Monday, 24 October 2011

What a brain; what a man; what a bird!

Firstly Autumnwatch has returned to our television screens.  Now, nothing beats getting out and about in nature except perhaps the delectable and divinely fascinating Chris Packham on your tellybox every Friday evening for a couple of months... or so I thought.

Saturday, 15th October 2011 was a day I never in my wildest dreams imagined would ever occur.  Well, obviously the date would occur but what happened on that day was totally fantastic.  I still haven't quite recovered.  Michelle and I attended the very first Wildlife Xpo at Alexandra Palace in London.  We were booked in to listen to three lectures; one of them given by the National Trust's Matthew Oates (butterfly guru and worshipper of HIM - His Imperial Majesty; the Purple Emperor) and the other two by none other than the man of the season Chris Packham.

It was a difficult task keeping my excitement under control.  However under control it remained and the photographic evidence is here for all to see.  (In case you can't spot me my hair is now short and red!)

Chris in action
Autograph signing

With Michelle and the girls from Hanningfield Reserve

So, there you have it.  A day to be remembered.  The best thing about it was listening to him talk about so many of the things we are learning at college and to feel really motivated to get out there and do it!

To add to that excitement, this weekend I was idly looking out the patio doors over the garden and paying particular attention to a row of four chubby little sparrows doing a spot of sunbathing when in swooped a whopping great (relatively speaking) sparrowhawk.  It landed on the bush on the other side of the fence and turned its head to give me a fantastic view of its yellow eye.  Spectacular.  And one of Chris' favourite birds I believe.  Picture below is from a BBC website as I was nowhere near ready with my camera!

The beautiful sparrowhawk

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