I’ve already tracked down or glimpsed 35 of the 50 people on my list for the Bird Fair, namely: Carry Akroyd, Tim Appleton, John Armitage, Nick Baker, Jessie Barry, Keith Betton, Andrew Branson, Mike Clarke, Andy Clements, Mark Cocker, Peter Cooper, Martin Davies, Steve Dudley, Robert Gilmore, Stephanie Hilborne, Ben Hoare, Mike Hodgson, Laura Kammermeier, Marco Lambertini, Rob Lambert, Ceri Levy, David Lindo, Lucy McRobert, Jim Martin, Dominic Mitchell, Stephen Moss, Ian Newton, Debbie Pain, Richard Porter, Matt Shardlow, Chris Wood, Martin Warren, Findlay Wilde, Stuart Winter and Barbara Young. Some of these were glimpsed rather than good views or meaningful conversations – but there are two days to go.
Still to find are: Keith Brockie, Victoria Chester, Alan Davies, Mike Dilger (said to be abroad), Alistair Gammell, Peter Jones, Martin Kelsey, Nigel Massen, Ruth Miller, Charlie Moores, Chris Packham, Simon Papps, Carol Rawlings, Brett Westwood and Peter Wilkinson. But I did meet a lot of people I didn’t know I was going to see – and several people introduced themselves as readers of this blog.
It rained on my way to the Bird Fair and then it rained some more as c70 of us, who had paid in advance, clutched our soggy e-tickets in the rain waiting to get in. That wasn’t very clever really.
And it rained some more, but then the sun came out and it was rather hot – typical Bird Fair weather!
I had two pleasant and long conversations about hen harriers and grouse moors. One with a person who is on the ‘grouse managers’ side of the argument (more or less) and one who is definitely not. I was told that attitudes are changing amongst the grouse shooting community and that they are not. Life’s never simple is it?
And I had a chat with Guest Blogger on this site, Findlay Wilde, who is quite a character.
He told me about the basking shark he has seen and I was envious. I told him that the birds on the cover of the Bird Fair programme are bobolinks and upland sandpipers and I had seen both on my trip to the USA this spring, Findlay asked whether bobolinks would take C-rings and I didn’t have a clue!
I’d like to see basking shark – it’s near the top of my bucket list these days, but I hope Findlay has lots of opportunities to see bobolinks and a whole range of wonderful birds as he grows up. The trouble is that too many of the world’s birds are getting rarer – we’ve got to do a better job of fixing that before we hand over to Findlay and his generation.
I had a chat with Mike Clarke and a whole host of other RSPB former colleagues. There was quite a lot of effort going in to showing the RSPB’s birder face with lots of tee-shirts around the place telling you of @RSPBbirders on Twitter.
My mate Stuart Housden formed a magnificent billboard and I was glad to see the back of him – in the nicest possible way – I mean I was glad to see him proudly wearing his @RSPBbirders tee-shirt.
There seemed to be fewer people than usual at the Bird Fair today. Did the rain put people off? Is it the recession? Are they all coming tomorrow? Am I wrong and it was packed? I expect that we will be told there were record numbers – there always are.
It was great. I enjoyed it. At this rate three days is not long enough.
You don’t have to spend lots of money at the Bird Fair – although if you want to it is very easy. I spent the day talking to old friends and fellow birders – didn’t cost much at all.