Based in Bury St Edmunds Suffolk, I have a number of interests but I am always content to be out birding, which is usually every day walking my dog Fender. I do a lot of birding in Suffolk Breck but of course go further afield too.
Firstly many thanks for the opportunity to introduce the Big Bird Race to your readers, I am keen to tell as many audiences as possible about the day.
I notice from your Another world record coming up? post the differing comments on Bird Racing from your readers; Steve doesn’t like them owing to the carbon emissions (but then he was also broadly unhappy in his post!) whilst Chris hit the nail on the head ‘… birds remain, for me, the thing above all things’. I loved this comment and I think it offers a great introduction to why three friends and myself are doing the Big Bird Race on Sunday.
We generally do ‘a big day’ each May, starting locally and working up to the north Norfolk coast but we have never gone for the full 24 hours and nor have we prepared so much in advance. This year the principle difference is we are doing it for not just ourselves but for the RSPB and two of their campaigns.
We chose the Harapan Rainforest project to support as it has more global implications but are also very proud to be supporting the freshly launched Operation Turtle Dove campaign. All four of us consider Turtle Dove a ‘day maker’ and after reading about the problems Turtle Dove face cross-continent on migration and the resulting decline we are delighted to be supporting this operation.
Whilst the carbon emissions are a negative – I can make little excuse for them – the drive to do something exciting to support these RSPB campaigns far outweighs this negative. As we already have and hope to have more per-species sponsors we will travel to encounter as many as possible – albeit within East Anglia!
As such feel free to visit the JustGiving page or even leave a per-species pledge via the comments section below – we are extremely proud of our fund raising to date and hope the big day will excite others too.
As Chris said birds remain for all four of us, the thing above all things.
Comment from Mark: Good luck to Jonny and friends on seeing lots of birds tomorrow and raising lots of money for these two good causes.
Last weekend the ‘Bird Race’ which helped launch the Wales Coast Path, which simply added up species seen by any observers from the Coastal Path through the day, logged up a total of 140 species including a dotterel as the first bird and including red-rumped swallow and smew from the RSPB Newport Wetlands nature reserve (how many people in the UK have seen those two species on the same day before, I wonder?). The best analysed, most perfectly assessed and long-agonised guess at the total was…mine, of 139.
The weather looks fine for Sunday in East Anglia and my guess at Jonny’s total is 121 species – this time I’ll be miles away.