Trials of being a birder

Being a birder for many years I have had my fair share of amused people look at me in a peculiar way with the realisation that here was a seemingly “normal”, sane person passionately interested in birds.

You get that.

Get over it – I did three decades ago.

In my circle of friends – and most of my family, I’ve developed a resilience and thickness of hide to the point where they no longer think I belong in a loony bin. Quite the opposite. I’ve lost count of the number of conversations that start, “Trevor, thought of you the other day when I saw this interesting bird. Don’t know what it was but…” This opening is usually followed by a series of interrogating questions from me until I establish what bird they have seen.

I have also become something of a resident guru, receiving many phone calls soliciting my help in identification or help with injured birds. All this has escalated on this blog with readers’ comments and questions.

So it comes as a pleasant surprise that there are some very famous – hopefully also sane – people who are also birders. Bill Oddie (of BBC television “The Goodies” fame) is possibly one of the better known celeb birders, though reading his books one could question the “sane” tag in his particular case. Evidently former president Jimmy Carter is a birder. And so are the following celebrities better known for their non-birding exploits:

  • Billy Fury (singer)
  • Eric Morecambe (comedian)
  • Harold Wilson (PM of UK)
  • Princess Takamado of Japan
  • Ian Fleming (author of James Bond stories)

And now it seems we can add the name of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney to this list of celebrity birders.
To read about Sir Paul McCartney’s interest in birds click here.


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