Tag: British Birdwatching Fair

Birdwatching Northumberland at the Bird Fair

by on Aug.26, 2011, under Birdwatching, Northumberland

Once again the Birdwatching Northumberland stand at the Bird Fair proved very popular; particularly each afternoon, when visitors were able to sample Lindifarne Mead, Alnwick Rum and a selection of Allendale Beers.  We collected most of the alcohol from Northumbrian Gifts just before heading south, and arrived at Rutland Water in time to assist with getting the stand ready.

Birdwatching Northumberland, British Birdwatching Fair 2011

Hanging the backdrop

Birdwatching Northumberland, British Birdwatching Fair 2011

Almost there


Birdwatching Northumberland, British Birdwatching Fair 2011

Sarah and Janet, flying the flag for Northumberland

Birdwatching Northumberland, British Birdwatching Fair 2011

How to transform a display table...

Birdwatching Northumberland, British Birdwatching Fair 2011

...into a 'mini' bar

Birdwatching Northumberland, British Birdwatching Fair 2011

They're only here for the beer 😉

It was really good to meet up with so many of our existing clients during the 3 days, and we made lots of new clients as well 🙂  Martin’s 2 talks were both very well attended; 118+ (the clicker counter wasn’t working properly!) for ‘Northumberland’s Winter Wonderland’ on Saturday, and 142 for ‘Northumberland through the Seasons’ on Sunday.  With holiday bookings, pelagic bookings and several prestige tours booked since the weekend this was our most productive Bird Fair since we became part of the Birdwatching Northumberland consortium in 2008.  Almost as enjoyable as meeting visitors who are interested in Northumberland, is working as part of a well-established team.  With most us stopping at the White Lion in Whissendine, a remarkable combination of English Country pub and Indian Restaurant (one of the consortium members has a bit of an obsession with Eggs, Peas and Potato…), the evenings were filled with excellent food, good ale and some very enthusiastic discussions.  Looking forward to 2012 🙂  Finally a big thank you to Iain for his organisation, banter…and wielding of the sweeping brush 🙂
Birdwatching Northumberland, British Birdwatching Fair 2011
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British Birdwatching Fair 2011

by on Aug.18, 2011, under Birdwatching

It’s that time of year again, and NEWT will be at the British Birdwatching Fair for the next 3 days as part of the Birdwatching Northumberland consortium.

The consortium partners (Northumberland Tourism, Northumberland National Park Authority, Northumberland Coast AONB partnership, North Pennines AONB partnership, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, National Trust and Northern Experience Wildlife Tours) have, between them, an extraordinary wealth of knowledge about Northumberland and the North Pennines and we’ll be sharing that advice and knowledge with anyone who comes to visit our stand (Marquee 1, Stand 53-54).

To find out even more, why not attend one of the lectures that Martin is giving;

Saturday 20th August, 10:30am, Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre, ‘Northumberland’s Winter Wonderland’

Sunday 21st August, 10:30am, Lecture Marquee 2, ‘Northumberland through the Seasons’.

This year’s Bird Fair will also see the launch of the Northern Experience Holidays brochure for 2012, highlighting our range of wildlife, photography and birdwatchig holdays.  Come and get your copy before they all go!

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An eventful evening

by on Jun.17, 2011, under Badger, Birdwatching, Druridge Bay, Northumberland, Red Fox, Red Squirrel, Southeast Northumberland

Thursday was my 3rd consecutive late finish.

Before setting off for a ‘Red Squirrel and Badger Safari’ I had a few admin things to get done including some more planning for the Birdwatching Northumberland stand at this year’s British Bird Fair (I’ve got 2 lecture slots at the Bird Fair this year!).

After collecting our picnic from The Swan, I headed to Church Point to collect Vince and Karin for their second safari day this week.  Some unexpected birdwatching highlights included a Little Tern and a Cuckoo.  A group of Tufted Ducks staring at a reedbed, and a clearly annoyed Mute Swan staring at the same reedbed and hissing, suggested that we were close to an Otter but in the blazing sunshine it stayed in the shade of the reeds and out of sight.

The first of the day’s targets was achieved with possibly the reddest Red Squirrel I’ve ever seen, simply stunning as it ran along the sun-dappled canopy, and then it was time to position ourselves close to our favourite Badger sett.  Would the badgers come close?  would they only appear when it was too dark to really appreciate what magnificent animals they are? all worries were eased when, in broad daylight, our first Badger of the evening came trotting along only 5m away, apparently oblivious to our presence.  Another 3 Badgers followed, as well as 3 Red Foxes, and Tawny Owls were calling from the trees around us.

