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Goodbye to the Swifts

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

09 August 2020 16:09 The Swifts have disappeared from Walthamstow Reservoirs. I was conscious of them darting over the surface of the water a few weeks ago. I’m deducing they migrated late July, as I normally walk around the reservoir once a week. For a small bird, it has such an enigmatic presence, so to hear the silence above the hum of traffic on Forest Road and the quiet conversing of passers by, seems really palpable. That joyous screeching is no longer present, the energy of this species displaying acrobatic antics in the air, who seems to have its battery constantly wound up giving it the animation that is a constant wonder, has vanished. I regret that. On one level it appears that I have missed a great event; to bid them farewell as they migrant elsewhere but not only that, it has left me with the feeling of a slight emptiness. I wasn't invited to the send off!

A few weeks shows so much change.

Common Pochards flock together on Maynard Reservoir, together with Tufted Ducks. On my walk I continue photographing wildflowers. Some may be included in paintings and others as a point of reference for future art work, documenting and cross referencing with wild flower books. The sun is baking and the plants are wilting under the scorching heat of 30 plus degrees today.

The present painting is making headway, using water colours and inks. A brief catalogue of plants found in and around Blackhorse Road, E17. I have purposefully played with the scale and proportions, highlighting some of the very small flowers due to their size or plants that may go unnoticed.

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