A Brilliant BirdFair!
I always look forward to Birdfair, but this one has really been amazing. Fantastic weather, a great team on the Bushnell stand and a wonderful show in so many ways.
I was let off the stand building this year so it was somewhat a luxury to turn up and find the stand just about finished! Professional stand builders had a done a wonderful job and it all looked amazing. A new design with a raised binocular viewing platform provided loads more space for people to try out all the optics kit on offer and then the trail cams and night vision were all displayed on the other side. Three screens displayed a rolling filmshow of many of the best Bushnell captures I have had over the last few years and we soon had all the kit displayed, ready for the show…
May be I was just imagining it, but Friday seemed to be one of the busiest days we have ever had on Birdfair; a gorgeous day and the crowds just kept coming! Birdfair has a completely different atmosphere to any other shows I have ever done; a friendly, relaxed and enthusiastic crowd of people.
The Bushnell stand was incredibly busy all day, with Gareth and I hardly having a chance to take even a short breather all day! We had a great team this year, with international visitors as well… Laurent came over from the Bushnell offices in France and Darin Stephens , from the USA, also joined us. With Brent , Matt Gareth and myself, we offered skill and knowledge that covered the whole of the Bushnell range of optics, trail cams and night vision and were kept on our toes with all the questions and discussions…
The Optics Marquee is wonderful, with the whole front of the marquee opening onto a wonderful wetland habitat… perfect for testing out the optics on offer, but all allowing some fresh air in! I did feel sorry for some of the other exhibitors in the hot and humid enclosed marquees.
Gareth and I had booked for an evening talk on the Friday night because two amazing young naturalists, Georgia Locock and Josie Hewitt, were hosting the evening with Chris Packham, Nick Baker and Simon King. It was a great evening of amusing anecdotes and amazing stories of experiences these three inspirational naturalists have experienced. The event seemed very well received and ,sponsored by Zeiss, I was thrilled for both Josie and Georgia, when they were awarded a pair of binoculars each! Wow!
I did not get off of the stand as much as I would have liked to, but still had the chance to catch up with lots of friends and associates, many from Twitter and also many who I seem to catch up on a yearly basis with, at this great event. It is wonderful to be surrounded by so many like-minded individuals… with a chance for a few selfies!
I did manage to have a quick whizz around to the Art marquee to catch up with the lovely Darren Woodhouse, whose work I love. I also wanted to meet Richard Lewington whose wildlife illustrations completely blow my mind! I was able to look at some of his original artwork. I am totally in awe of his incredible talent and that of his brother, Ian, who specialises in bird illustration. Finally I was able to meet, and have a chat with, Harriet Mead. Her sculptures made out of scrap metal, are astounding and I love every piece she has produced. This stone curlew sums up the kind of work she produces… you may have seen her on Countryfile a while back, creating hare sculptures…
Thank you to all the many people who came to talk to me and the Bushnell team…. it was a great show and I am already looking forward to BirdFair 2016! Cheers!