TN84 The ‘Fatbirder’ Conference Calls 10 Jan 2012


The one with Bo ‘Fatbirder’ Beolens, the colossus behind the Fatbirder empire and the ‘Grumpy Old Birder’ blog. While we intended to just talk about what 2012 might bring, we also dipped in and out of HS2, Ruddy Duck culls, Badger baiting and hunting, Spanish Sparrow, asked whether Jonny Rankin could replace David Attenborough on the BBC!

NB: All opinions and views expressed by an individual panel member and/or guest during a Conference Calls podcast are those of the individual speaker alone, and are not to be taken as being held by or representative of any other individual, organisation, or sponsor unless specifically identified as such during the recording of that podcast.


Show Notes

And your Panel today is…

  • Charlie Moores, a freelance writer and podcaster (and now sadly intermittent birder) who either lives in a warm little cottage in north Wiltshire with his family or in a cold ‘podding shed’ editing an endless series of podcasts that more and more people appear to now be listening to.
  • Tristan Reid, aka ‘binocularface’, a conservationist and well-known member of the Brit birding and twitching scene (to quote from Tristan’s binocularface blog “Some may call me obsessive; but I love to see rare and scarce birds and will travel anywhere within the UK and Ireland to see them!”) who lives in Cumbria.
  • Tom McKinney, the Derbyshire-based birder and award-winning musician who founded The House of Bedlam and gigs as part of Tango 5, and author of the much-missed Skills Bills blog. Tom now blogs weekly at
  • John Hague, a birding psychiatric nurse from Barnsley who now lives in Leicester where he’s a prominent member of the Leicester and Rutland Ornithological Society. John blogs extensively at The Drunkbirder where he rants “about the world and the absurdities of life“.
  • Nick Moran, an expat Yorkshireman living in Norfolk, where he runs BirdTrack at the BTO. Nick spent most of the noughties birding and occasionally teaching Biology in China and the UAE; he is an OSME Council member and secretary and voting member on the Emirates Bird Records Committee which keeps him in touch with Middle East birding.



Welcome to the Grumpy Old Birder BLOG and magazine article repository…

…the place where ‘the fatbirder’ rants and records published work.

Although I am sure some people who know me might disagree – I am not, by nature, particularly grumpy… I like, above all things, to laugh. However, somethings drive me nuts including cruelty, high-handed authority, and the selfishness of those whose actions effectively rob the majority of pleasure for the sake of their own pleasure. Into this category I lump those who kill things for pleasure, those who exploit the land regardless of how it effects wildlife and those who allow their pets to destroy habitat or kill wild creatures.

I am also increasingly incensed by people not confronting the ‘elephants in the room’ of over population, the myth of the need for ‘growth’ and the selfish pursuit of profit.

If any of this turns on a small light in the back of your mind you may find something here that you will enjoy reading…. I hope so!



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About the author

Passionate about animal welfare and conservation, veggie and dairy-free, I live in the Wiltshire (UK) countryside. I co-founded Birders Against Wildlife Crime and Birds Korea. Trustee of the League against Cruel Sports On Twitter @charliemoores


  1. Simon says:

    Hello Charlie
    Love the Conference Calls, always good distracting listening. Perhaps you should emulate Quentin Cooper from BBC Radio 4′s “Material World” who refers to the ‘podgramme’.
    Just a couple of comments:
    1. I download lots of BBC podcasts and a few others, and yours always seem to take forever to download by comparison. Are you aware of this? Is there a reason?
    2. If I might be so bold as to suggest a topic for discussion… I’m NOT a twitcher but I do enjoy birdwatching and I’ve got to that stage where binoculars aren’t enough and I’m seriously thinking about getting a scope. I’m not flush enough to run out and buy a Leica or Swarovski, so how about a discussion around the pros and cons of budget to mid-price scopes? Maybe even secondhand scopes. I’m very lucky, bird-wise at least, to live more or less on the Blackwater estuary in Essex and close to Abberton reservoir, to give you an idea of the sort of sites I’d be mainly visiting with my scope.
    Anyway – keep producing the interesting chat. Thanks

  2. Charlie Moores says:

    Simon. Many thanks for your comments and kind words. I’m really glad you like the podcasts. A mid-price scope comparison? It’s a thought, maybe we can get hold of some and chat about them…

    Re the BBC, they have rather more bandwidth at their disposal than we do to deliver their programmes, which means they’re always delivered quickly, and they create their podcasts at half the bitrate that we do – that’s slightly lower quality but then they have studios and mics that we can only dream of so their starting position is a little higher than ours! Maybe I should remaster the podcasts in a lower bitrate…I’ll have to give that some serious thought.

    All the best


  3. Simon says:

    Thanks Charlie
    The Conference Calls may take longer to download, but they’re always worth it.
    I tend to listen while driving so appreciate that you need to be careful of the quality when broadcasting skype conversations, so if that means a longer download time then so be it.
    Best wishes to all involved.

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