Earlier in the year I was contacted by the RSPB, asking if I’d like to appear in an advert promoting the Big Garden Birdwatch. A yearly back garden bird count, collecting citizen science data to help protect our garden birds. It takes place at the end of January every year, this year it’s 26th – 28th.
Being photographed or filmed is definitely not something I am comfortable with, so I hesitated at first. But what an opportunity and adventure it would be? In recent years I’ve tried to say yes to more ‘scary’ things, things that put me out of my comfort zone, they always end up being rewarding. I quickly replied ‘yes’ before I chickened out.
We’ve been RSPB members for a long time, and participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch every year. I spent several years volunteering at our local reserve RSPB St Aidans, and we spend a lot of our time at our local reserves, my paintings often inspired by what we see on our visits.
Print inspired by the Top 10 birds in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2018
So back in October I boarded a train bound for Bristol, with a tummy full of nerves, and my bag packed with my watercolour kit. I spent a few hours in a beautiful house (being used as a set) in Bristol with Omni Productions (a Bristol based production company)
Unfortunately I didn’t take a single photograph! I was so nervous I forgot. The film crew and team were lovely and made me feel at ease. It was a fascinating insight into a world I know nothing about. From setting up the shots, lighting, hair and make up. So much work goes in to capturing a few seconds of film. I was filmed painting my watercolour birds in a little sun room at the back of the house, and nervously gave a little interview about how I participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch. It was lovely to meet Dan James from the advertising agency Cherry Tiger, Dan had come up with the idea of using ordinary people in the advert. People who engage in creative ways, from knitters, urban birders, children making bird feeders, and myself as a painter. The advert was aired on TV on Boxing Day and then onto Youtube and social media. You can see it here.
How will you Big Garden Birdwatch? Sign-up today to request a FREE postal pack, or take part online. I’m also featured in the postal pack, as well as your bird counting id chart it gives you other ways of creatively joining in.
Big Garden Birdwatch
I’ll be joining in the count and also sketching the birds in my garden. You can join me in a Big Garden Birdwatch sketchalong between the 26th-28th January by sketching your garden birds and uploading them to social media with the tag #BGBWsketchalong. You can find me on Instagram at @raspberrythief and Twitter @anghenn, drop me a message and let me know if you’ve signed up and fancy sketching. I’ll be posting tips and more information in the coming weeks.
Join me for a Big Garden Birdwatch Sketchalong 26-th-28th Jan.