On the Flats

This is from a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

Joppa Flats Education Center, Newburyport on May 15, 2015

After a good day of birding on Plum Island, I stop by Joppa Flats around 5 pm. The tide is low, and many birds are scattered across the flats of Newburyport Harbor. I admire a group of bonaparte’s gulls, some of which have fully developed black hoods for the breeding season! Also on the flats are common terns, black-bellied plovers, short-billed dowitchers, assorted peeps and quite a few brant.

Brant studies 2, Joppa Flats - at 72 dpi

Sketchbook page, 9″ x 12″

I’m intrigued by the shapes of the brant as they waddle across the flats and peck at morsels here and there. Being birds of the coast, I don’t see them nearly as often as Canada Geese, and only a few times before have I had good opportunities to observe them out of water.

Brant studies 1, Joppa Flats - at 72 dpi

Sketchbook page, 9″ x 12″

These studies would be fun to work with in a larger composition – maybe a project for this winter in the studio!

2 thoughts on “On the Flats

    1. Sean Kent (Education Coordinator)

      Thanks for reading the blog, glad you enjoy his art and posts. There will be more to come


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