

 Scorriton Down, Dartmoor, Devon 28 October 2009

Full story on this bird at Devon Birds website

As a keen birdwatcher Mike combines his artistic skills with his birding, when the opportunity arises – usually when finding a rare or scarce bird he’ll quickly sketch the bird into a pocket A5 notebook. The colours are noted and added when he gets home with watercolour paints.


Penduline Tit

 Clennon Valley, Devon 14 January 2009

Full story on this bird at Devon Birds Website


Sardinian Warbler

 Berry Head, Devon 12 November 2008 - my first BBRC passerine find at the site in 30 years!

Yellow-Browed Warbler

 Clennon Valley, Devon November 2005


Pallas’s Warbler

 Berry Head, Devon November 2007


Siberian Chiffchaff ‘Tristis’

Broadsands, Devon Jan 2008



Surf Scoter 1st winter male

 Broadsands, Devon Dec 2007




Leach’s Petrel

 Berry Head, Devon  Nov 2007





Long-billed Murrelet

 Dawlish, Devon  Nov 2006



Dusky Warbler, moulting to summer plumage

Clennon Valley, Devon 24 April 2004




American Robin

Godrevy, Cornwall 18 Dec 2003



Berry Head, Devon 19 April 2004




Serins  - two Females

Berry Head, Devon 2006


Fea’s Petrel

Berry Head, Devon 17 July 2001. For a seawatcher on his local patch it doesn't get much better than this!

Red-flanked Bluetail Berry Head October 2005


Yelkouan Shearwater notes from Bulgaria September 2003


Many birds were in active wing moult showing tatty trailing edge to flight feathers and often with distinct pale greater covert bars due to feather loss? The contrast between the  trailing edge and coverts of the underwing was  not nearly as strong as Manx and the underwing was cleaner than Balearic. Most did not show dark untertail coverts.

Masked Shrike Cyprus March 2000, male bird in full song then hunting with tail waving around.



Long-tailed Skua, adult, June 2001 Shoalstone, Brixham, Devon full tailed adult came in out of the murky conditions and sat for some time on the sea with Kittiwakes



Today all of Mikes field notes are not redrawn but for years Mike would meticulously transfer the drawings from the sketch books into a yearly birding book. This started in his early birdwatching days (Late 1970’s) when the field guides were woefully inadequate and even common plumages for example the bright yellow juvenile plumage of Willow Warbler where not shown in the fieldguides of the day. His sketches made sure Mike looked in detail at any bird that took his interest and undoubtedly increased his knowledge and understanding of the identification of those birds. Many of Britain’s best birders are avid note takers – whether in sketch or written form. In recent years photography has taken over from the notebook, it certainly has its place but there is still a need for high quality note taking.  

These are some of the pages from Mikes yearly notebooks dating back to 1979:

Aug 78 -Jan 1979 colours not found in Field Guides of the day!


Nov 1979 Got the 'adult' Little Stint wrong, and took a day of school for the Greater Sandplover.


Aug-Oct 1979 two trips to Scilly and a new bird at Dawlish Warren.


Jan-Dec 1979 the Lapland Bunting got my heart pumping most - a new bird and I found it!



Dec 1981 Christmas holiday from College - a nice present waited for me!


Oct 1984 Scilly


March 1985 Dartford and Wells Wood


Nov1985 Pagham and Westleton


Dec 1985 my second White-tailed Eagle (following the Oxfordshire bird) at  Benacre, My first Waxwings at Wiveton but best of all a self found winter Short-toed Lark on a Torbay seafront!


Aug 1987 - some good Devon birds

Sept - Oct 1987 Wells Wood Yellow-browed Warbler and Scilly Vireos and Firecrest.


Oct 1987 A seawatch off Torquay after the 87 hurricane!


February 1989 a few interesting birds and one star American warbler in Maidstone(!) still one of the strangest twitches I've been on.


Nov 1989 a day out in Norfolk


June 1991 a two day trip to Lundy


Oct 1991 Just some of the great birds on Scilly, a 1st w Northern Wheatear was included - compare it to the Isabelline seen a few days later.

1992 Yellow-breasted Bunting, Holme, Norfolk

1997 February Olive-backed Pipit, Brixham, Devon


2000 January Sora Rail, Stover Country Park, Devon



More to come!!!


added Dec 2009...

Jan 2000  Sora Rail, Stover Country Park, Devon

added April 2009...

Mar 2000  Masked Shrike Cyprus.

 added April 2009 ...

Feb-Apr 1997  Olive-backed Pipit Brixham

March 1985  Sociable Lapwing Dartford, Arctic Redpoll and Parrot Crossbill  -Wells

September -Oct 1987 Vireo's Scilly


Yelkouan Shearwater Notes
Bulgaria 2003



Blast from the past

find them by scrolling down the main  page

November 1985
Nutcracker and Sora

Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Belted Kingfisher

June 1991
Ancient Murrelet