We were very pleased to receive our first sponsorship cheque for the amount of £500 from Mr. H.G. and Mrs B.M.C. Simpson. This is clearly a significant amount of money and will go a long way to helping us.
We estimate that Wader Quest will cost in the region of £10,000, so a long way to go yet, but the more money we receive from people and companies who feel that what we are doing is worthwhile the more people, and especially children, around the world we will be able to engage with and talk to.
But what exactly are we going to talk to them about?
To every group, we will be explaining who we are and why we are there, let them know exactly why we think waders are such an amazing group of birds. Some groups we will meet in formal situations, planned talks or classrooms, but better still will be the engagement with people out in the field where they can see the birds for themselves.
We want to:
highlight the incredible migrations that some waders make,
explain the concept of flyways and show how the birds absolutely rely on them referring where possible to local projects that they could become involved in,
talk about the variety of waders using their bills to emphasise this variety and how this means that destroying an area does not result in the birds simply moving along a bit,
talk about the spoon-billed sandpiper of course, and the WWT led international effort to save it from extinction, and especially about the captive breeding programme
and talk to them about eco-tourism and how the local economy benefits from the birds being there, exemplified by our very presence.
This we hope will leave behind us minds changed and hearts touched by this phenomenal group of birds and the challenges they face in the modern world.
We may not change the world and leave in our wake a fanatical bunch of wader lovers, but remember the hummingbird in the forest fire story.
As all the other animals were leaving to save themselves the jaguar saw a hummingbird fly to the river, pick up a drop of water in its tiny beak, then fly over the fire and drop the water on the flames. The jaguar said,
“Why are you wasting your time? You will never succeed in dousing the fire!”
To which the hummingbird replied,
“Maybe not, but I’m doing what I can!”