Over the weekend I was:
- Motivated by tales of individuals committed to adding to our knowledge of birds through conducting their own ‘citizen science’.
- Moved by the story of the demise of the curlew in Ireland (now down to fewer than 200 pairs)
- Entertained by predictions of birding in 20 years’ time.
- Amazed at the dedication of some birders who went on extreme expeditions to the remotest corners of Scotland to get records for the Bird Atlas 2007-11.
- Surprised at how little I really knew or, to be honest, how little we all know, about how birds use different habitats.
- Informed on the very latest news of the ups and downs of UK bird populations by having exclusive views of the new 2007-11 Atlas maps.
- Delighted to be given an opportunity to see the birding world through the eyes of articulate 16-year-old, Alex Rhodes.
- Gob-smacked by the high-adrenalin challenges and sheer exhaustion experienced by the team who are trying to save the Spoon-billed Sandpiper from extinction.
This is just a small sample of the presentations Wayne and I enjoyed at the BTO’s Annual Conference at Swanwick on 7-9 December. Add in good company, good food, good beer and a good excuse to get away from the Christmas preparations and you have to ask yourself why you weren’t there too?!
If you’ve never attended the BTO Annual Conference before we would urge you to give it a go in December 2013. Warning: you’re highly likely to come away inspired to take on all manner of BTO surveys!