for tracking purposes only.
The birds of
Cheltenham Diver 10th
RSPB Criuse, Exe 9th
Slimbridge 26th & 27th
Garden Sparrowhawk 8th
Portishead & Chew 7th
Cheltenham & Highnam 1st
Bird Fair 2013
We went to Rutland Water for 4 days for the Birdfair. In the afternoon we quickly popped in to Lyndon to see the Tree Sparrows and the Osprey on the webcam. There were also some Butterflies including Peacock, Meadow Brown and Brimstone. We had to drive around to Whitwell Harbour ready for the evening boat cruise on the Rutland Belle with Simon King. We had managed to get the last two tickets for this event, so poor old Dad had to stay on the shore while Mum and I went on the boat. On leaving Whitwell we saw an Egyptian Goose. There was a couple of Common Terns flying around and one was perched on a post. Also three Great Black -
On the horizon there was a glimpse of an ice rainbow which is formed in the clouds by the droplets of water or ice. It looked like the nice weather might be taking a change for the worse. I think we might have picked a good evening as the sun was still shining as we made our way back to Whitwell Harbour. It had been a very enjoyable evening with lots of waterbirds and the commentary by Simon King was excellent. We were nearly back at Whitwell when another Osprey was spotted hovering and flying over by the harbour, so luckily Dad was able to see it as well. It kept looking like it was going to fish but again it turned out not to be in fishing mode. We then made our way to the B&B at Fotheringhay.
Rutland Water 15th -
Simon on the Rutland Belle
Rutland Belle leaving Whitewell
The last day of the Birdfair was hot and sunny and we decided to go to more of the lectures. The first one was by Johnny Kingdom about the Bears of Alaska and also show some clips that he filmed in Exmoor. He’s always very amusing with his talks. We went to the BTO Stand and saw a Treecreeper in the hand and close up. In the afternoon we went to a talk by Ed Drewitt about birds of the Somerset Levels. It was very hot in that small marquee.
The weather didn’t seem too bad and the sun kept coming out so we decided to go to the Lyndon Visitor Centre first this morning to look for the Ospreys at Manton Bay. We went to the Waderscape Hide but the views were just the same as last year so we went to the Shallow Water Hide which we hadn’t been to before and is the furthest down than the others. The nest site is slightly closer and one of this year's Juveniles was on the nest. The Adult Female kept flying down to the water’s edge to bathe. I've seen many Ospreys in my life but this is the first time I've seen one bathing! Afterwards it took off and flew westwards. A Great Crested Grebe was sitting on a nest quite near the Gull colony. On the way back to the Visitor Centre we saw two Juvenile Blackcaps briefly. The Tree Sparrow flock were still on the feeders. This is one of the few strongholds of this declining species, other sites I have seen it include Mersehead RSPB, Caerlaverock WWT and Martin Mere WWT.
The room was lovely at the B&B with views down to the river and after breakfast we made our way to the first day of the Birdfair. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and it kept raining. It was a bit muddy and we started to wonder if we should have brought our wellies. Fortunately at the Bird Fair there are loads of marguees to look in and lots of lectures to attend, so we could keep nipping in out of the showers. After a quick look at some of the stalls we went to the Events Marguee for the first talk, which was about the new BBC programme called Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival with Stephen Moss and Rob Lambert. We stayed there for the next talk which was by Simon King. There are so many talks in different marguees that we couldn’t do all of them. There were others we wanted to go to, but there was so much to see in all the exhibitors marquees. We went to Anglian Birdwatching Centre and had a look for any Butterflies on the Buddleias as the sun kept trying to come out. There was only Peacock, Comma and Large White.
Simon King in his Wildlife Marquee
In the Evening we went around some of the hides. In the Plover Hide was some Green Sandpipers and Ringed Plovers. Common Terns made regular fly passes in front of the hide and a Juvenile Shelduck was foraging along the sand spit. An Osprey flew over, but it didn’t sit on the perch this year like it did last year. In the Sandpiper Hide there was a few Common Terns, including some juveniles, mixed in with the Gull flock, which were mostly Black-
Osprey [Juvenile] on nest at Manton Bay
Osprey [Female] flying and bathing
Meeting Nick Baker
We had to get back to the Birdfair quite early as James Lees from WWT Slimbridge was showing a film that he made about Iceland when he went birding there earlier this year. It was very good and I want to go there even more than ever now. We then went to see Bill Oddie host the Bird Brain event and stayed there to listen to Nick Baker talk about his new book ‘The Naturetrekkers Handbook’. As Bill Oddie was signing books at the same time as the Nick Baker talk, I asked dad to get me his new book called ‘Bill Oddie’s Introduction to Birdwatching’ and have it signed by Bill. Dad also asked him to sign my programme as well. (Dad’s photo was on the Birdwatch Facebook page of photos with Bill, which made me laugh!) I met Nick Baker later at the RSPB stand and asked him to sign my programme as I haven’t had his autograph before. As we were going to see ‘The Birdfair Effect’ chat show in the evening, we popped into Oakham for a chip supper and then made our way back to the showgrounds for the event which included Bill Oddie, Stephen Moss, Tim Appleton and many more.
The highlight for Mum was the final talk we went to in the Events Marquee, which was ‘A Celebration os Ospreys’ by Tim Mackrill and Roy Dennis on the success of the Ospreys all over the country and even about what its like for them in Africa. There were two songs by a choir called Global Harmony and Fiona Kennedy sang Fly Lady Fly’ with Ruriarh McDonald, which was a song she wrote about Loch of the Lowes most famous Osprey ‘Lady’. They sang a couple more songs including one called ‘Boy Blue’ about Lady’s chick of 2012. It was a very enjoyable event and something a little bit different. Tim Appleton, Tim Mackrill and Roy Dennis were signing the new book about the Rutland Ospreys outside the marquee, but Mum already has the book at home, so she was bit bit gutted that she couldn’t get one signed. I bought the CD of ‘Fly Lady Fly’ and got it signed by Fiona and Ruriarh. Roy Dennis was there as well, so Mum asked him to sign my programme. We went to the Simon King Marquee where he was talking about bird feeders and I asked David Lindo, ‘The Urban Birder’, to sign my programme as well. After a last walk around the marquees, we made our way back to the car for the long journey home. A very enjoyable weekend and the weather hadn’t even been that bad either!
Programme signed by: Nick Baker, Johnny Kingdom, Bill Oddie, Roy Dennis, Simon King and David Lindo.