10.00am (ish) – Adventures with British Butterflies, Matthew Oates
Despite car issues keeping us in Oakham for a little while, we managed to get to Birdfair in time for me to catch the end of Matthew Oates’ talk on his latest book, In Pursuit of Butterflies. If you follow me on Twitter, you may remember me buying this earlier in the year, it’s a wonderful read and I thoroughly recommend it. I managed to think of a decent question to ask at the end (regarding climate change and butterflies), and to get my book signed! I have met Matthew before at various moth/butterfly events so it was lovely to see him again, and to hear him speak about his book.
11.00am – A Question of Stork, chaired by Stephen Moss
I didn’t have far to go for the next event I wanted to go to, just to the next tent! Two teams were pitted against each other to test their birding knowledge, including a brilliant charades round. Stephen Moss was chairing, and was very funny to listen to. One of my favourite rounds was “What happened next?” They watched clips of Bill Oddie and had to guess what happened next – full points if they got it correct (they didn’t), a few points if their answers were incorrect but funny.
Cue some more wandering around … another book bought (Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland by Richard Lewington, 2015), more people spoken to and scrumptious food eaten. I managed to catch up with the BBC Wildlife Magazine folk, who I talk to on Twitter. It was lovely to meet them in person (a recurring theme!) and have chat. Before I knew it, it was mid-afternoon and I had to be somewhere! I also saw a harvestman (no idea of species!) and heard Matt fluently speaking in Malay, Spanish AND French – super impressive!
3.30pm – A Focus On Nature, Bethany Aucott
That somewhere was Lecture Marquee 3 for Beth’s talk on A Focus On Nature. Truthfully, I didn’t need to go … I know what AFON is! However, I wanted to to support Beth and it was good to have all the AFON projects and opportunities discussed in one place.
4.00pm – Could there be 1,000 species near your home?, Andy Musgrove
I stayed in LM3 for Andy Musgrove’s talk, as I have begun pan-species listing and was intrigued by the idea of listing 1000 species in 1km2. He has since continued beyond the 1000, but I can’t remember what number he said he had got to. Another couple of thousand at least! I need to get some identification practice in I think, so as to build up my numbers of fungi / lichens / beetles / bugs / plants … (I’ve got a lot of work ahead!).
5.oopm – Wildlife In Trust: A Mammal-Watcher’s Guide, Lucy McRobert
Just around the corner for Lucy McRobert’s talk for the Wildlife Trusts on seeing mammals in the UK. As with the day before, she was an excellent speaker and now I feel inspired to see even more of our mammals (I’m doing quite well on 33)! Particularly the whales, I’ve never ever seen a whale, either in the UK or abroad! Maybe a wildlife resolution for the future?
5.30pm – Children’s Art Mural for AFON / NGB meet-up
An end to the second day at Birdfair and the youth were gathering … Not to get up to trouble or (much) mischief, but for a drink and natter, and to meet each other! It was a combination of AFON and Next Generation Birders (which I am also part of), including some new faces which was grand! Look how many of us there were! Also, notice my cute skirt! Numpkin that I am, I only packed trousers, not expecting hot weather! I bought the skirt from a charity shop whilst the car issues were getting solved!
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