Monday, 14 February 2011

Lackford Lakes SWT

6 February 2011: a great day at Lackford, with superb views of a Bittern, watched on and off for about 3 hours.  Then around 4pm, just as I came out of the visitor centre, a flock of 30 Waxwing flew over going northward.  They appeared to drop but despite a good search there was no sign of them, all the berries having long gone.  I guess they must have continued north below the level of the trees.   Unbelievably I've found seven different Waxwing flocks this winter!  Later still, at least 17 Goosander, 2 sinesis-type Cormorants and over 300 large gulls including 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls on the Slough.  There was just so much to see to attract my attention, so many hundreds of potential compositions, and the light was perfect too, before it finally went.  I could see myself spending a bit more time here grilling all the gulls.

Er, yes slight scale issues of the giant Teal next to the Bittern in the reeds...  But there's no time to stop and think, painting live in the field I just have to get the paint onto the page as fast as possible.  Sometimes I paint without having any pencil lines as reference points.  That really focusses your mind.  I seem to have been left with a pile of half-finished paintings here that I feel reluctant to do any more to, as adding anything later would feel contrived. 

Finally one of the Waxwing flock, done when I got home.  The image of those birds was etched in my mind, and of the low evening light catching their undersides.

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