Friday, 22 May 2015

The Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair

We attended the Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair last Saturday. The event takes its format from the larger Rutland Birdfair. It was a sunny afternoon and although the fair was well-supported, we were sorry not to see more people there.

We watched BTO ringers ringing a Great tit, and were able to ask questions about the purpose and process. Tagging has evidently made an immense contribution to our knowledge of migration, life expectancy and other aspects of bird life. I wondered (and was able to ask) how stressful it was for the birds during the actual ringing process and whether some of the tags we see aren't actually rather cumbersome. It seems that most birds accept the tagging process if it is carried out efficiently and under calm conditions.

As we walked along, we past a small watercourse, heaving with tadpoles, the first ones I had seen this year. It seems ages since we spent a bitterly cold afternoon looking for (and at) frogspawn at Landguard, Felixstowe. What a slow spring it seems to have been.

There were plenty of stands, full of friendly and knowledgeable wildlife people, representing organistions such as the local Wildlife Trusts (Suffolk and Norfolk) and the Hawk and Owl Trust (who monitor the Peregrines on Norwich Cathedral).

The main marquee, where we chatted to staff from the Marine Conservation Society and other organisations

Wex Photographic had a large marquee, and we spent a fair bit of time talking cameras and wildlife photography with the staff, who were incredibly helpful. They introduced us to independent wildlife photographer and Wex blogger, Tom Mason, whose photographs of a Waxwing and a flock of Knot were sublime.   

There were refreshments of various kinds on offer in and around the Twitchers' Retreat, and there was plenty of time to relax in the sunshine.

There were also book-signings (we missed Bill Oddie) and lectures. We arrived in time for the presentation on the NWT Cley Reserve. David North told about the origins of the Cley reserve and about its precarious history on account of flooding and winter shooting. With the new facilities comes a renewed spirit of optimism, and I, for one, look forward to being out on those unique marshes once again. 

So what did I gain from the experience of the Birdfair? Well, apart from a large handful of free (and other) literature, I came away feeling I had a little more wildlife, conservation and photography knowledge under my belt. It had been an enjoyable and informative afternoon in superb surroundings.   

  • You might also like my Adder post about RSPB Minsmere as the reserve prepares for BBC Springwatch.


Kay Weeks said...

Oh, good morning, Dear Caroline! I love reading your wonderful posts with photographs that take me where you are...and in my heart.

Softly in the morning,


eileeninmd said...

Hello, the wildlife fair sounds like fun. I wondered if the banding was stressful for the birds too. I hope not, we can not read their minds. Have a happy weekend!

Amanda Peters said...

I would love to go to this show, just a little to far for me, glad you had a good day.

Have you read this report from CEH, A decade of recording harlequin ladybirds in the UK.

Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Sounds like a wonderful event and glad you had a good time.

I've never been to the Rutland Birdfair. We used to have a West Midland Bird Fair which I used to love attending. Sadly, there hasn't been one for the last couple of years. Not sure why unless it was lack of support? But you can learn a lot from these events and pick up some "goodies" :)