Birdfair 2014

As many people know over the weekend,the 26th Birdfair took place at Rutland Water and as I live so close I went with my Dad for all 3 days.

Over the last year I've started blogging and back in January I got Twitter, people have got to know me more, so this Birdfair was going to be the busiest one for me yet. Meeting new and old friends, including people from Norway to Cheshire.

Day 1

Woke up and set off for the Birdfair at 8:00am to get there for 8:45am, and there was a lot of queuing and as soon as I got in I rushed over to the Urban Birder Stand, as David Lindo was launching his National Bird Vote (Click the Link to vote), and I was to help publicise this vote by helping out on David's stand on Sunday. After that headed straight to the BTO stand to see Dave Leech and Mike Toms, but as soon as I walked in I was called from the WWT stand, it was Kane Brides and we talked about his recent trip to Iceland, ringing Auks, Phalaropes and Whooper Swans. After meeting Kane I headed over to the BTO stand, they had a nest challenge to get all 8 nests right, sadly I only got 7 but it was very challenging. Then we headed over to the Optics Marquee to catch up with Ruth Miller and Alan Davies and thier amazing tours this year including a trip to Finland and Norway in June. And I caught up with Tormod Amundsen a Norwegian architect and birder, they come from Varanger which is a county in high Arctic Norway, I recommend checking out his pictures on his website to see Puffin fights, and amazing King and Steller Eiders.

After an amazing first day I only managed to get around 7 stands!!
Your  Country Needs You

Selfie with Harry the Hen Harrier

Best Bird Box ever
King Eider ©Tormod Amundsen

Day 2

After a very busy Friday the Saturday would be less packed, we headed straight to the optics stand to see what we could see and I found a Garganey basking in the sun, also 4 Teal and 4 Curlew along the spit, after that we headed straight to the BTO Ringing Stand to find that yesterday they had caught 52 Blue Tits!! In the afternoon Richard Crossley was doing a talk for NGB and other young birders, as no one else knew where they were going I lead the way and headed to Dunlin hide to find Common Sandpiper, Teal also an Egyptian Goose on the Osprey nest. Then we headed to Shoveler hide and got Pochard, Mallard, Teal and Tufted Ducks in their hundreds. After an amazing tour by Richard, learning new ways of ID'ing eclipse ducks, I went with one NGB member and I got to hold a Death-Head Hawkmoth!!! After that amazing experience I headed to Lecture Marquee 3 for Lucy McRobert's talk about A Focus on Nature and how it's helping budding conservationists to get a head start into wildlife careers, after the brilliant talk, all AFON members were to go to the Opticron stand and have Beer and and get a chance to talk to other AFON members (of course no beer for any youngsters), and I met Georina Locockt, a young wildlife enthusiast from Staffordshire, look at her blog for amazing footage of Foxes, Badgers and Otters!!

It was the end of another amazing day meeting new and old people, so what can Sunday hold for me?
BTO Ringing Stand
Death-Head Hawkmoth

Fin and I under Harry

Day 3

Its the last day, knowing that after today I would have to wait 365 days until the next Birdfair, but still today would be so much fun, I bumped into Findlay Wilde again and went to a Lecture on Dragonflies, Damselflies and Demoiselles with Fin and his Family, it was funny but fascinating about some different species of Dragonflies, Damselflies and Demoiselles, my favourite now has to be a Golden-Banded Dragonfly, after that lecture, my Mum, Poppa and 2 cousins were coming down for a few hours, they ended up with more freebies than I did over all 3 days!!! After that I had to go and volunteer on David Lindo's stand and it was really good fun, not all the people who voted were British, I managed to get Norwegian and American to sign up too. The stand was always packed full with people, after a successful 2 hour stint, I helped out on the LROS stand which is my local Ornithological club, as my dad was doing his part I helped out and talked about good migration Hotspots in Leicestershire so I could try and get Redstart on the County List. Then the day had ran out of time it was all over the Birdfair 2014 had finished.

But what an amazing 3 days meeting people and enjoying (apart from Birthday and Xmas) the best few days of the year. Can't wait for next year, if you didn't manage to make this get it written in highlighters as next will probably be better than this year!!!

Just a small amount of the freebies
Urban Birder Stand

For Tormod Amundsen video of the Birdfair click on this link Biotope Birdfair Highlights