Lapwings in flight

Huge formations of birds in flight are clearly fascinating to others.  A comment led me to http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/grackles-revisited/ and a further comment on that site took me to another blog and an image of flocking geese http://theirisandthelily.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/a-field-of-white/.

I regularly watch lapwings in flight.  They suddenly startle and take off in unison.  They wheel and soar on frying-pan wings almost in formation, often in chaos, sometimes forming patterns, often breaking up into ones or twos, until they all sweep in to land noisily in the shallows again.  Capturing this in paint is difficult.  I know the image below is flat and has lost the sense of movement I set out to capture.  Still – this is an online sketchbook not an art gallery!  I will attempt this again.

Its worth mentioning that the grackles photograph mentioned above is a post on the blog http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/.  I spend an enjoyable half hour with my six year old son going through this fabulous site focussing mainly on botanical photography.  Joseph said “wow” at nearly every shot.

While I’m at it, here are a few other field sketches of lapwings in conte crayon or in ink