Jonny Rankin and The Big Bird Race….


Jonny & his crew are doing a big bird race in May to help raise funds for the RSPB. There is more info here:

Here is another unique guest post by the Norfolk-Suffolk integrades. I should warn you that it ain’t pretty…..

With less than two weeks to go till the big day we interviewed bird racer and hardened Norfolk birder Rob Yaxley. Please read on as he shares his fears, hopes & fears for the Big Bird Race.

Q: You lent Jonny the Bill Oddie ‘Big Bird Race’ book and took him on his first bird race, so all this is basically your fault. Discuss.

A: I accept that responsibility with broad shoulders, but of course I cannot be responsible for the drunken state of Jonny on every bird race he has taken part in since then.

Q: How have you been preparing for the Big Bird Race?

A: Well, it’s an elaborate routine, with many hours spent practising a clean snatch of binoculars to eyes, an hour of song and call training a day and the endless sessions of team planning – and, of course, bench presses.

Q: Are you happy with the ‘crack team’ of ornithologists assembled for the big day?

A: Absolutely – the team couldn’t be more cracked. And I know they have been training like Olympic athletes.

Q: Have you ever seen Jonny sober for 24 hours before?

A: Ashally, shinking about it, carnamember.

Q: Are you worried about Jonny being sober for 24 hours?

A: No, not worried, as I know he will be on the red stripe for breakfast.

Q: Are you anxious that the Big Bird Race will take you out of Norfolk?

A: Well, you have hit the nail on the head there, I think we may get lost or possibly be attacked by bandits in the more hilly areas “abroad”. Or, more worryingly, I won’t be able to add to my Norfolk list. Still, there’s always the red stripe.

Q: If you could encounter any species on the Big Bird Race – what would it be?

A: A good hybrid duck always gets my blood pumping – it means you can tick several species all in one bird.

Q: What is your favourite Muscovy Duck of Indian Runner?

A: I am an Indian runner man myself, none of that Russian crap.


Q: After seeing Kate Hombles message of support for the Big Bird Race – how did you feel?

A: Elated that such an esteemed celebrity should deign to honour us with her blessing – and those legs certainly got me feeling a little… sweaty.

Q: Who is hotter Kate Homble or Kate Humble. Discuss.

A: Who is this Kate Humble?


To find our more about their fundraising initiative and to make a donation (brains are accepted but money is preferred….), visit their fundraising page at:

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About the author

I'm a birder and twitcher with a general interest in natural history (dragonflies, butterflies and orchids in particular) but most of all I am a passionate conservationist with a particular affiliation to Turkey. Having worked as a Ranger/Naturalist at a range of nature reserves throught the UK I now work as a freelance ecologist and writer.

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