Monday, 21 August 2017

Birdfair 2017

This year I was able to spend two days at the Birdfair at Rutland Water, and was proud to be representing Nikon once again...

We had a really successful show with so much interest on both the optics and camera side.  I really enjoyed chatting to people visiting the stand and was thrilled at how many people introduced themselves to me.  We saw plenty of birds from our view point too, with numerous Ospreys and Hobbies, a Great White Egret, Greenshank, few Yellow Wagtails and an array of wildfowl.

As ever with Birdfair it's great bumping into familiar faces...

Nathan from Spurn - he had just told me all about the male Bluetail he saw a few years back!

Jonny of Blyth's Pipit fame! Along with his better half and their beautiful new addition

But it's also about making new friends. I can't tell you the respect and admiration I have for this chap..

Tom Mason

Tom Mason is a freelance wildlife photographer. He hasn't even reached 25 but has been on photo expeditions to locations such as the Falklands, the Amazon, etc... At the age of 16 he took a Friday off school to attend the UK Photography Show, where he tracked down someone in particular (a marketing manager I believe), managed to entice them to a sit down and a coffee and basically walked away with a job.  For a 16 year old that takes serious balls!  What he doesn't know about cameras and photography isn't worth knowing, and what's so refreshing is that he knows his wildlife too.

I was also delighted to see first hand the work of one of my favourite wildlife photographers Rebecca Nason. I've always found her work to be something of a mixture of photography and art, and I just had to shake her hand when we met. Seeing her photographs up close made them look even better!

Sadly I had to leave the fair at 2pm on the Saturday, but obviously couldn't leave Rutland without a quick stop off to look at this bush...

Surely quite famous now?

Yes on the south shore of Rutland Water a healthy population of Tree Sparrows survive. And it looks like they've had a good breeding season as there were plenty of young'uns about...

During my absence Phil seemed to be keeping a close eye on things around here, he wouldn't let anything rare slip through. I tried to retweet as many of his tweets as I saw but the signal at the Birdfair was mostly pants. To very quickly summarise though thankfully I didn't miss anything major.

I did manage to grab an hour out this morning at Black Hole. There had clearly been the first semi decent pulse of Yellow Wagtails with up to twenty between Seaton and Colyford Marshes. A lone Whinchat just south of Black Hole Marsh was my first of the autumn.  On the marsh itself the variety is still poor (no doubt due to the lack of easterly winds), but overall numbers are looking good with 60+ Black-tailed Godwit, c50 Dunlin, 12 Teal and smaller numbers of the usual suspects.

Oh, almost forgot, I saw some really bright juvenile Willow Warblers today. They were nice and yellow... one could say they were yellow warblers in fact...

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