The annual bird workshop and dawn chorus event with Peter Holden MBE, author of the RSPB Handbook has been one of our favourites dates in the calendar. Due to COVID restrictions, we have been unable to hold the workshop the last two years.
Last year, we ran the Virtual Dawn Chorus event, where members of the public were invited to submit their dawn chorus experience recorded in their gardens, out of their apartment windows or in local parks.
This year, Peter was kind enough to offer an online version of the workshop, free to all previous attendees. This meant a chance to see each other, share stories and of course, brush up on our bird song identification and bird behaviour knowledge.
During lockdown, a number of our attendees had been moved to create some incredibly beautiful artworks. Tor Purrett shared her amazing hand spun shawls (pictured above). Each one inspired by a different bird, she creates natural dyes from woods and plants to transform the fleece.
Coo Geller presented her beautifully delicate representations of egg shells which were exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy.
Alex Dommett, shared her powerful drawing of a nightjar that she had managed to spot on holiday.
Lastly, Sarah reminded us all of our most marvellous 2018 workshop in which we spotted a very rare golden oriole on our dawn chorus walk.
Inspired by that story, Sarah’s friend painted her a picture of the beautiful bird which we eventually located with binoculars, singing at the top of a tall tree in the early morning light. If you’d like to read more about that incredible sighting, you can read Hayley Coristine’s beautiful blog post.