‘The Biggest Twitch’ and Birding in Cyprus

An evening of talks hosted by Stithians regular Simon Taylor was a great success and enjoyed by a packed house. Read Simons account below…………

People started arriving at 6.30pm a good hour before the advertised start time and with a full house (approx 45) the evening started early. Three speakers – Steve Rogers and Ruth and Alan of the Biggest Twitch fame.

The evening started with Steve Rogers showing images of Cyprus. Starting off with the geographical location, where on the island he stayed, why he stayed there and then – the birds. Everything from Herons to Buntings, superb images of Gull’s, Bee Eaters, Rollers, Wheatear’s, Waders, Shrikes, Falcon’s the list was endless. The images an impressive collection of colourful birds taken in superb climatic conditions. Techniques used were spoken about for the benefit of photographers, salient features of plumage for tricky to identify species for the less experienced amongst us, all useful advice and I’m sure everyone learnt something.

After the break it was the turn of Ruth Millar and Alan Davies – I was expecting to hear something extraordinary and special from this marathon year long expedition to break a world record. They did not disappoint. Ruth opened up with an explanation of the current world record set by Jim Clements and what they did in preparation to break it. It was then a fast and furious “around the world in 60 minutes” as Ruth took us through the first 6 months. Images of birds most of us can only dream about seeing, images of the locals and amusing anecdotes thrown in. From the moment Ruth started her delivery i was captivated, absolutely mesmerised. At the end of June it was time for Alan to take us through the last 6 months. In the same style Alan continued the talk, top images, funny stories and a speedy delivery that kept everyone 100% focused on the talk. This evening will be difficult to match if indeed it can be matched. All three speakers were truly superb, and words cannot really describe just how enjoyable the evening was.

Before the evening meeting SW Optics held an Optics Day in the same building. With equipment from Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss and Opticron all laid out for people to look at and try with reps on hand to help out, proved to be another success.

Having spoken to Steve Rogers this morning there is no reason why the Optics Day will not become an annual event at Stithians and if the level of support for evening meetings continues as it has done – then so will the meetings.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ruth and Alan for speaking, Ashley and Kay for helping out and a very special thanks to Steve Rogers who was such an integral part of the evening it probably wouldn’t have happened without him.

The next meeting is Dec 5th the speakers are Andy Pay (birds of Washington or Costa Rica) and John Chapple showing films of Butterflies in Cornwall and Birds of the Farne Islands.



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