Win a copy of Behind More Binoculars


Behind More Binoculars will be published on or soon after 16 October – apparently the books are arriving on a slow boat from China – how exciting! – so that’s a bit less than a month away.

But I’ll give you the chance to win a copy signed by the authors, Keith Betton and myself.

Here are quotes from the book, one from each of the interviewees. Match the quotes to the interviewees and you could win yourself a book.  The winner will be the entry, posted as a comment on this blog post (I won’t publish the comments, just use them as entries to this competition), which matches the most comments correctly to the interviewees. In the event of a tie then the first entry submitted with that number of correct answers will win. Interviewees and their partners and offspring, employees of Pelagic Publishing and anyone else involved with the production of the book are excluded.

The 17 interviewees, in alphabetical order, were: Tim Appleton, Dawn Balmer, Tim Birkhead,  Bryan Bland, Ann Cleeves, Tim Cleeves, Roy Dennis,  Frank Gardner, Jon Hornbuckle, Carol Inskipp, Tim Inskipp,  Tony Juniper,  Tony Marr, Bill Oddie, Kevin Parr,  Richard Porter, Barbara Young.


  1. Q: Are you good with a baseball bat then? A: Pretty, yeah. I can break a knee with no trouble.
  2. Q: What’s your British list? A: 472
  3. Q: What is your favourite bird group? A: Babblers.
  4. …she is married to Peter Capaldi, so Dr Who has sampled our curry too.’
  5. I kept tame Jackdaws, one of which I taught to ride on the handlebars of my bike, and another time I reared three Shelduck which used to follow me around
  6. …the highlight in the garden was a Wryneck – the one and only Wryneck I’ve ever seen. I’d actually walked around to look at the colony of Grass Snakes we have on the compost heap and a small bird flew up, and it was one of those strange moments, where I knew straight away it was a Wryneck even though I’d never seen one before. we had brilliant views: it was incredibly confiding.
  7. I was most impressed by the quality of RSPB staff, many of whom at that time were birdwatchers like me.
  8. I absolutely hate the idea of watching a half-dead bird with 500 other people!
  9. I found New Zealand disappointing. It’s quite hard work for such a big land mass.  There are some lovely native species such as Tui, Kokako and Morepork, but so many of the birds are just boring imports from Britain
  10. I play the guitar for an hour every day. Rock guitar!
  11. The two things, fishing and birdwatching, definitely went together. The busy bird time tends to tail off in late June and then the fishing season starts.
  12. ‘…even if killing didn’t cause population declines I just don’t like it. I put it in the same category as child abuse. I just don’t like people killing or being cruel to birds. So yes, I’m a bird lover.’
  13. …my boss said to me ‘You’re bloody hopeless at this, but we have a job as a communications/public affairs officer – would you like to do that?
  14. Ours was a very eventful trip, including as it did a hijacking of our flight in Pakistan which could easily have ended in disaster – a man holding a hand grenade pulled the pin out, detonating the grenade and blowing off his own arm!
  15. ‘I’m a supporter of Caroline Lucas. I’m not a political person and don’t really like being in that arena.’
  16. I once spent a night in Thurso jail because a kindly policeman offered it as an alternative to sleeping rough.
  17. My best find was a Black-winged Stilt at Beeston Rylands, Nottingham, in May 1973.’

I set up a similar competition when Behind the Binoculars was published, there were 20 interviewees and the competition was won by Stuart Benn who correctly matched 7 of them.  So don’t be put off if you think you might have correctly guessed just a few – you might still win.


Rules:  Entries must be received before 1800 on 16 October.  Employees of Pelagic and people interviewed in the book are not allowed to enter. Entries must be made as comments on this particular blog post and the time of comment will be taken as the entry time.  Entries should include a valid email address so that I can contact the winner.  Only one entry per email address is allowed. The person with the most correct answers will get the book and in the event of a tie it will be the first of the tied entries that wins.

That seems a lot of rules for a small prize – and anyway, why not just order the book now and find out what the answers are as soon as it is published? If you move quickly, and use the code BMB30 you can get 30% off the cover price.



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3 Replies to “Win a copy of Behind More Binoculars”

  1. 1) Ian Botham
    2) some random train spotter
    3) Backstreet Boys
    4) Jamie Oliver
    5) Dr.Doolittle
    6) stringer
    7) someone easily bribed
    8) Gamekeepers
    9) Australian bloke you were talking to at Heathrow
    10) Queen Elizabeth II
    11) Chris Tarrant
    12) obviously a decent chap
    13) could've been me, can't remember
    14) Hillary Clinton
    15) Theresa May
    16) must have sold more books then that Mark?!!
    17) Bill Odie
    Nailed it, let me know if you need my address


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