Thursday, April 28, 2016

Eric Ennion

Eric Ennion (1900-1981) is primarily remembered as a brilliant bird illustrator, whose combination of observational, drawing and water-colour skills produced pictures of birds that are full of energy and are uniquely graceful. But he also illustrated a few books on other forms of wildlife and one such was this .....

Life in Pond and Stream by Richard Morse, first published by Oxford University Press in 1945 and revised in 1950. 

Ennion set out on a medical career but his love of wildlife and artistic skills drew him towards natural history illustration. At the time that he illustrated this book he had just left his medical practice to become Warden of Flatford Mill Field Studies Centre and was enjoying the first public exhibition of his paintings at Ackermann Galleries in London.

You can read more about the man and his paintings at

His illustrations for Life in Pond and Stream show all the hallmarks of an artist whose work was informed by first-hand observation. The book has fifteen plates - here is a small selection. 

Natterjack toad;kingcup;edible frog;common frog;butterbur;common frog;common toad

Great crested newts; smooth newt; palmate newt

Perch; pike;roach; dace; bream; eel; freshwater mussel

Raft spider; bladderwort; water spider; water boatman

Freshwater shrimp; freshwater louse; Cyclops; water flea; crayfish

It's well worth hunting down this delightful little book in second-hand bookshops.


  1. I love the cover, with what looks like little chameleons on it

  2. Super illustrations, I love his work.
    Another good Ennion read is 'House on the Shore' from his time as Director of the Monk's House Bird Observatory in Northumberland


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