It is quite staggering just how many individuals rely on birding as a business to survive and the fair proves how much of a multi-million empire it actually is. Tim Appleton and Martin Davies are to be congratulated and highly commended on the tireless effort they both put into staging and organising this event every year. This will be the third and final year of Birdfair support for Birdlife's 'Preventing Extinctions Programme' and funds raised from this year's fair will be drawing special attention to the 45 Critically Endangered bird species that are in dire need of our help.
It was great to see and spend time with some very special friends and birding colleagues, including those of you I haven't seen in an awful long time - Killian Mullarney, Dick Forsman, James Lidster, Mark Constantine, Arnoud van den Berg, Marcel Haas, Rene Pop, Magnus Robb, Bryan Bland, Ian Wallace, Raymond, Christine & Moya Scalley, Russell Slack, John McLoughlin, Jim Lawrence, David Lindo, Stuart Winter, Pete Alfrey, Graham Catley, Derek Moore, Andy Musgrove, Mark Grantham, Derek & Jan Toomer, David Fisher, Steve Rooke, Mark Andrews, David Cottridge, Tim Loseby, Hugo Romano, Solomon Jallow and his 'new' generation from Gambia, the entire Lambert family, Chris, Paul and the remaining members of the original Leicestershire twitching crew, Dick Filby, Will Wagstaff, James Wolstencroft, Ian Lewington, Peter & Carole Leigh, 'Becca Nason & Phil, David Hatton, Anna Hughes & Charlie Wilkins, David Cromack, Brian Clews, Vaughan Ashby, Pete Basterfield, Ian Packer, Tim Cleeves, Tim Stowe, Richard Porter, Dave Morgan, Paul Fuller, Ray Wright, Geoff & Alan Clewes, Matt Mulvey, Andy Clifton, Richard Bonser, John Gale, Mark Thomas & the Wildlife Crime Officers, Neil, Richard and team from In-Focus, Duncan MacDonald and all of his loveable rogues on the Wildsounds stall and all of my friends on the Opticron stall I love you all.
I also had the great pleasure in meeting and discussing pressing subjects with Mark Avery of the RSPB
The diversity and richness of those contributing towards the success of the fair is incredible and it is testimony to our hobby that so many individuals can be bought together from so many different areas of life