These birds often seem to me anyway to look big and a little out of place in British towns yet they seem to flourish wherever there is water. I have noticed larger numbers since seeing them quite rarely as a boy, back then we called them 'Jammy Cranes' which I now know is just an old Westmorland dialect name for them. Their numbers increase over our autumn & winter when locals are joined by birds from mainland Europe. In Holland I have seen them wandering around urban housing estates presumably coming from the nearby canals. These birds are very good hunters and will take large fish, ducklings, frogs, toads and even snakes. Also watch out for their massive nests on high tree tops!
In this painting I wanted to emphasise their unusual shape and also the way they slightly lean forward as they focus their attention. I see them often locally so sketching, photographing and painting them is not so bad. Ive chosen an almost abstract background for my bird which is there really just to contrast its beautiful pale colouring. Ive perched it on a random rock but this is very real as they will stand on almost any raised object.
Watercolour on Arches 140lb (300gsm) hot pressed (HP) paper