Phew! What a scorcher! I mean, of course, the weather although these four ladies from Froglife, who’d like to collect your wildlife memories, might get a similar response. In a sea of blokes (yes, like me), in jeans (yes, like me), it’s nice to see some people have made the effort!
Surely Stuart Winter didn’t mean to spend Friday night like that? Like what? you might ask. Ask him…
The perils of buying a holiday at the Bird Fair? Surely not…
Victoria Chester is giving baking tips on the Plantlife stand. Seriously, she is. Victoria is starring in the Great British Bake Off .
Ask also about verge-cutting and why plants are better than birds.
Bird Brain of Britain result: speaking, rather immodestly, as a past winner of the Bird Brain of Britain competition, and its great crested grebe trophy, I take great delight in watching the competition as I know how stressful the whole thing is. Yes, it’s just a bit of fun, but anyone taking part has stuck their neck out a bit. Throwing Christians to the lions was more fun for the lions and the audience than it was for the Christians – even those who survived.
This year the brave four, facing the questions from John Humphrys (who looked very much like Mike Dilger to me (of whom more later)), were Mike Blair of OSME, John Clark of the African Bird Club, Andy Clements of the BTO and Grahame Madge of the Oriental Bird Club.
John Clark won with 19 points with Clements and Madge on 18 points and Blair on 15 – a damn close run thing, but no blood spilled. Many congratulations to all – especially, of course, to John. But as regular readers of this blog may have come to expect, I take a slightly different view of affairs. It may be because of my experience (see Chapter 14 of Fighting for Birds) but I rate the performance on the general knowledge round as the true test of the cultured birder and that would put the order as Clements (10), Madge (8) and Blair and Clark equal third (6).
Everyone is a winner – including a delighted, although rather sweaty, audience – and who won most is a matter of conjecture.
Tracy’s Christmas present: I was doing a book signing on the NHBS stand (yes, it’s going quite well, thank you) and I saw Tracy eyeing up my book – did I mention my book? Fighting for Birds? I wasn’t sure. Well, I thought that Tracy was eyeing it up but maybe I was wrong, and I asked her to flick through my pages, which she did, but then put me down as being too expensive for a poor PhD student like herself. Oh well, can’t win them all, I thought.
But then, this really nice bloke, whose name I do not know but is Tracy’s husband, said to her that he could see she really wanted my book and he’d buy her it for her Christmas present. So there is one copy of Fighting for Birds which has Happy Christmas! written in it so far. Tracy – you have a diamond geezer, there!
And I think this should set a trend. Why isn’t everyone buying their wives, husbands, lovers, friends, relatives Fighting for Birds as a Christmas present – why wait for Christmas – grab it now, while you can (please?)?
Mike Dilger – he is a very nice bloke isn’t he? He was sitting next to me on the Wildsounds stand before he went off to do his excellent job of compering the Bird Brain of Britain competition – and he bought a copy of my book. What a great guy!
If you would like to get a signed copy of my book then this is where to find me at the Bird Fair today:
Marquee 3, Subbuteo, 11-12
Marquee 3, Wildsounds, 12-1
Marquee 2, NHBS, 1-2