Lockdown solidarity #cotf20

From L to R; David Callahan, Andy Clements, Mike Alibone, me

Four years ago I was participating in the Champions of the Flyway Bird Race in Israel with the three gentlemen above. It was fun and we raised a lot of money for bird conservation in Greece. But Israel is not the country in the world with the best moral credentials (nor is the UK!) and we all got there by plane and drove around a lot.

Having said that – it was a great trip (see here for an account written after I got back).

This year, of course, it’s cancelled because of a global pandemic.

But the fundraising is still a good cause, I don’t have to go to Israel and I’d like to see some birds. So my bird race will start just before dawn in my garden in east Northants and I’ll be looking for birds all day (though not every minute of the day – I’ll be popping in and out of the garden every hour for a while).

Why? Because I can, and also to highlight the fact that the cause selected to benefit from this year’s cancelled race is a good cause and it would be a shame if it wasn’t supported.

I’ll keep you updated through the day, but if I get to 30 species that will be pretty good going so don’t expect much. But, you never know.

I like the logo of this team and so if you want to support them here is their JustGiving page too.



6 Replies to “Lockdown solidarity #cotf20”

  1. I’m quite happy to accept that the UK hasn’t the best moral standing in the World but whatever our status it is a damned sight better than the moral standing of a country that illegally occupies other peoples land and builds settlements on it, treats its Arab citizens as second class in law, has apartheid walls around Palestinian areas and blockades many of the goods needed by those areas. The Netanyahu government is a disgrace internationally (as well as allegedly corrupt) and would rapidly fall from grace if it were not for support, moral, military and financial from that supporter of right wing “Rsoles ” everywhere Donald Trump.
    I probably will donate to this cause supporting conservation of Steppe Eagles but visit Israel under this regime or whilst they occupy Palestinian land absolutely no chance.

  2. I did think cotf must have had an appalling level of co2 for the sake of a bit of fundraising. Glad it’s not happening again.

    1. In fact the entire thing sounded like an excuse for people to do what they enjoyed, no matter how destructive, and salve their consciences with a bit of fundraising. Like so much of the ‘climb Kilmangaro and do a bit of good in the world’ bollocks.

  3. ‘Israel is not the country in the world with the best moral credentials’

    No it is not but (as you acknowledge with reference to the UK) not many countries moral credentials bear very close scrutiny. I wonder if you would have felt obliged to make this comment had the bird race taken place in any other Middle Eastern country? Yet (disregarding difference in economic living standards) I would far sooner live within Israel – a broadly democratic state – than under virtually any other regime in the region and would certainly not wish to live in any country governed by the medieval thugs of Hamas – particularly not if I was a woman or gay or Jewish or atheist, or simply wished to be able to express views freely that diverge from their orthodoxy…
    Netanyahu is an appalling person and I believe that Israel is justly criticised for its creation of settlements in illegally occupied territory and above all for the excessive violence of its incursions into Gaza (which I believe as well as being inhumane is also self defeating, acting as an effective recruiting sergeant for Hamas). However, it should be remembered that throughout its history Israel has been surrounded by hostile states who wish to see it wiped from the map. Rockets are regularly and frequently fired from within the Palestinian territory at Israeli settlements and the fact that this does not result in more deaths is not due to a lack of murderous intent. I imagine that any state living under such a threat would tend to develop a rather hard line towards its own defence.
    I dare say that many readers of this site will disagree strongly with me but I hope that we would all agree that we need an end to conflict in the region as soon as possible so that all people – Israeli and Palestinian, Jews and Muslims can live in peace without constant fear of shells or rockets tearing their lives apart. I don’t believe that seeking to treat Israel as a pariah state that must be shunned by all right thinking people will help in any way towards achieving that goal.

    1. Why not it worked when we treated pro-apartheid South Africa as a pariah state and Israel operates an apartheid state based on religion.
      I must say I have no wish to live under any regime in the Middle East I value my political freedom and the freedom to be opposed to all “religions of the book” ( Christianity, Islam and Judaism).

  4. Once again, sorry for another off-topic comment, but I couldn’t resist bringing the readers’ attention to today’s episode of BBC soap (yes, seriously) DOCTORS. If many here are concerned that Countryfile often features one-sided propaganda, this will have you laughing so much, you won’t be able to find the off switch! Even real gamekeepers would be embarrased by such shameless piffle (if they weren’t all busy taking advantage of the current lack of scrutiny).


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