Virtual Birdsong Identification Workshop with Peter Holden MBE

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.

Tor Purrett’s hand-weaved, hand-dyed bird inspired shawls

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.

Coo Geller’s ‘Eggshell Blends’
Alex Dommett’s ‘Nightjar’

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.

Sarah presents her friend’s golden oriole painting

Signed copies of the RSPB handbook are available from Peter for £10 incl. p&p

We hope to resume our much-loved workshop next year! If you’d like to subscribe to events please contact me.

2 thoughts on “Virtual Birdsong Identification Workshop with Peter Holden MBE”

  1. Really enjoyed reading your blog thank you Jo.
    Hayley’s entertaining blog about the dawn chorus was great & made me feel not quite so bad about being unable to identify bird song except of course the Blackbird but after our refresher course I am improving 🙂
    Today I found the most detailed spotty feather in my garden & have identified it as a starlings, I feel we are so lucky to have such a variety of birds on our doorsteps & even the most common are stunning.
    I love the fact that we have artists among our group who create such beautiful work inspired by our birds.
    I shall be purchasing one of Coo’s framed egg shell blend prints & am also looking at Peters books.


    1. Aww, thanks so much for your lovely comment Judy 😊

      That’s great about the starling feather and I’m impressed as umm not sure I would be able to identify feathers. I learned to identify different sorts of bees and wasps this morn on a course by Avon Wildlife Trust. We’re lucky that there’s so much on offer online.

      Yes Coo’s art is so beautiful. Something very soothing about it. What an amazing bunch of artists who truly love their subject.

      Much love x Jo

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