Sunday, 18 August 2013

Rutland Bird Fair 2013 - People (not bird) Watching!

The Friday and Saturday just gone was my second time visiting Rutland Bird Fair. It was a great experience and this year it was more about the people I met and what they are doing. In fact, the only birds I saw at the fair we're 2 Little Egrets through one of the test scopes.

I am going to introduce you to all the people I met.

The amazing BTO Team

Andy Clements - The head of the BTO, not just a really intelligent good birder, but a really nice man to meet, so thank you Andy for all you kind words
Kelvin Jones - Another really kind and intelligent member of the BTO. Hopefully he will take me out to ring a Chough or two next year.
Ieuan Evans - He once again a very nice member of the BTO, he is the one that gave me the BTO shirt in the picture below, but don't tell anyone!
Carl Barrimore - The last but certainly not least nice member of the BTO that I spent time with does a lot of nest recording, so we are going to keep in touch so we can find someone for me to do a bit of nest recording with in Cheshire.

I did speak to other members of the BTO team who were all brilliant and really happy to spend time with me, which was great.

Mark Avery - The man of humour, intelligence and well he sure is quite something! We met several times at bird fair, but we had an official talk at two o'clock on Saturday which went really well. He then had to go off and do some filming.

Moth Man Mike Shurmer - It was great to meet Mike Shurmer because he was really nice and gave me loads of tips for moth trapping. We also swapped stories on the recent moths we have been catching.

It was brilliant to meet up with lots of people I have got to know through blogging, including Keith, Trevor, Andrew, Sharon, Gary and Phil. It was also great to finally get to meet Richard Peglar and talk to him about his owls.

Hugh Brazier - Apparently my biggest fan, and he used to go to school with Mark Avery, he was lovely to meet and had lots of good information to share. 

Gadget Man Jason Alexander - Jason was really nice to meet because he gave me loads of tips and when I say loads I mean loads of tips for filming wildlife so a big thank you. He might be one of the people who helps me get Live From the Hide up and running. Jason is on the left behind me. The other person it Keith.

Lucy McRoberts from A Focus On Nature. Again it was really nice to meet she was really jolly and a bit jealous when she saw me with a BTO top on. She was very busy at the show and knew everyone.

Stephen Moss - Lucy introduced me to Stephen. A great person to meet because I finally found out who wrote one of my favorite nature books - The Bumper Book of Nature.

Julian (RSPB Conwy Manager) - Julian was great to meet at the fair, but I have met him lots of times at RSPB Conwy too. We also found out that his dog was called Jura and was the same breed as our dog - a Hungarian Vizsla. He must drink whisky.

Kane Brides - It was great to meet him again, he even gave me one of the WWT shirts (maybe because I was wearing my BTO one by then). Kane gets to travel all over the place with WWT and has been involved in some amazing projects like tagging the rare Red Breasted Geese.

Kate MacRae - Kate does loads of wildlife filming from home and has been on Springwatch a few times. She gave me loads of great ideas for the garden including building a wildlife pond using and old tyre. Dad is going to get an old used tyre from the garage, but I am hoping our farmer has an old tractor tyre we can use.

Tristan Reid - His talk on Turkey (the country not the bird) at the bird fair was so interesting to watch and he was also great to meet in person. I hope his walk raises lots of awareness about what is happening in Turkey with the water companies ruining the habitats.

Ken & Kathy from Nature Bites on Angelsey - They were great to meet because they always have news to share. I bumped into them earlier this year at Cemlyn Bay in Wales. Ken  knows everything there is to know about birding on Anglesey.

Alan & Ruth (the Biggest Twitch) - Again great to meet because they do a lot of bird watching in Wales just like me. They told a really funny birdwatching story about a penguin someone had seen on a beach in North Wales. The man reported seeing the penguin on the beach to the RSPB. He then rang them back to say they were too late as it had flown away! I told Mark Avery this story.

Simon King - I gave him one of my blog addresses, so I hope he has had a look.

Nick Baker - He remembered me from Springwatch Unsprung which was great.

Me and Harley even managed to get filmed for a promotion video that was being made. The camera man was the same dude that was at Springwatch Unsprung. We had to write one word about what the bird fair meant to us.

A big well done to the bird fair for letting us kids get in for FREE

It wasn't just the bird fair where I met some very interesting people. When we got to our hotel I got talking to Dr Nigel Clark who is the Science Business Lead for the BTO. He does a lot of ringing on The Wash and he said I can join him for a session which will be amazing as I haven't really worked with waders yet.

Dr Rob Sheldon from the RSPB (Head of International Species Recovery Team) was also at the hotel and had lots of great information to share and interested in my blog and ringing.

Overall Bird fair has been BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully we can do all 3 days next year.

If you have never been to the bird fair, but are interested in birds, bugs and all things to so with conservation, you really should try and go next year.


  1. Wow! a lot off social networking going on there Findlay? I'm glad to see that you enjoyed your two days at Birdfair.
    It was good to meet up with you, your mum and dad and Harley once again...[;o)

  2. What a fantastic two days you had. I'm sure in a few years you'll be there giving talks and demonstrations yourself. I'll get your autograph now, while you're not so busy.
    Really good that all those people took the time to talk to you, and pass on some knowledge.
    Good to see you managed some freebies too. :-)

  3. HI Findlay...You have really had a big life chance in you love for birds in the past year haven't you!!
    I am so happy for your opportunities you have had,for such a young man, like Keith said; I have know doubt you will be giving talks and demonstrations in the future!!

    It seems you made contact with some great people at the bird fair Brilliant!!!!!! ; ))


  4. You will, i'm sure , go a long way in the bird world Findlay. You are a credit to your parents.


  5. looks like you had a wealth of information on hand and great folks to share it! keith has such a kind face!

  6. Sounds like you had a brill weekend! It was lovely to meet you and the rest of the family. I'm so looking forward to 'Live from the hide'!

    Keep up the good work!!!

    Wildlife Gadgetman

  7. Ditto what Jason has said, looks like you had a great time and met some fantastic people, I like the choice of words Harley and you wrote down, two words i think some of us adults forget from time to time, including myself.

  8. Wow you have been busy! I really must go one of these years

    Really looking forward to Live from the hide - any sneak previews?



  9. Hi Findlay. It was great to see you, and all the family, at long last. It sounds as if you had a wonderful time at Birdfair, with all those special people that you met. I'm surprised you managed to fit it all in in just two days! No wonder you want to try and make it three days next year!

    My best wishes to you and all the family. - Richard Pegler (with an 'e' towards the end!).

  10. Hi Findlay, was great to see you, mum, dad and Harley at Birdfair. You had a really busy couple of days, and managed to blag some great T shirts!! we caught up with Kane as well.
    Many have said it already you are going places my friend, and put me down for the autograph now before we have to pay for them.
    Sharon and I are looking forward to seeing you guys soon, and a guided tour of Frodsham marsh, take care

  11. Hi Findlay.

    It was great to meet you and the family at last, and it seems you had a very enjoyable Bird Fair! Working for the RSPB I have spent the last ten years being referred to as the 'bird man', so I quite like being called a 'moth man' for a change ;-)

    As I said on Saturday. Keep going, meet people, get involved and learn as many skills as you can. It is competitive to get your first job in conservation, and gaining experience now as you are doing will stand you in very good stead.

    Best wishes

    Mike (Shurmer)