Of all of our tours, our evening mammal trips perhaps have the greatest unpredictability and the most remarkable ‘atmosphere’ of them all.  It’s still my favourite time of the day 🙂

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Marching on

by on Mar.30, 2011, under Birdwatching, Lindisfarne, Northumberland

As the start of the main season approaches, it’s been a busy few weeks for NEWT.  I attended the latest Netgain meeting, as this important part of the North Sea Marine Conservation Zones project nears its conclusion, plans are developing for the Birdwatching Northumberland stand at this year’s British Birdwatching Fair, Tourism fairs/leaflet distribution days gave us a chance to catch up with a lot of the accommodation providers we work with, final preparations are in hand for a big group holiday we’re running in May and 2 smaller holidays in July, and days out with clients are increasing in frequency.

Yesterday we had a Lindisfarne Safari; Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Grey Plover, Wigeon, Teal, Golden Plover and Dunlin were still around in good numbers, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were singing literally everywhere that we walked, and Long-tailed Ducks were displaying their breeding finery.  When discussing bird songs and calls with clients, I always mention The Sound Approach, which I’ve always found to be such an inspirational book, so was really pleased to learn that Brenda has a copy of the book, and an interest in how different people describe the same bird sounds.

At the end of a really enjoyable trip, I made the long drive to Otterburn Mill for a meeting with the Chair’s of some of Northumberland’s other tourism associations.  Some strong, and often conflicting, views were expressed but we all agreed that what is best for Northumberland is for us all to move in the same direction. So we will…

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British Birdwatching Fair 2010

by on Aug.25, 2010, under Birdwatching, Family and friends, North Pennines, North Sea, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast

We’ve been away for a few days, as part of the Birdwatching Northumberland consortium at the British Birdwatching Fair 2010.

Thursday started very early for Martin, with a North Pennines Prestige Tour for clients who were staying at Wallfoot in Carlisle.  Managing to avoid the worst of the weather, avian highlights included Merlin, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Red Grouse, Black Grouse, Whinchat and Wheatear.  The long drive down the M6 didn’t, unfortunately, miss the heavy rain.  However, a late arrival at the White Lion in Whissendine, and a few beers in the bar with such luminaries as Ipin set Martin up nicely for an early start on Friday.

Sarah was at work (in her ‘proper’ job) so, apart from attending a couple of lectures, Martin was on the Birdwatching Northumberland stand for all of the first day.

Saturday we planned to work ‘split’ shifts, but with Martin again spending most of his time on the stand; apart from another couple of lectures and one or two chats with clients, colleagues, suppliers, competitors and collaborators (both old and new).

Another excellent curry at the White Lion, and a ‘few’ beers, on Sataurday night was followed by the dawning of the final day of Bird Fair 2010.  One of us was a bit ‘under the weather’ but perked up in time to give his talk ‘The North Sea – a new birding frontier’ at 3.30pm.  What could have been a bit of a graveyard shift managed to generate a lot of interest, with 134 bird fair attendees making their way to the lecture marquee to enjoy a brief history of the Northumberland pelagics.  There were a few questions at the end of the lecture, then Martin was stopped and asked some more, for the next 10 minutes, as he headed back to the stand – where other people who had been in the lecture were waiting to ask more questions.

After three days at the Bird Fair we’d made a lot of new contacts, renewed some old acquaintances and we’ll shortly be entering exciting partnerships with some big names in the birding world.  Just a few very busy weeks to come first…

A final night in the midlands was followed by the journey north on Monday, and then a Prestige Tour yesterday.  Beginning with  an actively feeding Dipper was a good start then, with a particular request for wading birds, it was good to strike a rich vein on the coast; Green and Common Sandpipers, Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Curlew, Whimbrel, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Dunlin and Ruff.  What seemed to go down better than all of the other birds though were the always impressive Grey Herons.

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Since I last blogged…

by on Aug.26, 2008, under Birdwatching

We’ve spent three tiring but very enjoyable days working on the Birdwatching Northumberland stand at the British Birdwatching Fair (highlights were a talk by Jari Peltomaki about owls in Finland, and ‘An Audience with Simon King’ was very entertaining as well) where we spoke to an awful lot of people who are interested in birdwatching tours and wildlife watching holidays in Northumberland.

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