It is amazing how fast the three days at Bird Fair whizz by. One minute you are tacking posters up and arranging the goods the next you are packing up the boxes again and on the way home. Months of looking forward to the event pass in one exhausting whirlwind.
As usual thanks are due to the tremendous staff and volunteers who run the event, especially on the Friday when it rained and so many people needed help when they got stuck in the mud (including us briefly).
This year we were joined by our friends Penny Insole and Andrew Whitelee.
The new pin badges (Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Cream-coloured Courser and Grey Plover) were certainly the biggest attraction for visitors to the stand, both those that had come especially to buy them and those that had come across them for the first time. We have received some lovely compliments about them over the weekend, which makes all the effort in the design stage so worthwhile.
We also launched wo new earrings in the Wader Quest collectable line Eurasian Curlew and Spoon-billed Sandpiper, based on the pin badge designs.
There was a certain amount of confusion when a handful of non Wader Quest badges appeared for sale on the stand courtesy of Astrid Kant our friend from the Netherlands who also brought wooly hats she had knitted to sell in order to raise funds for the Black-tailed Godwit work she carries out. These pins were out on the internet that evening (mistakenly saying they were ours with our business card attached to them) and the clamour for the few we had was amazing. We swiftly sold out of those with many breathless disappointed collectors coming and going away empty handed.
Saturday and Sunday were better weather wise, but the ground never really dried out fully. We gave a talk on the Saturday morning and only realised at the last minute we were on at the same time as Iolo Williams. That said it was gratifying that we had a reasonable turn out and the feedback afterwards was reward in itself. The talk was about a portion of the travelling Elis and I did in the early stages of Wader Quest in Peru and was imaginatively entitled Wader Questing in Peru. It was anticipated that this talk would coincide with the publication of the next Wader Quest book A Quest for Waders (another imaginative title). However, that has been somewhat delayed due to time constraints, but we hope to have more news on that soon. Maybe we’ll launch it at next year’s Bird fair with another talk to promote it then, who knows?
Bird Fair is always fun, and it is the people that make it so. people from all over the globe come together for a celebration of the world’s birds and wildlife, language barriers are overcome by the simple expedient of a smile. There are harrowing stories of destruction and mayhem being wrought upon the natural world, but as long as there are people like those who are doing their bit for conservation around the world around, there is hope. We cling to that hope.
PS. At Bird Fair this year one of our members/collectors bought an RSPB pin badge of a Pied Avocet’s head and presented it to us.
If that was you, would you kindly get in touch with us. Thank you.