Monday, July 31, 2023

Global Birdfair and elsewhere in the UK

Sorry for the delayed update, in recent weeks I have been super busy, and also lost some motivation to photograph birds and especially to use social media. The combination of super hot weather my crazy country falling apart makes me want to dig a cool burrow and jump right in. As long as I can still bird in it... My birding is concentrated to super early morning sessions - later on it becomes unbearably hot and sticky. 

I visited the UK earlier in July. The visit was focused on Global Birdfair, that happened in Rutland Showground during July 14-16. I am late to the party - so much has been written on social media about this event. So many selfies... I travelled there with Alen from my team, and we represented BirdLife Israel at this fantastic event. We promoted there our conservation work, including Champions of the Flyway: The new project for COTF24 was launched - tackling illegal killing of birds in Tanzania, working with Nature Tanzania. How exciting!

The new Birdfair was a great success, in my opinion. Tim, Penny and their team managed to generate the hype, the buzz that was so distinctive in the 'old' British Birdfair. It felt very 'right' to be there - it certainly was THE place to be. Great to hang out with so many friends from all over the world. My selfie motivation has dwindled too, so not many photos from birdfair.

Damn it, it had to be done

I enjoyed the VR birding experience offered by the talented Sounding Wild brothers - very cool! Can't wait to get you guys down to Eilat for some reeeaaaal migration.

Everyone complained about the weather. I loved it! Such a welcome respite from the heat in Israel. Good to see wetland restoration happening in real-time.

Of course, early morning birding had to be done. En route, Alen and I stopped at Grafham Water, where we were glad to relocate the Lesser Scaup that had gone missing for a few days. Too distant for photos but a welcome WP tick for me. Somehow I managed not to see one during my four years in the UK.

Birdfair morning sessions were dedicated to checking different Rutland Water hides - I actually enjoyed birding there quite much. I screwed up a possible Pec on July 16th, out of Dunlin hide. It was distant but looked good in the bins. By the time I got the baby scope on it, crows flushed it and it was lost.

Then Alen and I continued to London for two days of meetings with supporters there. The meetings went well. Early morning birding sessions were done in Totteridge Valley, not far from where I was staying, they were OK too. Firecrest was the best, Mandarin was a photo tick...

Then I went to Norwich, oh Norwich... A couple more days with friends, beach walk, birding and beer. Another Lesser Scaup on Colney Pits, again too distant for photos. Enjoy this Norwich soundscape - I appreciate Groppers. Haven't seen one in Israel yet - maybe this year?

Back home in Israel, migration is picking up, mostly shorebirds at the moment. See you again when I find the energy to pick the camera up.