The dust has now settled on this year’s Birdfair 2018, and it was a privilege and a pleasure to be part of the 30-year commemoration of the fantastic fundraising for bird conservation that the Birdfair has achieved in that time.
And what a Birdfair it was for Wader Quest too. We had three very exciting new features to launch.
The long awaited Wader Quest Collectable pin badges were unveiled. They were the Black-fronted Dotterel from Australia and the Eurasian Curlew, which is much in the news these days for all the wrong reasons with its calamitous declines across the British Isles. We certainly underestimated the demand and after the first day we had to return home for more supplies of each. We hope that before the end of the year we will have another two to announce. Watch this space.
The second item to be launched was the new Wader Quest Publishing book; An Inspiration of Waders. We didn’t have much opportunity to promote it before the event as we weren’t sure it’d be printed in time, so we were very happy with the sales made over the weekend. We hope that the different angle that we have viewed our relationship with waders will be of interest and, of course, we want everyone to adopt the collective noun ‘an inspiration of waders’ for the wader flocks we are privileged to witness on our shores.
Last, but certainly not least, was the launch of our new website waderquest.net which has attracted much praise. It is the work of Trustee Allan Archer who has spent much time and effort making it look so good. We are greatly indebted to him as it would never have happened had he not stepped in and volunteered his time to create it for us. We hope over time this will become the go-to site for all things concerned with waders and their conservation. We welcome contributions from anyone who has photos or information they would like to share to help us make the site even bigger and better than it already is.
We were a little concerned that the talk we were to give was on the Friday morning, wrongly supposing that few would take time out of their first morning to come and listen to us. We need not have been concerned; it was a full house with standing room only at the back. This year’s talk was New Moon on the Wane – The Curse of the Curlews. As usual it was not a straightforward discourse about the woes of the curlews around the world; we always try to add a little entertainment to our talks where possible when speaking on the serious subject of conservation. One comment overheard as the audience was leaving s was “Well! That wasn’t what I expecting… but it was good wasn’t it?” And that is what we hope to achieve a well-received surprise.
As always it was fantastic to catch up with old friends and make new ones. We were thrilled by the number of Friends of Wader Quest and Sponsors that we were able to talk to making the personal connection that we hold so dear as an organisation.
We also thank our wonderful volunteers who came to help out on the stand and give Elis and Rick a break (whether they wanted it or not). They were Allan Archer, Oliver Simms and Dan Rouse. We were also touched by those who came to the stand to offer their help, and we hope that we will be able to make the most of these fantastic people’s good will in the not too distant future.
It was also a good weekend for us financially. We raised a record breaking sum in support of Wader Quest and also for our conservation fund. To everyone that came to the stand to volunteer, join us or make a purchase, we thank you for your support and hope to see you all again next year.
As always, the Falsterbo Bird Show followed on swiftly from the British Birdfair. Rick and Elis attended with the Wader Quest stand and were delighted to be able to give a talk. As usual all expenses were met by the couple so that Wader Quest could maximise the benefit of any funds accrued. The bird show allows Wader Quest a free stand as long as a talk is given during the programme, which of course Rick and Elis are always keen to do. Accommodation in Sweden is courtesy of Anna and Eva, together known as ‘The Two Lovely Ladies’, who introduced Wader Quest to the Falsterbo show after hearing a talk given at the Birdfair in 2013, and who look after Rick and Elis very well.
Falsterbo Bird Show
The journey over went surprisingly well, to the extent that by leaving just one hour earlier than planned we actually arrived a whole day earlier; which caused Anna a little bit of a panic when we texted her from under the River Elbe. It’s a long story which will be covered more fully in the next newsletter.
The show itself went very well with good takings being achieved. Once again though, Lars Jonsson was not at the event which meant that we were not able to invest the Swedish Kroners earned, converting them into posters which could be sold in pounds sterling upon our return.
The talk, New Moon on the Wane – The Curse of the Curlews was well received and reasonably well attended despite having the disadvantage of being in English. By far the most popular item on the merchandising side were the Jabebo earrings. We have been taking those since we started visiting the event and, as we are the only outlet that we are aware of in Sweden, people who come across others wearing them hone in on the Bird Show as their chance to get a set for themselves. Many times during the weekend a happy customer would bring a friend or relative to look at, and often buy, a set as well.
Books sold well too, although this year the Collins Guide was not so popular, I suppose they all have one by now and there is a version in Swedish too. We sold 12 last year and this year just one. Our own book An Inspiration of Waders was popular as was Waders of Europe by Lars Gejl, which many wader enthusiasts in Sweden seem not to have come across before.
We presented a copy of Eury the Spoon-billed Sandpiper to the Bird Show tombola and it was won by a young girl called Elin Björnsson. She was delighted with her prize and her parents brought her to say hello and to get the book signed by us.
All too soon the weekend passed and we returned home via a short diversion to visit the forests of eastern Poland. The return journey through Germany was considerably more stressful with two autobahn closures each one delaying us by an hour and the car playing up causing us to lose a further half an hour which resulted in us missing our return ferry. Despite all that we returned home just two hours behind schedule rather tired but well satisfied with the weekend’s events.
Tack så mycket to everyone who made our trip both enjoyable and successful.
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