Birdfair 2015

It has been a week now since the 2015 Birdfair so I thought I would give you a very quick round up of my time there. This year I went to all 3 days of the Birdfair driving up on the Friday morning and getting back on the Sunday evening.  This meant I had plenty of time to around all the stalls, go to talks and meet lots of people. I have to say that in general I was left a bit deflated by the stalls, having been to the Birdfair for one day last year, I kind of felt that everything was the same as last year and nothing really stood out as being that interesting, unless I was looking for a foreign holiday.

I was kindly asked to co-lead two walks for the Wildlife Trusts with the amazing Dr Brian Eversham, who is a great friend. It was great fun and I look forward to hopefully doing it again last year. You can read more about these walks in a guest blog post that I did for A Focus on Nature, which can be found here or by clicking on the photo below showing myself in action.

Examining our catches. Photo: Sue Croxford

Examining our catches. Photo: Sue Croxford

A Focus on Nature is a network that brings together conservationists under the age of 30 to support each other. The number of young people at this years Birdfair was amazing to see, all united in a love for the natural world. Here are some of us below:

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A Focus on Nature also run a children’s art mural which was well attended. Not sure it is an amazing work of art, but the children had fun anyway!

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As I was at the event for 3 days, it meant I had lots of time to go to some of the talks. My favourites were as follows:

Wilderness Weekends: Finding the wild places in Britain by Phoebe Smith

This was an amazing talk. Believe it or not, for someone who says he likes to do wild things, I have never camped before. I brought my first tent for the Birdfair and want to go camping further afield, away from campsites. Phoebe’s talk was about just this, wild camping. This hilarious and engaging talk has made me want to get out there and do it!

Dove Step – a journey for Turtle Doves by Jonny Rankin and Robert Yaxley

I have been communicating with Rob for a while on Twitter and one of my main aims for the Birdfair was to meet him. What better way to meet him and Jonny than to go to their talk.  It was great to meet them before the talk and get to know them better. Their talk was funny and informative too.

The BTO presents: Chris Packham and the Young Birders

The premise of this talk worked very well I thought. Put Chris’ name in the title and get a full marquee of people to listen to 3 amazing young birders. Two of which I know from Twitter and it was great to hear them speak. Josie spoke about her scientific work. Connor spoke about his photography. Finally Georgia spoke about how she engages people both online and in person. 3 amazing young naturalists, making me feel old, showing how great they are.

A Focus on Nature – the network for young nature conservationists by Beth Aucott

How could I miss a talk on A Focus on Nature. Beth’s talk made me want to get involved with this group even more, and I may even apply to sit on the committee.

Could there be 1,000 species near your home? by Andy Musgrove

As many of you will know, I am a keen biological recorder and pan species recorder, keeping a list of the species that I have submitted records for in Britain. I think this list is around the 1750 mark at the moment. This may sound a lot but Andy, a lead scientist from the BTO and Twitter friend, found nearly that many in a normal 1km square in a year. His talk highlighted the diversity of wildlife in Britain, if you care to look. It also showed how easy it is to contact experts through twitter.

Vision for Nature: birds and wildlife need a youth movement by Matt Williams

Another talk on young people. I loved this talk by Matt, showing us why we need a young conservation moment and how it is possible. This talk really made me proud to be a young conservationist and gave me a bit of a kick up the backside to do more.

Dr Helen Roy – Where the wild things are…

How could I not end the Birdfair with a talk on biological recording from Dr Helen Roy. I have spoken to Helen many times online and submit lots of records to the ladybird recording scheme which she heads up. So it was great to see her talk and meet her at the end. Her talk highlighted how useful biological records are and how grateful places like the Biological Records Centre are to all the biological recorders out there.

The best thing about the Birdfair for me though was the people that I met. I met too many people to name and have made some new friendships too. For someone that finds it hard to talk to new people, I pushed myself and was very glad that I did. I introduced myself to some people, some of which already knew who I was which was surprising. Others introduced themselves to me. I would have never imagined that people would actively want to meet me. There are some things that I will change for next year, but all in all I really enjoyed my Birdfair experience. Thankfully when I wasn’t enjoying things at the Birdfair, there was a great friend only a message away to talk to, who sadly couldn’t make it to the Birdfair. 🙂

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2 responses to “Birdfair 2015

  1. Great blogpost Ryan, really pleased that you enjoyed your time at Birdfair. Shame that BSBI wasn’t able to exhibit this year. Maybe next year! Louise

  2. Pingback: A Reflection on 2015 | Ryan Clark Ecology

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