Tag Archives: London

A Bittern in Bethnal Green

A talented London street artist, ATM, is showing his support for some of the UK’s vanishing wildlife in a direct but novel way. His wonderful paintings of birds are appearing in some seemingly unlikely locations in London. This video by About Wonnish Films shows him painting a bittern – now a very rare marshland bird – in an alleyway in Bethnal Green. The urban jungle may have taken over here, but close by on the Hackney Marshes bitterns would have been found in the past.

I really enjoyed the film showing the painting process and the painting itself is amazing. I first read about ATM’s urban bird paintings in a Guardian article today.

You can see some photographs of the rare and secretive bittern on the RSPB’s website and hear a recording of its very unusual booming call too. The RSPB has done some sterling work in seeking to revive the bittern’s fortunes in the UK by careful management of the bird’s reedbed habitat on some of their reserves but the bittern remains one of the UK’s most endangered birds.

I certainly applaud ATM’s creative way of bringing our UK endangered birds to the attention of a new urban audience.

J Peggy Taylor