This year's Birdfair was held over the weekend of 19th-20th August at the usual venue at Rutland Water. It gets bigger every year and I defy anyone to do it justice nowadays in a single day's visit. For me, an equally enjoyable experience was being able to stay with friends, David and Amanda, near past familiar territory at Sandy. Present too were Steve and Sarah so the whole visit was a laugh from end to end! I even got to witness the winding up of the Abbotsley church clock which is done on a daily rotation basis by the community, as is checking on Michael Palin's Mother-in-law, a delightful lady in her nineties!! Good times.
I helped on a couple of stalls and thoroughly enjoyed the full three days. Meeting friends aplenty, foreign contacts from yesteryear , browsing endless stalls offering travel details to exotic places and trying desperately hard to be disciplined when looking at the many bookstalls present! Thankfully the weather was kind and no persistent rain or torrential downpours saw fit to turn the site into a quagmire. With seven large marquees to visit, the Art Marquee and all the networking I never managed to get to one lecture, for which I noticed there was at least two marquees this year!
For me it was an occasion of reflection, as I haven't been for about five years, but came away full of resolve to ensure I never miss in future. A necessary social topping up essential to placing focus on the rest of the year's birding activities.