Monday 18 August 2014

Fantastic Bird Fair Weekend

Wader Quest has just enjoyed one of its best weekends ever in terms of garnering support and raising funds and awareness about what we do.

New swift entry wrist bands, very fetching.

Mind you it didn't bode well when we arrived at the top of the hill overlooking the bird fair site and saw the valley was being rained upon in no uncertain way, but thankfully the weather was kind to us for most of the weekend.

First rain of the journey, right over the show ground!

We found our way to Marquee 1 where we were to spend the weekend, the same plot as last year.

That's us, at the bottom, stand 67.
We soon had the stand set up and thought we had made a pretty decent fist of it.

The Wader Quest BBF 2014 stand.

This year we had some help from across the water in the USA. Our friend Annette Cunniffe came over and brought those attractive scarves that she had made. Very generously she donated 100% of the money she received on their sale to Wader Quest.
The Wader Quest BBF team; Annette, Rick and Elis.

Soon enough the visitors arrived and started what proved to be a very busy weekend.

Visitors in Marquee 1

One of our projects is the Hooded Plover Appeal to raise funds to help BirdLife Australia with their beach-nesting birds programme with particular interest in the Hooded Plovers of course.

Our Hooded Plover display.

The large Plover was made especially for Wader Quest by Peter Cooper for us to sell; the small model is one of our very own Wader Quest Collectables and the nest in the background was made and brought over for sale (all proceeds to Wader Quest) by Annette.

We also had many sign-ups as sponsors during the weekend, including our new Corporate Sponsor Limosa Holidays who also made a generous donation to the Hooded Plover Appeal. Those that signed up at Bird Fair were entered into a prize draw for a pair of Trailfinder binoculars that had been generously donated by Opticrion another of our corporate sponsors. The winner was Brayton Holt from Powys.

Part of our display.
We were kept busy with all the great items we had for sale. like our Hooded Plover earrings, wader motif earrings imported from the USA, our prize draw and of course the raffle. This year we had three great prizes.

The prize draw and raffle prizes were drawn by The Urban Birder David Lindo, Lee Dingain and Rachel Walls both Wader Quest Trustees

1st prize was a BTO Atlas donated by the BTO via Dawn Balmer,

1st prize winner Mirabel Helme.

Second prize was World's Rarest Birds, a signed copy, This was won by Allan Acher. The book has been signed by Rob Still and Andy Swash and we will take it to Sweden to get Erik Hirschfeld to sign it too.

and the third prize was a copy of UK 500 donated by Chris Lamsdell a Wader Quest Trustee.

3rd Prize winner Roberta Goodall.

All of this kept us very busy with hardly any time to go and see old friends around the site.

Busy time at the stand.

Although one old friend had time (somehow) to come and see us!

Tim Appleton at the Wader Quest stand.

and some of the people we met last year stopped by to say hello.
Mark and Michelle Cornfield on their annual pilgrimage to Bird Fair.

As if all that wasn't enough to keep us occupied we gave a talk on the Friday morning about Wader Quest in Lecture Marquee 2.

Our opening slide.
Incidentally. The first round of votes for the National Bird took place at the BBF. Wader Quest is championing Northern Lapwing as our candidate. A bird that is steeped in folklore and history in the UK, is beautiful to look at, makes wonderful evocative calls and can be seen all year round. Also, unlike another contender, the Robin, it does not tend to kill others of its own kind! A lovely peaceful bird that is declining in the UK, 50% have disappeared in the last 30 years. If it were to be the national bird, there is no way we could let it just slip away! VOTE LAPWING for NATIONAL BIRD!

We were happy to see so many old friends, like Jack Delabye and Mick and Jayne Watts, Kerry Harrison and John Mortimer, Ruth Miller and Alan Davies, the biggest twitchers, Guto Carvalho from Brazil (instigator and organiser of Avistar the Brazilian Bird Fair), Roy de Haas and Anja Nusse from Holland, Arthur Grosset, John and Letizia Muddeman, Oliver Simms, Andy, Cristina and Olivia Foster, Ruth Waker, Samantha Franks and David Hodkinson of the Wash Wader Ringing Group, Keith Betton, Niall Perrins from South Africa, Chris Holtby and David Thrussell, Tony and Mandy Clark, Szimi, Andi and Kea Szimuly and so many others.

A big thank you to Tim, Martin and all the wonderful volunteers for making it all happen... see you all next year.

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