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Sunday, 19 May 2019

Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair & A Red-spotted Bluethroat at Weybourne!!!

Simon King and I at the Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair

Bill Oddie and I at the Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair

I arrived at Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park at around 10.30am for the first "Pensthorpe Bird And Wildlife Fair". I later regretted not visiting yesterday as well, as I didn't even have time to walk round the reserve itself properly today. I just made it in time to listen to Lizzie Bruce's presentation "The future of RSPB Titchwell" at 11am – Lizzie is Warden at Titchwell and until today I hadn't actually met her. I have no idea how old Lizzie is, obviously loads younger than myself, but I was hugely impressed by her enthusiasm, passion and confidence – she was an excellent speaker. I can waffle away to a handful of people, but to get up there on stage and speak to the masses, there is no way I could do that. It was extremely interesting hearing about the future plans for Titchwell, including the freshmarsh, which is going to be divided up into four sections! Also plans to improve the Fen Pool and much more. Mike Dilger came to listen to her talk. I introduced myself to Lizzie at the end of her presentation.

I made my way over to the marquees and had a lovely time looking at the all the exhibitor stands, chatting to people and handing out my new business cards!😉 I was so pleased that I managed to get selfies with Simon King and Bill Oddie fairly quickly!!! I took lots of pictures of all the stands and pictures of various people, including the fabulous CleySpy Team, NOA, lovely picture of Lucy McRobert and Duncan MacDonald at Wildsounds signing her book and more pictures of Simon King and Bill Oddie at their talks later in the afternoon.

Had a lovely lunch in the picnic area – nice selection of food vendors and a choice of seating in sunshine or shade by the lakes. The weather was fabulous all day, which got the crowds out. Very relaxed atmosphere, except when everyone was jostling to get the best seats for Simon King at 2pm! I don't know how I managed to get a front seat in the lecture marquee, but I did! I felt like the cat that got the cream, as I sat only yards away from Simon King, who as usual presented a fabulous talk, supplemented by the most fascinating photographs, with the usual humour and animal noises thrown in too! I stayed seated for Bill Oddie's talk at 3pm, who also presented a fascinating account of his life in birding. My only issue was my coccyx injury from sitting on a short post at Titchwell a couple of years ago, was agony sitting on a wooden chair for two hours – I really regretted not bringing my fold up cushion!

I now had one hour left until the fair closed at 5pm. Met Joe Harkness (Bird Therapy) and his wife and child. I was hoping to bump into Craig Jones, who is an awesome photographer, but our paths didn't cross. David Tipling was showcasing all his amazing work, such a nice man too. Took more pictures of stands, took some pictures of Simon King on the CleySpy stand for Tim and managed to wander around the reserve for half an hour. My phone battery had died completely, so couldn't take any more pictures, which was a little annoying. Saw Bill Oddie wander off around the reserve at the end of the day. I'm sure there must have been an after party for all the exhibitors and celebrities. Bill and Deb Jordan certainly pulled off a fabulous event, just like a scaled down Rutland Bird Fair really, in a very beautiful, but more family orientated setting. They are already planning next year's event.


Love this picture! Me with some of the CleySpy Team
From left: Tim (boss), Simon, Phil and Suzanne

Self explanatory!

Simon, Penny and the lovely Suzanne

Phil and Susie!
 Lucy Ferrer and Ray Roche at the NOA Stand!

David Tipling: Photographer

Simon King with me again!

Simon King on the Zeiss Stand

Bill Oddie with me
Duncan MacDonald with Lucy McRobert signing her new book at the WildSounds stand!

Simon King presenting his always enthralling talk

Bill Oddie presenting his life's birding in one hour – hugely entertaining as always!
Only a small part of Bill's talk – my phone battery ran out!

The crowd behind me in the Lecture Marquee for Bill and Simon!

A lovely lady I met who reads my blog – Christine who was here with her family, nice to chat with you

White-naped Crane!

Barnacle Goose


Bill Oddie having a stroll at the end of the day

Stained glass in the courtyard garden

Back at my car parked in the field, I had a coffee and something to eat and then had to make a decision...... the sensible Penny should have gone home, but the crazy Penny decided to twitch the Red-spotted Bluethroat at Weybourne! So off I went! I can't resist a Bluethroat!

Parked the car up along the road opposite the windmill at Weybourne and walked east for a very long way and joined Andy Hale to search for the Bluethroat. It was spitting with rain and it looked pretty hopeless to be honest. We were the only ones here searching, until Ashley Banwell, his wife Claudia and daughter Alice turned up and found the Bluethroat within minutes! Not bad going for a family that had already done Blakeney Point today! A few others turned up: John Hurst, Jake G. and a couple of other young lads (can't remember their names, sorry!). Young Alice had the best views, when she flushed it unknowingly only yards from her feet, as we stepped down onto the shingle beach to search for it! The Bluethroat was incredibly difficult to photograph and didn't pose anywhere for more than a nano second, but what a fabulous day all round! Didn't get home until 10pm though! On holiday for the rest of the week, looking forward to seeing some more hot birds! Not back to work until Tuesday 28th May!

Between Weybourne and Sheringham this evening!

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