Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Bird Fair

A blog post by bug Mad Girl ...

Today we went to the Bird Fair at Rutland Water. I was really excited to be there, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect as it was the first time I'd been. When we got there, we walked through the art tent and I bought a brilliant picture of an elephant hawkmoth from Richard Lewington, a famous artist who draws lots of pictures for the butterfly and moth identification books! It's so detailed that it really makes you wonder how long it must take to draw something as great as that!
Then we went outside and there was a huge artists mural that was being painted all weekend by lots of different artists. One of them let me paint some feathers on one of the birds. I had to be really careful and he watched very closely what I was doing, but it was really exciting to be able to do part of it!
The artists mural
There was also a Children's Mural that anyone could have a go at painting. I painted a deaths head hawk moth on it.

Then we walked around the marquees and got to look at all the stands. There were all sorts of cool things to look at! I got to hold an elephant hawk moth caterpillar at the Butterfly Conservation stand. It was really cute and I would have loved to take it home with me!
Elephant hawk moth caterpillar
We saw fen raft spiders at the spider stand, which are very rare. They also had some house spiders, which are the same as the pet spider, Sparkle, that I had last year.
Fen raft spider
I made friends with a giant model of a tansy beetle at the Buglife stand. They're also very rare and are only found in York and a couple of other places in the country.

There were lots of cool binoculars and cameras at the fair, so I tried a few out and may have to ask for some for my birthday. I used them to watch the dragonflies that were flitting around outside the stand.
We went on a bug hunt with the Wildlife Trust and had a go at sweep netting.
I found lots of interesting things including damselflies, mayflies, ladybirds, dock beetles, weevils, spiders and all sorts of little bugs and beetles.
Somebody else holding a damselfly - look at those eyes!
Dock beetle

Checking what we found in the nets
We had lunch, and another look round, then we went pond dipping with the RSPB. I caught dragonfly larvae, damselfly larvae, water boatman and some pond snails. Somebody else managed to catch a stickleback!

Damselfly larva

Dragonfly larva


Water boatman
It was loads of fun and a brilliant day! I'm not sure why they call it the bird fair though, perhaps it should be the bug fair!


  1. Brilliant! I actually wanted to go to this this weekend but sadly I couldn't. No one was able to take me (I can't drive), even though I had a guy who was going to take me, but he changed his mind at the last moment! I wish I was there!! Did you meet any celebs?

    1. We saw Bill Oddie and Simon King, but didn't talk to them - BMG didn't really seem interested in spotting celebs.

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  3. By the way, tell BMG that I have a How To Draw slugs and snails post on my blog. Hope she will like it?

    1. Will have a look - I'm sure it will be great!

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