Monday, 18 August 2014

Birdfair 2014

So there I was at 9am wandering through Marquee 5 when a tall Scotsman impeccably branded in PWC t-shirt gave an enthusiastic (half-hearted) wave. Hellos quickly done to Ryan and also to Charlotte, Arno and the team on the Marchwood Stand and I was at the Birdfair. Admittedly slightly hidden in one corner but that didn't stop us.

One of the things about helping out with Patchwork Challenge is that whenever my motivation wains there is something to pick me up and re-enthuse me. Today started with stories of new breeding species for Northumberland and self-found Stilt Sandpiper by Iain Robson who patches Druridge Pools, Birdtracking from Andy Bunting and Zac Hinchcliffe to how Patchwork Challenge is the right sort of thing from Nick Moran at the other end of the day. In between there were plenty of other stories and new faces and even a drop of uisge beatha from David Wood.

We were selling badges and using this as an excuse to doorstep all and sundry round the fair and managed to raise £40 towards the BTO House Martin tracking project which is looking to find out where these charismatic little birds winter. 

Undoubted stars of the whole show were the Next Gen Birders who were omnipresent and dismissed the notion that birding is an ageing pastime. These guys also were the most ready to dig deep for the BTO and we should be proud that these people want to take up the mantle as part of our hobby and part of Patchwork Challenge. I heard about Espen's Bluethroat and Matt's near miss with a Sab's Gull as well as Josie bemoaning the lack of...well anything since the spring. It was great to meet you all. One of the rarest sights of the whole fair was Bardsey's own version of the castaway 2000 star Ben Fogle reincarnate as Ben Porter. Let's just hope Ben doesn't take to rowing the Atlantic in the buff with Andrew Kinghorn.

It was great to see everybody there and we hope that you got as much from it as we did. We were able to spread the word on the forthcoming new website/database/app combo which we hope will make PWC2015 a slicker and better experience. Also we still have over 100 badges left so if you want one get in touch. The suggested donation is £1. 

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