Saturday 17 August 2013

Day Two at Birdfair. 

Ian Denholm and Abbi Jinks at Birdfair 2013
Image: L. Marsh
Another busy day at Birdfair, culminating in Ian Denholm's lecture on 'Botany for Birders'. 

Our new President spent the day on the BSBI stand, chatting to people about orchids (he is one of our Orchid Referees), rare birds he's seen (he has a serious world lifelist) and BSBI's role in 21st Century botany. People dropped by to catch up with him, like Abbi Jinks, Events Project Manager for RSPB - we met her at the State of Nature launch at the Natural History Museum in May - and Ian Bennallick, county recorder for East Cornwall. 

And folks who were new to BSBI were delighted at the chance to ask our President - if I joined your society, what could BSBI do for me? So...

Improve your ID skills at a local group field meeting.
Image: R. Parry 
We showed them our website, asked where they lived and clicked on the interactive map on the homepage, which showed them who to contact locally about BSBI activity in their area. They could see if any of BSBI's national field meetings were taking place nearby (especially those marked as particularly suitable for beginners) or any local groups active in their area, or who to talk to about local training and recording opportunities. We showed them BSBI News and New Journal of Botany, and told them about membership discounts on botany books, like the series of BSBI Handbooks. We invited them to our Annual Exhibition Meeting at the Natural History Museum in London on Saturday 23rd November. We told them about BSBI's national support network of county recorders and national referees like Ian and the two Beginners' Referees (you can start using them as soon as you join the society). And as if that wasn't enough, we told them about the important scientific work their subscription would be supporting. 

Ian Denholm lecturing at Birdfair 2013.

Ian went straight from the stand to the Birdwatching Centre, to deliver his lecture on 'Botany for Birders'. It played to a packed house, was extremely funny, and you should be able to download the PPT as a free pdf from our website next week, although it can't capture the humour of the live performance!

A few people also took us up on our offer and challenged us with photos of mystery plants (which Ian was able to name successfully), and even more used the ID keys we'd brought along to help them name a plant they'd spotted previously. Maybe we'll get some unidentifiable plants tomorrow, before Birdfair closes at 5.30.

Many thanks to Ian, Alyson and Rachel for volunteering today and promoting BSBI so well.

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