Birdfair Birders

Meet the Team:

Penny Robinson

I have always had an interest in the Natural World. Until the past few years I have concentrated on enjoying local wildlife at Rutland Water – mostly observing by walking. I am an enthusiastic although not particularly knowledgeable birder but I always enjoy what I see. As my own 4 children are leaving home, I have great fun – and a hectic time – when the Birdfair family comes home to roost every August : A brilliant event where I have met some amazing people who dedicate their lives to conservation. Amongst these are the organisers of Champions of the Flyway. I was very excited to be able to take part in this year’s COTF event as part of ‘Birdfair Birders’, especially after seeing Steppe Eagles, amongst the other thousands of raptors migrating through Batumi, Georgia in 2019 – sadly with gun shots peppering the air. Witnessing the spectacle of these birds alongside the persecution humans cause them – in just one of many similar locations – brings home the battle for life they shouldn’t have to face. I hope my small contribution and support can lead to these birds having a less challenging future.

Chris Hubbard

I have been birding in the UK since the early 1980’s. My early years were spent birding widely throughout the UK but in recent years I have developed a real passion for patch and county birding and the buzz that comes from finding your own birds. My local patch is Stanford Reservoir which sits on the border of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire and when I am not there or working I am normally birding in Leicestershire and Rutland (and trying to master the art of phone-scoping birds along the way)! I am also a current member of the county records committee.

I visited Israel in 2017 as part of the Eilat Bird Festival and have been keen to get back ever since.

When the opportunity came up to be part of ‘Birdfair Birders’ in the 2020 Champions of the Flyway I jumped at the chance to be a team member alongside Penny, Tim and Chris. What a fantastic opportunity to raise funds to help save the globally endangered Steppe Eagles in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Chris Park

I first became aware of birds at the age of four when my father rescued a Song Thrush stuck in snow. Holding this scrap of speckled feathers kindled in me a lifelong interest in these amazing creatures.
I have spent the last forty years working in managing countryside for people and wildlife all driven by my passion for birds. My quest for birds has taken me to some amazing parts of the world although there is nothing more enjoyable than seeing birds at my local patch Rutland Water, home of the British Birdfair. Every spring for the last 31 years I have been part of a team that races around the smallest county in England looking for birds.
So when the amazing opportunity came along to participate in the 2020 champions of the flyway in Israel as part of the ‘Birdfair Birders’ team in a event that combined sharing a love of birds with people from around the world as well as raising funds in support of the globally endangered Steppe Eagles, then it just had to be done.

Tim Appleton MBE

I have been passionate about wildlife , particularly birds and conservation all his life. A career in nature conservation starting with the original Wildfowl Trust at Slimbridge and then from the outset of Rutland Water way back in 1975.
Following several years of developing the reserve , I realised this was to be my life long home in the heart of England in England’s smallest County.
But how could I satisfy my wish to help international conservation, a desire to travel and still retain my wish to be at “home “
Well the answer was resolved when I co- founded the world’s first Birdfair on the shores of Rutland Water. To date Birdfair has helped £ 40 million and inspired Birdfair’s across the world.
So taking part in the Champions of the Flyways with our brilliant team The Birdfair Birders to help save one of the world’s iconic species the Steppe Eagle was a no brainier and hopefully with your support We really can make a difference.