Here’s something from a few months ago, which I enjoyed being involved in.
|Bird Art Auction. SBBOT. Wildlife Drawing.|
It was a great pleasure to be invited to contribute a donation of artwork, to help raise funds through the SBBOT Art Auction for their worthwhile wildlife conservation project, which hopes to secure and develop a local plot of land for wildlife in the area.
Early engagement with wildlife and birds in and around the garden and natural wildlife landscapes is carried for life; lying in the grass, climbing trees, pond-dipping, paddling, wandering, wondering. It is far more involved and rewarding than simply spotting birds. There is a never-ending journey of discovery and imagination available in observing nature on the doorstep and in local nature areas of particular interest and relevance.
Days spent outdoors, observing and engaging with wildlife and birds is time most pleasantly and purposefully invested in understanding the natural world and nurturing an empathy for it. The joy and value is in observing, over and over again, the familiar birds and any new visitors – their colours, shapes, habitats, habits and individual personalities. At a simple level, this can be done in the garden, but a local nature reserve, natural park or, especially, a bird observatory is an ideal way to increase understanding and knowledge about birds (and wildlife) in the context of their ever-changing landscapes and issues.
Bill Oddie, President of Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust, sums it up perfectly in his message to the SBBOT:
'I am totally addicted to Bird Observatories. Without any doubt at all, the majority of my fondest memories of early days birding were spent at observatories in various parts of Britain, and – equally certainly – it was at these places that I fully came to appreciate that there was far more to the study of birds than simply “ticking them off.”
In addition, I truly believe that there is no more satisfying way of developing bird-watching knowledge and skills.' (Bill Oddie, President SBBOT)
I am pleased to say that the original drawing that I did specifically for the charity, the ‘Mouse and Apple’, sold, helping to raise funds for their wildlife and birds project, including wetland birds. There were many bird paintings donated to the auction by some prominent wildlife artists but I chose to do this wildlife drawing because a similar painting I had previously created was favoured. I was a little reserved that it might not go down very well at a bird observatory – so I was very pleased and relieved that it was well-received, culminating in a bid that was donated to help raise some funds along with other wildlife and bird artists' work - altogether of which raised £4000!
(The wildlife project is still open so check their website for more ways to help raise the funds to secure the wildlife land.)
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to the auction in the evening as it was too far to travel on that day, but I decided to deliver the painting in person, a few days beforehand, to say hello and visit the bird observatory - what a fabulous place!
The members who met us were lovely; very helpful and friendly. They showed us around the centre and gave us a map of the local area - so off we went, exploring along the road, through the nature reserve and down to the beach.
We saw many birds I didn’t recognise but pottering around, soaking up the beautiful scenery and atmosphere, and taking a rest from having been doing so much artwork, was the aim of the visit on this occasion! On the way back, we saw a weasel - I had never seen a wild weasel, which was quite a treat!
When we returned, we had a cup of tea and sat outside for a while, peacefully observing the birds flitting around the centre, with its well-maintained bird-feeders and abundance of pretty local flora.
More information about the birds and wildlife to be posted over the coming months.
Wildlife art workshops, including drawing nature, bird art and other animals.