Tuesday, 23 August 2011

BirdFair 2011

We're back; we survived; and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, even if a site-wide unavailability of mobile signal did make getting online and accepting payment by credit card difficult (read: impossible). Very nice to see so many of our customers and fantastic as always to get feedback from the people whose opinion really matters.

Fiona tries in vain to get some credit card machine signal:

With a little help from Ernie, (the fastest van driver in the west), the stand went from this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

Here's a 360° panoramic view of Marquee three (click for the full effect):

I started Friday with a wander around south Rutland at dawn.

A Raven, a Yellow Wagtail, some Stock Doves and this cheeky chappy were the highlights:

Also seen over the weekend, this Osprey behind the art marquee:

And the rare but beautiful Chequered Skipper:

Talks included a Celebration of Flyways in the Holy Land. Here's Bill Oddie:

And here's (what's left of) the falafel that was on offer:

Here's Andy Clements stood on a chair. He's calling in the crowds for a slice of cake to celebrate all the great work the BTO does.

Nick Baker plays with our Dragonflies app:

Bird Blogger Gunnar Engblom calls in for a chat:

And best of all, here's a lurvely wrist-band I won playing pin-the-bird-on-the-map at the OSME stand:

Taking down the stand is always a less precise affair than putting it up...
And soon we were done for another year, heading back south down the A1.

Definitive proof that we were back in London: a Red Fox wandering around in broad daylight.

Monday, 15 August 2011

All five BTO Cuckoos in Africa

All five of the BTO's satellite-tagged Cuckoos are now in Africa. Lyster, the last of the Cuckoos to leave the UK, arrived in Morocco on 10th August. He, like Clement, took the unexpected southwesterly route through Spain. All eyes are now on what Lyster will do now; his next challenge will be crossing the Sahara.

Meanwhile, Clement — who had settled in Senegal — was last tracked moving ESE through Mali.

Despite all five Cuckoos being ringed at sites within 70 km of each other in the UK, thousands of km now separate their current locations.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Autumn migration is underway

Anyone following the BTO's satellite-tagged Cuckoos will know that all five are now on migration, with four of them already in sub-Saharan Africa. However, lots of other summer migrants are also on the move right now and, for the Willow Warbler, the next couple of weeks will be the peak period for migration. The BirdTrack reporting rate illustrates this perfectly.

To submit your observations this autumn, or to see migration as it happens, visit the BirdTrack page.