The Bird Fair – some pictures with me in them

The world’s most-loved Hen Harrier gets all the glamour gigs but I enjoyed the Bird Fair too – I’ll give you some thoughts tomorrow. But here are some images with just a few words.

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I see that Simon Lester has his own version of the Q&A at the Bird Fair out on the GWCT website. Good for him, although it’s still a pity that the Moorland Association and GWCT were not able to find a speaker from their ranks of owners to face a friendly 500-strong Bird Fair audience.  Interesting that Simon writes in his blog, something he didn’t say from the stage, that he sees licensed control of raptors as part of the way forward.  No Simon, that’s the way backwards for shooting.

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I didn’t get into this photo but Chris Packham just did!  I didn’t see much of Chris at the Bird Fair at all but he was spreading the word everywhere he went. He is a fantastic advocate for kindness to animals. And so passionate with it. We are planning some jolly japes for the next few weeks – watch this space.

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Here’s Mary Colwell, author, radio producer and generally talented person who walked for Curlews this spring.  I had a quick chat with her and I would have liked a longer one – the Bird Fair is like that, you see lots of really nice people but only for a really short period of time.

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Talking of nice people… Some nice people bought some of my books.  The updated paperback edition of Inglorious was the most popular but I signed hardbacks, copies of A Message from Martha, Behind the Binoculars and Fighting for Birds too – oh yes, and the first copies of Remarkable Birds.

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But all good things come to an end – even if the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting keeps on climbing. It passed 117,000 signatures today.  We’ll all be back at the Bird Fair next year – I wouldn’t want to miss it. I wonder what the next 12 months will bring – the last year has been a blast!

Collected thoughts on the Bird Fair some time tomorrow.

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4 Replies to “The Bird Fair – some pictures with me in them”

  1. Today's word: gurt - Sussex is the day's big hitter with the Brighton and Hove area adding 47 signatures; Brighton, Pavilion (23), Brighton, Kemptown (12), Hove (12)

    The day ended on: 117,595

    Today's signatures: 660

    The week so far
    20th: 679
    21st: 465
    22nd: 658
    23rd: 312
    24th: 660
    Total for the week so far: 2774
    Daily average: 554.8
    Constituency average (end 24th): 180.9

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  2. Amazing how the numbers of Red Grouse in 2014 seemed to slip out of Simon Lester's mind come question time! I remember him saying there was not enough Red Grouse to shoot in the 8 years he managed the moor after coming into the job with no experience of ever managing a Red Grouse moor! May be if he had the same contract as most Red Grouse keepers he may have shot more than once as he would have lost his job, his house, his vehicle and may be even his wife with nothing to offer. The estimate for 2014 was around 23,000 Red Grouse. 'No, we will keep these so we will have more to shoot in 2015' was his reply. But most keepers would know they can not control the weather and the rain did for most of these birds as the territories were too small causing stress and loss of condition. Sadly those on the bench never challenged this 'No shooting' point! Now who was sitting up there!

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  3. Appalling that he is hoping for licensed control of raptors - for what, the belief that it will mean there are more birds to shoot for fun? Not for conservation purposes (although they'll try to sell that), not for impact on a legitimate economic activity (sorry using birds as a glorified clay pigeon is not a sensible use of land, time, money or effort), and not for public safety - sea eagles don't snatch babies out of prams so don't think hen harriers ever will. Mind you people are expected to put up with a greater risk of having a serious/fatal road accident with a red deer because the estates want it to be as easy as possible for their clients to get a set of antlers on their wall so it shouldn't comes a surprise they think this way. They just don't value real life.

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  4. I wrote a response to Simon Lester on the GWCT website, detailing why I believe, in a Peak District context, his opinions seem so completely out of touch with the situation on the ground. Seeing as representatives from GWCT generally seem keen to avoid debate, or any contrary facts, I have doubts my comment will be published but we will see.

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