Sunday 22nd May Norfolk Bird Fair
Manninton Hall, Norfolk.
Day 2. Sunday
Stand number 52 . . The Biking Birder
Elis of Wader Quest and Emma of the Welney WWT with passing naked alpaca!
The WWT are so lucky to have such a sunny personality in Emma. She is here again and has lots of children making badges. I have a feeling Sir Peter Scott, the amazing Man of the 20th Century founder of the WWT Wildfowl & Wetland Trust, will figure large in today's Fair experience.
WWT 70th Anniversary. Sir Peter inspired so many, young and old and according to Sir David Attenborough, Sir Peter is the 'Father of Conservation.'
Still opposite are Rick and Elis Simpson. It is such a privilege of travel to meet amazing couples that show so much love for each other. Not withstanding the fantastic work they both do for waders around the world, they exude a passion for each other and their cause.
I buy a book off their stand and join, make a donation too as I feel the £5 joining fee is a little 'as cheap as chips'.
As yesterday, a great start with friends old (sorry Emma . . . Happy **the birthday – half of my soon to be age) and new.
247. A winner, Michael with his wife and two boys, has guessed correctly and has Dave Gosney's superb DVD to go home with.
I go to some of the lecture, Rick Simpson's from Wader Quest. I am a little late and he is showing a variety of waders that are found in New Zealand and explaining their problems. Elis, his wife is there and she prompts him when he forgets to say the name of a particular wader. Brilliant.
Lewis ----- Carol, no not a typo but the names of a wonderful couple who come to meet me. They have followed me via the frequent Birdforum updates that The Oracle, Phil Andrews posts. Birdforum name Jabberwocky, they kindly make a donation and share the same laugh as we chat.
Speaking of the Biking Birder Birdforum thread, I can't always update the blog, Facebook page and Twitter and one may find out about my progress via the thread. Thanks Phil, as ever.
Phil and I got together a few days ago, Great to meet up, we hadn't seen each other for almost two years.
Mike Linley comes to my stand! An immense personality is chatting with me. Mike worked with Sir Pter Scott on the survival series and with Sir David Attenborough on Life on Earth. Forty minutes pass by in a flash. WOW! Star-struck Biking Birder.
Penny Clarke, with lippy and hair done, comes over, hugs! Another Mega Celebrity. Wonderful woman.
Talking to Rick (Wader Quest), another birding legend approaches, David Tomlinson. Birders of a certain age will remember the iconic Big Year Race, British variety of course, where two teams raced around East Anglia back in 1982 and the book of the race documented in two witty sections according to the teams, became a must-have birding classic as well as opening up British birders to the whole bird race for charity and fun craze.
In fact a the Secondary-aged students of a Wolverhampton school with a certain teacher were so inspired that the annual Coppice High School Bird race day became a feature.
I gabbled away, star-struck again, with both David and his wife. Charming and approachable; so many heroes in an afternoon.
Rick Simpson of Wader Quest, David Tomlinson and I
The day draws to a close, massive thanks to Jill and Robert, the event organisers, and time to go.
A quick scoot around to the RSPB stand and the Marine Conservation Stand. I had just joined the latter for the sake of Ophelia the Orca on my bike. 'An orca is a dolphin not a whale'.
A young man comes over with tattooed arms, Stuart. He is an accomplished mountain runner in Scotland and birder. He tells me that next year he is going to do a running Big Day. Can he see over 100 bird species in a day? Looking at him and hearing of his enthusiasm for the project I am sure he will. A mega Green Birder!
Anyone with a tattoo of a Wilson;s petrel on his arm deserves respect.
Goodbyes and an empty marquee.Andrew, oh blast I have forgotten his surname, senior moment, comes up to me. He has something to show me. Now there are trophies that sport's fans hold as sacred; the football World Cup trophy, The large plate for Wimbledon whatever that is called, Golf's Rider Cup trophy and my personal favourite, the little Ashes Urn. In British Birding there is the original Big Bird Race trophy. Andrew has it in his car. His team has just won the Norfolk Big Bird Race 2016 back in April, all in aid of Wader Quest, and David Tomlinson has given Andrew the trophy. Together Andrew and I hold the trophy with reverence, as excited as two giddy schoolboys, which i suppose we both are at heart.
Sir Peter Scott completes the Norfolk Bird Fair with his presence. Within the Holy Grail shaped trophy is the egg of an Hawaiian goose, a Ne-ne, signed by Sir Peter Scott.