The big­gest event in the bird­ing cal­en­dar is nearly upon us, and it looks set to be the best one yet!

Bird Watching (UK) - - News Wire -

BIRD­FAIR 2017 PROM­ISES to be the big­gest and best yet, with bird­ers, nat­u­ral­ist, or­nithol­o­gists, char­i­ties, com­pa­nies and or­gan­i­sa­tions de­scend­ing on Rut­land Wa­ter from all over the world over three days (Au­gust 18-20). If you’re com­ing along, make sure you come to see us in Mar­quee 6 (stands 36 and 37). We’ll have spe­cial sub­scrip­tion of­fers, you can meet the team and ask them your burn­ing ques­tions, and you’ll also be able to en­ter our amaz­ing com­pe­ti­tion, try our spin and win fea­ture where you can win loads of top prizes in­clud­ing cam­era bags, binoc­u­lars and more, PLUS come over and men­tion the word post­card and we will give you a lim­ited edi­tion post­card of the lat­est il­lus­trated cover de­pict­ing Rut­land Wa­ter. If you haven’t al­ready, you can sign up to #My200birdyear, and we’ll tell you how to make the most of the au­tumn to reach the tar­get. We’ll have a sight­ings’ board for you to keep abreast of what’s about so you can keep a look out. Op­tics ex­pert David Chan­dler will join us for Op­tics Q&A ses­sions on the Fri­day and Sun­day. Else­where, many of Bird Watch­ing’s part­ners, such as Heather­lea and Avian Ad­ven­tures, will also be present. There are talks, quizzes and de­bates with Chris Pack­ham (who an­swers our bird­ing ques­tions on page 114 of this is­sue), Martin Hughes-games, Nick Baker, Mark Car­war­dine, Mike Dil­ger, David Lindo, Si­mon King and other wildlife ex­perts. There’s also a Satur­day evening lec­ture with Steve Back­shall, who will be talk­ing about his wild ad­ven­tures around the world, and a dis­cus­sion with lead­ing con­ser­va­tion­ists, in­clud­ing the BTO’S Andy Cle­ments and Stephanie Hil­borne, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, look­ing at the im­pact Brexit might have on birds and other wildlife.

Pro­ceeds from Bird­fair’s ticket sales are do­nated to in­ter­na­tional con­ser­va­tion work through Birdlife In­ter­na­tional. In 2017, Bird­fair’s theme is Sav­ing Par­adise in the Pa­cific, and the event will be rais­ing funds for work on the French Poly­ne­sian is­land of Rapa Iti. Here, in­va­sive non-na­tive rats and goats are dec­i­mat­ing pop­u­la­tions of na­tive birds. These in­clude the en­dan­gered Rapa Fruit Dove, along with 11 threat­ened seabirds like the Rapa Shear­wa­ter and the lo­cal form of White-bel­lied Storm Petrel. Money from Bird­fair will help Birdlife In­ter­na­tional or­gan­ise the re­moval of goats and rats from nine Rapa islets. Last year’s Bird­fair raised an in­cred­i­ble £350,000 for in­ter­na­tional con­ser­va­tion. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, go to: bird­

WHITE-BEL­LIED STORM PETREL Funds from the Bird­fair will go to projects to help the likes of this Pa­cific breeder

OSPREY The iconic bird of Rut­land Wa­ter is a must-see dur­ing a Bird­fair visit

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