In winter the Alte Donau is covered with flocks of birds – black headed gulls, mute swans, coot, crows and Canada geese. Its really quite stunning, particularly when the lake is frozen and back-lit by the afternoon sun. I go there to walk Ashby and to photograph the birds – for quite some time I’ve been working (intermittently) on a series of paintings called Flocks and Shoals, and am always on the lookout for photo opportunities. I’m interested not so much in details of individual birds, but rather the shapes created by the winter sunlight and stark shadows, the reflections in the ice, and the swooping, crowding birds. Extreme hunger brought about about by the prolonged cold weather means that the birds literally fight to get to the bread and even without a very good zoom lens I can get really close up shots. I hope that the birds can last through the winter.
I made a quick drawing, sketching out in the cold and adding some tone back home. I personally prefer the photos but you can judge for yourself.