“Where Nighthawks Fly”

"Where Nighthawks Fly"

“Where Nighthawks Fly”

“Where Nighthawks Fly”, this is a small painting, 6″ x 8″, oil on canvas panel. $550.00 USD

At this time of year, standing and observing in one place a few hours in the evenings may be both cold and exciting depending upon weather and location. This eve I was out of the breeze, but bundled in vest, scarf, parka, snow pants and hat with my back against a stonewall with thicket behind. Although I have often come and painted 15 or 20 canvases within 100 feet of here, this view had never caught my eye. Usually I like to set up in front of the large cedar on the left and face the full field to the right where a beautiful, wind-shaped oak tree is silhouetted against pond, dune and sky. About a week ago I did one of those paintings and was serenaded by a Nighthawk as I bundled my gear into the van in near darkness. A friend contacted me from his vacation in Thailand to inquire as to whether it might be a Woodcock I was hearing and not a Common Nighthawk. I love birds and the two most expensive apps on my iPhone are the Audubon Bird Guide and iBird Plus Guide. Both are excellent and also include bird sounds and songs. Having listened to each bird song on both Guides many times, I admit, Roger had stumped me… Woodcock, “peeent” or Nighthawk “peeent”. Just as last time, at 20 minutes after sundown I heard my first “peeent”. I turned my iPhone into a recorder and walked about the field recording ” peeents”. I turned on each bird’s song from the guides and tried to lure “it” in. I lay down on the ground and did it again straining to see one fly over me. I hid behind the cedar then walked down and back the field lane. I could see no bird, but got some great recordings. I am thinking by the rapid movements and changes of location of “peeents” that it might be a Common Nighthawk after all and not a Woodcock, but…

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