Talks

Looking for speakers for your club or society events? Rick and Elis Simpson are available to give talks and offer a variety of titles, the majority of which are about the world’s waders, their conservation and Rick and Elis’ own travels to see many of them.

Fees from talks will go to Rick Simpson, who is a self-employed speaker, and writer, and as such these fees are subject to taxation. In addition the speaker pays an annual advertising fee to Wader Quest. All talks, regardless of the title, are given by Rick and Elis Simpson with the primary intention of promoting, and raising funds for, Wader Quest. All money raised from sales, donations and subscription sign-ups resulting from these talks goes direct to Wader Quest (see the bottom of the page for details of funds raised in this manner to date).

On our first visit to any club we like to give the Wader Quest talk (see below) to introduce who we are, what we do, and little of why we do it.

Talks are usually two halves of 45 mins each (break optional).

Wader Quest talk

For those who have not heard of Wader Quest this talk introduces the organisation through the beauty and diversity of the waders to be found around the world; some of which are quite surprising. This talk is liberally scattered with stunning photos and information about the birds and includes some amusing personal anecdotes from Rick and Elis’ travels to see waders. It is both entertaining and informative while emphasising the acute crisis that is facing wader conservation and how we can all help to combat it.

‘Thoroughly enjoyable, informative, well-illustrated and energising talk’

John, East Surrey

‘informative & entertaining” talk …’;

Ann, Milton Keynes

‘Many thanks for a great evening. Entertaining, informative and some great pictures of birds we don’t get in Watford’

John, Watford

‘A most informative, entertaining and thought provoking evening’

Paul, Derbyshire

‘Rick has a very easy relaxed style about him and gets right to the heart of the problems the worlds waders are facing.’

Denis, Nuneaton

‘Your talks are entertaining and educational, delivered with passion and knowledge of the subject.’

Dave, Northants

‘Thank you both for sharing with us your knowledge and passion. It was an entertaining, informative and the same time a thought provoking and challenging evening’

RSPB NE London Group

Other talks available include

A Quest for Waders: (These talks are follow ups to the Wader Quest talk above and are the title of a book about the travels of Rick and Elis to find waders.) Over a period of twelve months Rick and Elis Simpson travelled to see as many wader species as they could around the world as a fundraising venture. Naturally this meant travelling to some far-flung and exotic places and any such journey can be beset with events both humorous and alarming in equal measure. Come and hear the stories, in a series of hitherto untold anecdotes from their adventures, coupled with the conservation issues that they found facing waders worldwide. You will be entertained and learn much about waders that you never imagined possible, all superbly illustrated with some amazing photos.

Note: The scope of this talk is so large that it is divided into different talks.

Available now.

  • Wader Quest On Safari – detailing our African adventures in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia plus The Gambia.

Coming soon.

  • Wader Quest down under – the incredible places and waders of Australia and New Zealand.
  • Wader Quest goes over the pond – covers our trips to Florida, California, Washington, Texas and Louisiana.
  • Wader Quest goes Latin – trips to Brazil, Peru and Chile after some incredible endemics, in some amazing places.
  • Wader Quest goes east – in search of waders in Thailand, India and the United Arab Emirates.

An Inspiration of Waders: Based on the book of the same name by Rick and Elis Simpson, this talk explores the manner in which waders have inspired humanity, often in surprising ways, throughout our existence. They have inspired life choices, art, music and literature. Their looks, voice and habits have inspired myths and legends and they are, in themselves, by the extraordinary feats they perform, a most inspiring group of birds. A variety of collective nouns have been given to some species of wader, however, there is none for the mixed, or unidentified, swirling legions of waders such as we see over our estuaries in winter. But, based on the evidence presented in this talk, that is about to change.

‘Many thanks for last night, it was a very engaging talk. Much thanks to Elis and yourself for an interesting evening.’ Lynn, Milton Keynes.

New – For the Love of Waders: We love waders, and, it is hoped, by the end of this talk about the amazing fact and feats surrounding them, you will too. All delivered with much good humour and knowledge. You will also learn a bit about how threatened waders are and find out a bit about what Wader Quest is and does. Hopefully you’ll be encouraged to become part of the wader conservation movement to prevent any more species of wader becoming extinct or being entered on the endangered register.

Plover Lovers’ World of Delights: Plovers at home and abroad. Looking at British plovers and some of their equivalents around the world.

Sea Pies, Smudgies and Tobies; The World’s my Oystercatcher: There are twelve species of oystercatcher in the world, half are black-and-white the other half are all black however one species can’t make up its mind. We’ll explore the fascinating world of oystercatchers.

New Moon on the Wane – The Curse of the Curlews: Curlew species are declining across the world, two are probably already extinct, our own is in terrible trouble. We look at why this is happening and talk about each of the species in the genus Numenius and why they are so named.

‘Thank you for a wonderful presentation which was enjoyed by everyone. Clearly a lot of thought and research had gone into preparing it.’ Gehan, London

‘On behalf of our group I would like to thank you both for the excellent talk you gave last night. The evening was a great success and I am sure we all learned a lot about the history of the Curlew and its rather tragic interaction with us humans. Despite the rather sombre message on the current plight of the Curlew the talk was very entertaining and full of life.’ Steve, Crowthorne.

‘The talk was full of interesting facts and anecdotes… Despite the sombre message Rick illuminated his talk with plenty of humour… This was an important and timely talk and we thank Rick and Elis for their commitment and dedication to wader conservation.’Steve, Wokingham and Bracknell.

‘A very enjoyable and entertaining talk.’ Ron, Southport.

Marathons, slides and leapfrogs – The Fascinating Diversity of Wader Migration strategies: These days we are well aware that birds migrate and waders are among the greatest wanderers of them all. We look at the different ways that waders cope with making the most of what is available. Some make extraordinary journeys, others hardly move at all. Two halves of 45 mins each; can be flexible (break optional).

Confessions of a Bird Guide: If you have ever wondered what your bird guide thinks of you this is your chance to find out; based on the book Confessions of a Bird Guide by Rick Simpson. Explore what it means to be a bird guide and how the clients are viewed. Lavishly illustrated by Elis’ photos of wonderful, mainly Brazilian, birds.

‘Thank you for a great talk last night. Great entertainment!’ Paul, Milton Keynes

‘Thank you so much for an amazing talk on Friday! The humour, information and photos were very much appreciated by the audience, whose expectations, following your previous talks, were surpassed! Ann, Southport

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Please Contact Us for further details or to book a talk.

Had a cancellation?  We are often available at short notice!

We are already booked to deliver a number of talks – there may be one near you; check the talks schedule for details.

As of 05/04/2022 these talks have realised  £5820.23 in sales / £2639.33in donations / and 131 new Friends and Sponsors totalling £2,577.50 membership income.

Wader Quest has therefore benefitted to the sum of £11,037.06 generated from these presentations.