THOUSANDS SET TO FLOCK TO
The biggest event in the birding calendar is nearly upon us, and it looks set to be the best one yet!
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: birdfair.org.uk
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