Three survivors from the first 1963 Azraq expedition; (left to right) George Shannon, James Ferguson-Lees and Ian Wallace (photo; Sal Cooke)

On Armistice Day 2011, Slimbridge sparkled with sunlit wildfowl and the latest exhibition in The WWT Cheng-Kim Loke Gallery. Marshalled by local enthusiast Paul Walkden, the latter featured an amazing contrast in artistic styles. Fran Knowles brought from the Moray Firth seabird portraits in subtle pencil tones and Ian Wallace offered his birdwatching memories in gouache colours.



Among attending ornithological veterans were Lord Derek Barber, three BB Editors (from 1954), four of the six surviving members of the Azraq expeditions (1963-68), four BWP/BWPC Editors (1971-1998) and three itinerants of the Flamborough Ornithological Group (from 1972).

Three Asian experts compare their experiences; (left to right) Andrew Lasssey (Kazakhstan) Lindon Cornwallis (Iran) and Mike Wilson (Russia) (photo; Sal Cooke)







More recent practitioners of conservation featured four BBC Bristol stalwarts, wildlife-friendly farmers and a taxidermist gamekeeper. The gallery echoed with gusts of greetings and much laughter and no pager peeped. Outside the shared enjoyment of the Slimbridge spectacle, more diverse than ever, was huge.

Three BBC stalwarts of natural history radio show their enthusiasm; (left to right) Dave Richardson, Sarah Pitt and Brett Westwood (photo; Sal Cooke)

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