On Tuesday we finished the official Nightingale Festival with a music night called "Birds in Folksong". The event was run jointly with the Friends and the St Neots Folk Club, with our returning guest star Derek Gifford.
I used to sing a lot of the songs in my youth at folk clubs and pubs in Wiltshire and Sussex, and the famous Copper Family (who collected a lot of songs about rural life) were old friends who sang at our wedding, so the event brought back a lot of happy memories.
Derek played a few songs with his guitar, but most were unaccompanied, and many were really quite rude! Others were very funny, especially his rendering of Edith Piaf's "No Egrettes".
It was good to relax after such a busy week. Attendances were as follows:
- Children's evening 30 children + 40 Adults
- Nightingale Serenade 214 + many volunteers
- Nightingales at night 135
- Dawn Chorus 30
- Folk Evening 50
On Tuesday and Wednesday we carried on rabbit-proofing the arable fields and started serious work on the painting our 4x4 (see last Blog). The robins, which nested under the bonnet, had left, but no chicks were seen except two dead ones in the nest. Weasels may be to blame.
On Friday 10th, staff went on a day-course to learn how to use our two Bell-Boats which were donated by McAlpines (now called Carrillion). We took pupils from Castle School out on the river on the following Wednesday. Then on Sunday 11th, volunteers took part in our early morning Bird Count which provides data for our breeding bird survey. On top of all that we had quite a few groups that came for guided walks and some VIP visitors from the USA and Denmark who were looking at creating new habitats like those at Paxton.