Oh crumbs the last day of Birdfair! It had all gone by so quickly! And there was so much left that I wanted to do and see!
10.00am – Wildlife in Trust: Butterflies, Bugs & Assorted Beasties, Simon Phelps
First on the list was, of course, Simon’s talk on butterflies, bugs and assorted beasties for the Wildlife Trusts (though he now works for Butterfly Conservation). The room was packed out, and fittingly, he was giving the talk next to a display of butterflies. I learnt some interesting facts and figures from him, and was generally inspired to get out there and see insects. Even more so than usual!
Hanging around for the next talk at the Anglian Birdwatching Centre, I had a browse in the shop and a look at the interpretation (Chesil’s is better I think), and of course, I looked outside. Resulting (thanks to Sean Foote) in a birding lifer as there were three Black Terns flying about. Nice!
11.00am – A Vision for Nature: birds and wildlife need a a youth movement, Matt Williams
The clock struck 11 and Matt was up on stage. He was giving a talk about AFON’s project, Vision for Nature. I didn’t need to be there – he’d practiced the talk on me at least twice, and I’d read it an extra couple of times. But I went anyway of course! I’ve filmed it and it will be going up on his YouTube channel. As to be expected, it was thoroughly inspiring and awesome (especially as he did it without notes!), and there were some very good questions at the end!
12.00pm – The South African Big Year – My 365 Day Quest for 800 Species of Bird, John Kinghorn
We parted ways here as I wanted to see John Kinghorn speaking. John and I knew of each other through Next Generation Birders, but had never met in person, so it was great to meet. We discussed birds, the universe and everything. He had already ticked a few bird lifers off on his trip to the UK, but I managed to show him an insect lifer (Roesel’s Bush-Cricket, Metrioptera roeselii). His accent (and talk) made me very nostalgic for South Africa!
12.30pm – Hedgehogs and Hedgehog Street, why connectivity matters, Hugh Warwick
I sidled over to the next marquee to hear the hedgehog-enthusiast (and author of hedgehog books), Hugh Warwick speaking about (naturally) hedgehogs. I met Hugh last year at the AFON conference and was very impressed and amused by him. He is a great speaker and argues his case well. Plus, he was talking about hedgehogs which always helps.
1.00pm – Birdless Pointbrain, chaired by Nigel Redman, assisted by Neil Glenn
Last event of the day, as I needed to head back to Dorset for work the next day. I could’ve (should’ve?) left earlier but I absolutely had to stay to see Birdless Pointbrain, which was hilarious! Well done Neil for putting it together, and thanks for giving AFON a shout-out! Some of the AFON group (including myself) assisted with being the 100 people to whom the questions were asked. The celebrities were paired with Birdfair volunteers which was really nice.
And then it was time to head back to Dorset! Via Cambridge. Luckily I was still buzzing from the awesomeness of Birdfair so wasn’t too sad, and I could begin to come to terms with the weekend and all that had happened.
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