Covid-19 and Wader Quest

Every organisation is letting people know how the current situation revolving around the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting them, so we thought we’d do the same (with some gratuitously placed wader shots to decorate the page).

Clearly, as we do not have any paid staff we are better off than some of the larger organisations, but still our focus has to be on the health and welfare of everyone associated with Wader Quest. All events and talks are cancelled (until September at least ) until further notice pending health advice from the government. With this is mind we learned that the Bird Fair at Rutland is now definitely cancelled. This news is not surprising, but nevertheless disappointing as it is a highlight in our social calendar, and as such clearly the decision was the correct one to make, however painful it was for the organisers.

It seems unlikely that the Swedish Bird Show will take place too given developments there, but as yet no decision to that effect has been forthcoming. Where we have had to cancel talks most clubs and groups have very kindly given us a date for next year, so we look forward to making their acquaintance just a little later than planned.

Amid all the gloom that surrounds us there are some lovely acts of kindness and compassion being displayed by people from all walks of life towards fellow human beings. We hope that maybe this augurs well for a more caring and selfless society that may also see the environment, and the life forms that share this earth with us, getting a fairer crack of the whip.

There are few positives to be drawn from such trying times, but maybe the beach nesting birds in the Northern Hemisphere at least may get a bit of a break from the disturbance they endure from people and their dogs. Maybe migrant birds will not be so widely hunted and more of them will reach their breeding grounds. However fewer people around will also give predators a better chance to forage, which is not so welcome.

We heard the good news yesterday from Adelaide in Australia that 17 Hooded Plovers have fledged in that region, the best outcome for a decade. This may have been assisted by fewer people being around, but is sure testament to the dedication and hard work of those involved in protecting this species.

Wader Quest has to move on, as we all do, and we hope that in order to continue to grow, we will be able to produce more online content, improve the website and of course we will be publishing our popular newsletter this month. We will, whatever happens, continue to spread awareness about waders or shorebirds and the challenges they face, whatever occurs in the next few months.

Things look glum for we humans right now, but this will pass, all being well. The problems that waders face however are more chronic, long term and difficult to cure. Covid-19 will go away, or at least likely to be controlled, humankind is likely to prevail, but the problems facing the world’s waders will not be solved so quickly I fear, and it will  therefore remain our duty to remind people that these problems still continue, even when we are not paying attention to them.

All that remains is for us to say to one and all, look after yourselves and your loved ones, and do all you can to remain safe and well.