Antarctic terns

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Oil on board, 65cm x 90cm

After a demoralising two days of blizzard, the sun miraculously appeared one late afternoon and calm descended on Cumberland Bay West.

After a fruitless, snow-soaked day in the field I stopped on my way back to the boat and saw these Antarctic terns fishing in the sheltered waters of the bay.

The sun had left the near shore but still illuminated the hills on the far side of the bay. I liked the way the terns, in shadow from the hills behind me, were dark against the sunlit distant hills and their reflections in the water.

The horizontal bands of sky-blue water contrasted beautifully with the warm creams and browns of the reflected snowy hills.

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