Watercolor, 20" x 32"
©2002 Thomas Anderson
Least sandpipers are almost always in flocks of varying size, rarely seen alone, and they are often in the company of other shorebirds like long-billed dowitchers and short-billed dowitchers (which frankly I never learned the difference as their bills are not dramatically different). I wanted to capture the somewhat paradoxical feelings of both chaos and order in a large group of birds as they descend into the shallow water to loaf. The shapes of the outstretched wings of the many individual birds creates a kind of staccato feeling yet each set of wings moves in very organized and harmonious order. It is fascinating that a huge flock of small birds can move in such synchronicity with each individual that they always keep a certain distance from each other and never collide or fall over one another.
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