17th August 2013 - Birdfair

Birdfair, oh Birdfair, oh Birdfair. For 3 years I’ve been trying to get there and something has always cropped up and this year looked as though it may be going the same way. However, on the Friday morning, it turned out my weekend was indeed free and I booked an amazing B&B and we headed up to Rutland on the Saturday morning. First good thing – Rutland is nowhere near as long a drive as we’d somehow got into our heads it was! For some reason we were thinking it was somewhere along the 4 hours lines, but it turns out it’s only around 2 hours. Score. I’d bought and printed off our tickets the day before so it was quick and easy to get in but unfortunately we’d left a little late, so we missed the first event on our list. It turned out that we only saw one event on our list in the end, so we’ll have to work on that next year. There were a lot more exhibitors and therefore marquees than expected, which was excellent. I definitely could have spent another day wandering around the site.

I enjoyed the multitude of second hand books stalls, if we’d had the money we could have put together an entire library of Collins New Naturalist books (and believe me, we were tempted despite the lack of funds!). We had great fun completing a survey for the PhD research of a lovely Australian lady (not sure if I’m allowed to name her!) and I got a little Koala. I really really want to go bird watching on the Gold Coast in Australia now, and have a trip in the works. She’s very good at selling the area!

My haul from Birdfair

I had realised there were Ospreys at Rutland, but not to quite what extent. A charming gentleman in the Ospreys tent told us all about them and exactly where to go and see them. More on that in another post! I got a Rutland Ospreys bag and two Osprey badges. Very happy. More money was spent when I came across the WWT stand and just had to sponsor a Spoon-billed Sandpiper (see below for my fluffy one, he’s called Philip) and then on the next stand it didn’t take much to persuade me to subscribe to British Birds magazine. I had been planning on subscribing at some point in the near future anyway, but the offer of a copy of Bird Sense and Birds & People was more than enough to sway me for going for it then!

Birdfair nails!
The event we did get to was Bird Brain, hosted by Bill Oddie. It was great fun, although the questions were unbelievably difficult. Dominic Couzens, who I have mentioned before, was partaking in the Celebrity Wild Brain the following day and kept his title from the previous year – well done!
It was then off to battle with the traffic leaving and head to see the Ospreys…

Things for next year:

Make it to more events
Spend two days there
Leave the credit card at home!
Philip the Spoon-billed Sandpiper


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