July 2nd- mute swan, ringlet and swift diary

Jonathan Pomroy

We had a walk along to the Ampleforth lower lake at noon. It was still drizzling at the time but very still and quite atmospheric. As we arrived a very large flock of siskins flew up from the ground beneath some birch trees. I estimated 400 birds, making it the largest flock of siskins I have ever seen. There have been large numbers arriving on the east coast in recent days. Along with crossbills they seem to be irrupting into the UK in large numbers.

On the lake we saw a pair of mute swans with five well grown cygnets, It occurred to me that I hardly ever paint mute swans anymore, so I set about painting a watercolour of a cob. What a great subject in watercolour. A chance to observe the very subtle colours in its white plumage, which of course isn’t really white! A few swifts and…

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