The Natural Eye, Art Book One

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To read reviews and learn more about this beautiful book published by Red Hare Publishing to raise funds for the SWLA Bursary Scheme and other projects please click here. To order a copy or copies of the book click here

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Chris Rose Exhibition

Chris Rose is holding a one-man exhibition of recent paintings at the Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham, Suffolk from 23rd June – 6th July. Work on show will include recent paintings from the seashore along with some sketches and some Antarctic paintings.

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Deadline for donations to Birdlife Malta campaign

Last month, during Malta’s controversial spring hunting season for Turtle Dove and Quail (the only one in Europe), more than 2,000 people helped Birdlife Malta raise nearly €70,000 to pay for a public information campaign in Malta that will ensure that enough Maltese people vote in a national referendum to stop spring hunting. This will save countless migrating birds, many of them rare and protected, that breed in your countries (or would if they weren’t killed in Malta).

They still need €30,000 to reach the €100,000 total estimated cost of the campaign.

The vast majority of donations have come from the UK (and US!), but many many other European countries have a personal interest in seeing Malta protect migrating birds.

Please donate anything you can to the campaign fund here: http://igg.me/at/stopspringhunting/x/6316451

PS . see posts by Kim Atkinson and Chris Rose below for more info.

Birdlife Malta Springwatch Camp – April 2012

In spring 2012 SWLA member Kim Atkinson took part in the Birdlife Malta Springwatch Camp. Images from the harrowing trip are accompanied here by extracts from her notebook.
See Chris Rose’s post below with links to Chris Packham’s campaign to stop the carnage.

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The sounds of a Quail shoot, Malta     

A lot of shooting from close by. A number of men on the slope opposite which is rocky, and has a number of square ‘hides’ as well as drystone terraces, and piled stones which are stands for bird-traps.
One of the hunters is in a tiny walled enclosure, half a mile away below us. It’s the guy with glasses, combats and baseball cap, a liver and white specckled dog, red 4 track saw him yesterday at the Turtle Dove shoot at Gudja.
He goes off with the dog, casting around for a Quail he shot.
In the drawing, the strong graphite marks represent shots , the sequences of little circles are Quail calls, but these could be from taped decoys. It’s a drawing of the terrain dominated by sound. I did it when it wasn’t my turn to note down gunshot :our job was to enumerate all shots heard as well as other detail , and the data used to match up the hunters’ claimed bag for the duraton of the open season with their actual shooting rate, target species and so on. We also called the police in when there were transgressions. One such was a lad who was filmed by one of the volunteers shooting at a Golden Oriole. Even though he admitted to being the subject of the film, in which the Golden Oriole could clearly be seen to be shot at (this one got away), still he denied he ever shot at illegal species, and the police gave him his gun back and he strolled back along the track.
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Turtle Dove migration , Malta. Counting the shots.     

Even among fields and smallholdings , drystone walled red earth fields and stubbles of red sanfoin and golden daisies, just outside the sizeable town of Gudja, even in such a busy place, the shooting was unfettered and terrible. I got caught right in the middle of it and sank to the base of a wall,marking down on a drawing I had been doing all the shots in that short period. Turtle Doves flew and dodged, never strong fliers, over the Carob trees in a blue sky. Folded and fell onto deep red new plough.There were over 100 shots in half an hour. Hunters passed me and knowing the animosity towards Birdlife and the volunteers I dreaded being asked what I had been doing in the sketchbook. No wonder the organisers were never keen on volunteers wandering at large outside the group ‘watches’. I regretted, in that moment,having wanted to be left to my own devices for half a day, to try to come to terms with the place outside the tight structure of the Camp.
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Decoys. Malta     

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Turtle Dove migration, Malta.     

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Blue Rock Thrush, and a caged Golden Plover decoy. Malta     

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Pyramidal Orchids and decoys. Malta     

 

Malta Massacre on Migration

Chris Packham is soon to post a nightly ‘as live’ You Tube diary covering the appalling, Spring slaughter of migrant birds that happens on Malta every year. The aim is to raise awareness of this massacre of migrant birds as they pass through Malta from Africa to reach their breeding grounds in Europe each Spring. Thousands of birds die every year but it is still legallised on Malta despite an EU Birds Directive that it is illegal. Small birds are often lured to bushes using previously trapped, live birds that are tethered to a branch using sticky lime; their calls attract the migrants which are then similarly caught on limed branches or just shot out of the air. The SWLA supports Chris Packham’s attempt to bring this tragedy to wider public attention and we encourage you to look at Chris Packham’s video diaries later this month and to follow the story through this link; http://tinyurl.com/q5f2rtk

With enough support we might be able to shame the Maltese government into putting a stop to this dreadful, annual massacre.

MALTA MASSACRE ON MIGRATION – CHRIS PACKHAM
www.chrispackham.co.uk
Chris Packham is on a mission to raise awareness about the mass slaughter of migrant birds on Malta. He and 3 colleagues with the support of Birdlife Malta are making video diaries between YouTube 21 – 26 April.

Over Gallery “Moments from Beneath the Sky” exhibition

Saturday 15th March 11am to 3pm at the Over Gallery

Lapwings by Matt Underwood

Moments from Beneath the Sky
Spindle Hedge by Matt Underwood
Saturday 15th March
Wine, soft drinks and snacks 11am to 3pm
Matt’s work reveals his intimate observation of the natural world. As a beekeeper and keen naturalist Matt has an eye for detail yet this is expressed in free and confident composition and colour. New oil paintings and other oils and woodblock prints are on show.

Capturing moments from beneath the sky, be it the joy of fresh flowers, an adder basking in the spring sunshine or redwings about to take flight from a berry laden hedgerow; Matt’s paintings are visual poems on nature.

The exhibition continues until
Thursday 17th April.

Little Gems 15-22 February, Mall Galleries, London

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Oaks and Ivy      Carry Akroyd

Little Gems will bring together images from across the British Isles, featuring pockets of our glorious country. From landscapes to secluded scenes, Members of the Federation of British Artists will explore the gems of our land through print, pastel and paint.

The pictures will be small, emphasising the feeling of discovery, providing ‘picture postcard’ works that are accessible in price and easy to carry home.
All works are for sale and a selection are available to browse and buy online at Mall Galleries.
Exhibition open 15-22 February, 10am to 5pm
Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1   Admission Free
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Ringed Plover      Michael Warren