See you on Sunday, I hope. It’s Stafford time again: the National Exhibition, organised by the Parrot Society UK, sponsored by Johnston & Jeff, is now established beyond question as the premier event (commercial, social and competitive) for serious birdkeepers in the UK. So the Cage & Aviary Birds team will be there, and we hope you will, too. Come and say hello – we’re next to the Parrot Society. If you’ve attended before, you’ll know what to expect. If you haven’t... in brief, the morning is a full-on mixture of buying, selling and (in the show halls) stewarding and judging. In addition, many local and specialist clubs and societies have a stand there, so it’s brilliant for getting advice, making contacts and paying your subs. From lunchtime, matters relax a bit and there’s time to admire the show birds, catch up with friends and complete a few leisurely purchases. As a day out, it is pretty unbeatable.
Event supremo Les Rance tells me he’s sold out the sales tables, so if you’ve missed that bus, better luck next time! Entry wrist-bands are, of course, available on the day at the Stafford Showground, at £9.00 each, for entry at 0930hrs. There’s plenty of parking and several cafes and bars. It is all pretty straightforward. This year, those exquisite parrotlets make their show debut and all the major canary varieties (plus many old and rares) will be represented. That’s in addition to British birds, foreign finches, foreign softbills, lovebirds and (of course) budgies.
Among the many sales tables in the main hall, I must mention one: Table 60, which is where you’ll find top parrot expert and C&AB contributor Colin O’Hara. If you like Neophema parakeets, on no account miss Colin’s exclusive “Splendid Diary Update” on page 16.
And then there was the BS Club Show! Yes, the budgerigar flagship event took place on Sept 26-27 and a wonderful time was enjoyed all round. Sincere congratulations to the surprise winners of best in show, novice mother-and-son partnership Sandra & James Gillan who came from nowhere to seize the top prize: what a result! And well done to my colleagues Laura Welch and Laura Keens for their superb photo report of the event on pages 4-5, and also to the BS for being such perfect hosts.
Enjoy your birds this week – even if you’re just staying at home!
In the October 7, 2015 issue of Cage & Aviary Birds, unusual for its more ornate female plumage, the eclectus parrot has other peculiarities – including an almost mammalian feather texture. Bill Lowe investigates
In news the only two UK exhibitors at the Forpus International show in Aalst, Belgium, have both returned with awards and a novice mother-and-son partnership from Norwich has taken the prestigious title of best in show (BIS) at the UK’s largest exhibition budgerigar event.
Several British and European judges have officiated at budgerigar shows in Russia: a sign that the exhibition hobby there is now well established. Tatiana Okorokova describes how the budgie fancy survived the restrictions of the Soviet era and can now look forward with confidence
Development in the mutations of the splendid parakeet is progressing rapidly. In this special addition to his popular ‘Diary’ series, Colin O’Hara reports on some of this year’s successes and setbacks
On September 23, Dave Brown introduced three breeds of frill canary, and now develops his theme with an overview of three more: the Parisian, north Dutch and Fiorino frills
Plus lots more, including 60-Second Interview, BS Club spread, Readers' Gallery and flooring