North West Birdwatching Fair

Martin Mere
Martin Mere

It was better than fair – it was good.

I spoke to lots of nice people, and the very nicest ones bought copies of A Message from Martha too!

That included the very nice Mike Dilger.  He was speaking at Martin Mere before my talk on Saturday and you couldn’t ask for a better warm-up act!

The Wilde family were present and I bought some Christmas cards off them.  Good luck Findlay at the RSPCA Animal Hero awards do in London tomorrow evening. Nice suit!

I enjoyed meeting Tom Clare who is the warden at Martin Mere. Nice guy.

There were at least a dozen of the ‘#Sodden570’ in the sell-out audience for my talk (the tickets were free!) and we talked about Passenger Pigeons and grouse moors and Hen Harriers.

Wildsounds let me help them sell a few of my books and we sold about 15, which seemed pretty good to me.

I met a talented photographer who has taken some marvellous Hen Harrier images – his name is Phil Boardman and here is his Flickr photostream.

I had lots of talks in the margins about ‘what next?’ for Hen Harrier Day and it is clear that there are plenty of people out there who are impatient for some progress on this issue. The people who talk to me are a bit impatient with the RSPB but have totally lost patience with the shooting community and have nothing good to say about the lack of progress by government to address wildlife crime in the past four and a half years.

I saw some birds too. There was a very nice Ruff right in front of the hide I visited and Whooper Swans in the foreground and skeins of Pinkfeet in the distance. As I left at c5pm, I stood in the car park listening to swans and geese flying in to roost.

There was a distant Marsh Harrier but, in a way, the bird that gave most pleasure was the one I heard call as I was walking through the collection.  ‘Hang on!’ I said to myself, ‘What was that? I think it was a Tree Sparrow’. And it was. I see these birds so rarely these days that it was a thrill to see some, and a thrill to recognise them by call.  I don’t get out much.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott



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