Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Rutland Bird Fair 2014

Yes it was that time of year again when 20,000+ birders and wildlife enthusiasts, along with well known TV naturalists descend on England's smallest county and get together in the name of wildlife and conservation.From 1989 when the Bird Fair raised £3000 til 2014 when £270,000 was raised for Bird Conservation, a total of £3.4 million over the last 25 years.

We arrived in time for a quick browse around some of the many stands before heading for the first lecture we wanted to watch.
Mark Avery & Tristan Reid(The Inked Naturalist), two great conservationists talking about Martha the last Passenger Pigeon and the extinction of the species from billions to nothing in just 60 odd years.

I then had the opportunity to watch Simon King talk about Wild Meadows and then to speak to him about our first trip to Shetland earlier this year.

There were plenty of competitions and prize draws from the numerous exhibitors, none of which we have won yet lol but did get plenty of information on all the places that would be amazing to go watch wildlife in but will never afford:(
We stayed for the evening lecture as it would be the first time we have seen Chris Packham's talk.A brilliant 2 hours about the persecution of our Birds Of Prey and then a bit about photography.
 Afterwards I managed to get him to sign his new book.We also got to his talk the next day(just, as it was the most packed I have ever seen any lecture there), about the Malta Massacre.A very emotional talk about the constant fight with hunters about the illegal shooting of birds, some of which were destined for our shores to breed.This prompted me to go join BirdLife Malta straight away.
To join check their website at
Bill Oddie came on to chair the Bird Brain Of Britain quiz along with Tim Appleton.
Praying that someone gets one question right;)

Another walk around the marquees presented me with the chance meeting with another tv naturalist, Iolo Williams.
Chatted to the Hawk & Owl Trust, about Hen Harrier Day and our stunning birds of prey and finally joined them too, long overdue though.
One of the books I have been after for a while to help me improve my identification of moths was of course the Macro Moth Guide and so I thought the best person to buy it off would be the illustrator himself, the multi-talented Richard Lewington.His new project being illustrating 250 species of Bee, wow.
Another birding quiz, this time the Wild Bird Brain Of Britain pitted Stephen Moss, Mike Dilger, Dominic Couzens and David Lindo against each other.
Mike Dilger & Stephen Moss(eventual winner)
 David Lindo, The Urban Birder wishing he hadn't picked Gulls(not girls David);) of the World as his specialist subject.
A look in the Art Marquee showed some astonishing artwork but unfortunately you cannot take photos in there so really shouldn't have mentioned them;)
At the Swarovski stand I bumped into one of my favourite people, Jonathan Scott of Big Cat Diary fame.he is such a great guy to chat to as we found last year and he even remembered us:) talked about the conflicts in Africa and Ireland(as he went to Belfast Uni) as well as his Grandson and showing us his photos of him and other things.Then he got another guy to get a photo of us all.
The last lecture we got too was actually by the same person as the first one we went too, Tristan Reid , The Inked Naturalist about Turkey's bird habitat destruction.
With Tristan,

So that was unfortunately the end of Bird Fair for another year, already missing being able to talk with like minded people about wildlife and conservation.
Roll on the Spurn Migration Festival in a few weeks time.:)

Thanks for reading and hope to meet some of you at the next Bird Fair:)

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