Sunday, 17 August 2014

Bird Fair 2014

On Friday I went down to Rutland Water with my nephew, Luke, to visit this year's British Bird Fair. I like to go along every year to look around all the different trade stands, spot a few celebrities, buy a new book (or two) and get a few "year ticks".

The day started at the BTO's Ringing Demo. The weather conditions were perfect, and the nets were full, including a smart looking Marsh Tit. This was the first I've seen "in the hand", and was a very nice year tick too. Whilst there, Luke also got the chance to release a Blackcap and a couple of Great Tits.

After the ringing, we walked around the stands, where I bought a new moth book,  helped the BTO celebrate 75 years of the Nest Record Scheme, by eating a slice of their birthday cake, and then went along to a moth talk featuring a celebrity, Richard Lewington, the illustrator of many superb wildlife books, most of which I've bought (see here for details of the books he's illustrated). The talk was great, and included a few new moths (Canary-shouldered Thorn, Swallow Prominent and Lesser Swallow Prominent), but the highlight for Luke was a very photogenic Elephant Hawkmoth (his first), which posed very nicely for him.

Luke and an Elephant Hawkmoth

The final part of the day was a visit to the Osprey Project to see.... the Ospreys. We walked along to the Wader Scrape hide and saw the Manton Bay Pair, who were sitting on the perch next to the nest. Unfortunately, this pair hasn't managed to raise any chicks this year, but a total of 11 chicks have been born around the reservoirs. Whilst here, we also spotted a couple of Little Egrets, a few Common Terns, 2 Egyptian Geese and 4 Common Sandpipers.

Year List Update:

167 – Marsh Tit
168 – Osprey
169 – Egyptian Goose

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