I’ll be at the North West Birdwatching Festival on Saturday


I’ve never been to the North West Birdwatching Festival before and I’m looking forward to it. I’m giving a talk in the middle of the day which will start with Passenger Pigeons and end with Hen Harriers.

But I am also looking forward to seeing a few birds – there will be birds won’t there?

And I am sure to see a few friends too – I am expecting to see Findlay Wilde and family and maybe, if they have arrived, to buy some Christmas cards from him (see below).

I meant to wear my Birders Against Wildlife Crime badge (as pictured above) to the NERF meeting last Sunday, but I forgot. Will I remember this time around? I’ll tell you what – if you buy a copy of A Message from Martha and get me to sign it on Saturday, if I haven’t got the BAWC badge with me then I’ll give you 50p back!

harry card 2c


4 Replies to “I’ll be at the North West Birdwatching Festival on Saturday”

  1. Dear Mark,
    I particularly liked your entry for 14 Nov “We’re all farmers now”

    I grew up in the 1940s and 50s on my parents’ 160 acre farm in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
    We grew a good mixture of cereal crops, peas and beans, plus fodder crops such as kale and mangold worzels.
    We kept a TT attested herd of Ayrshires and Aberdeen Angus bullocks.
    The sheep flock was mainly Cheviots.
    We also raised pigs and all four species of poultry.
    Into the 50s we had four or five Shire draught horses.

    Barn Owls, Tawny Owls and Little Owls nested on our farm and Kestrel nearby.
    We hardly ever saw Sparrow Hawk as this was the intense pesticide era.

    Several pairs of Swallow nested in the outbuldings, plus Spotted Flycatcher.
    In the fields, we had several pairs of Grey Partridge plus single pairs of Lapwing,
    Snipe and Corn Bunting and several pairs of Skylark and Yellowhammer.
    Quail and Corncrake occurred occasionally. Kingfisher appeared regularly along the “drains” (cuttings), where Greenshank and Green Sandpiper occurred annually on passage.
    As a schoolboy and student I regularly did what would now be called inventaries of all nesting birds and sightings of other species.

    Small to medium-scale farming of this period was of a totally different era before agriculture was forced into become an”industry”.

    More power to your elbow in continuing the good fight on behalf of the Sky Dancers
    and against the “sporting” fraternity.

    John Beal

    PS Have you noticed that approximately the same number of people regularly dislike your entries? Presumably a concerted effort.

  2. Two weekends on the trot in the north Mark! you’ll be sounding like us soon.
    Me I’m off in the other direction, well sort of to Mid Wales on Saturday until Monday pm.

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