The unsound approach

Honorable mentions

Bringing you the heroes of UEA's birding "scene", past and present....



Dr Dave "Trousers" Smith


Entomologist, cetologist, orca publicist, trouser-wearer and occasional spanner.


Famous for:


Being the first human in history to get all four limbs stuck in the same rock crevice on Wingletang Down.


Famous quote: "Is Biscay in the southern hemisphere?" (shortly before being put in charge of Biscay's marine life by popular children's conservation organisation "ORCA")




Rik Addison


Non-reformed twitcher, bornean schoolgirl’s fancy, brewer’s christmas bonus.


Famous for:


Proving himself britain’s sharpest twitcher by calling a Rev from the middle of a 100-strong blackpoll twitch. Going to the northern isles every october and staying indoors during daylight hours to watch tellytubbies.


Famous quote: (very shortly after finding bluethroat and short toed lark on fair isle) "This is shit i'm off back to bed".





Mark Baynes


Stressed eric, flea wannabe, reformed twitcher and future EGI chicken-sperm professor.


Famous for:


 “Bloddy hell, that’s a bobolink! Yeah, jeesus a bobolink!!!! Brilliant! Where’s my phone… Wait a minute, was that a bobolink? Yeah, course it was! Err, was it? Err, maybe not. No. No, course it wasn’t. Was it???? B*llocks, where’s my pills. Nah, not a bobolink, come on. Bobolink? Course not. Sorry. Everyone go home. Nothing to see here. Hold on, what’s that over there? Bloody bobolink!!”








Dr Ilya Mclean


Scottish (very). BTO/WEBS desk monkey, stats guru and arch moonlighter.


Famous for:


Jamming in on falls. Jamming in on kites. Surviving for months on end in Africa’s harshest environments by drinking only lager.


Famous quote: “You think this is crap, you should try birding in Lothian.”









Tim Mackrill


Blondie, osprey supremo, part-time romantic, and all-round Rutland powerhouse.


Famous for:


Falling in love 12 times during one calender month. Playing 3rd XI hockey. Undertaking the 'Irish challenge' before a bar of bloodthirsty, prejudiced Kerrymen. Undertaking the 'every drink in the union challenge'. Undertaking any alcohol-related challenge. Looking like a Scandinavian. Never speaking to any of his friends. Having at least 18 brothers. Pretending to like birds.


Famous Quote:  "Just take my f***** car then you bastards. I'm pissed" (2am);  "Where's my f***** car you bastards?" (10am).





Andy “Busta” Symes.


Full time non-birder, part time non-twitcher, celebrated rap artist, “got you all in check”.


Famous for:

Being another RBA “voice of the birds”. Never going birding. Being the spitting image of the greek god Zeus. Knowing if a band is going to be cool before they’ve finished writing their first song.






Dr Tom Gray


Part genius, part village-idiot, Birdlife bustard tzar, went to France and came back French.


Famous for:


Living in Porthhellick hide for two weeks eating only cow parsley and gorse. Giving an interview on Anglia TV about the provenance of a famous owl, whilst posing as an employee of a famous falconry centre. Uncanny ability to avoid paying petrol money. Currently being worshipped as a low-level deity by villagers in parts of rural Cambodia.


Famous quote: "Will I fail my PhD if the floricans go extinct in the next two years?"






Dr David Edwards.

Essex. World-lister. “George Dawes”.


Famous for:

Seeing more bird species than everyone else, and not remembering their names. Never going birding in Britain. Trapping, processing and releasing impressionable kidlisters and putting them off british birding. Scratching himself in public. Causing well-respected birders to need a week-long beach holiday in order to recover from just five days of "dawes-style" foreign birding.


Famous quote: (after overhearing a discusson about the music of soul-legend Aretha Franklin) "Aretha Francolin - didn't I see that in Kenya?"






Stuart Piner


Three words: gay birders club.


Famous for:


Haemorrhaging news. Being the future hub of britain’s birding community. Knowing “Let’s Revise GCSE Gull Identification” off by heart. Being heavily involved in an incident that we’re not allowed to mention. Being the second best birder in the western palearctic.


Famous quote: "I can't hang out with you lot, you're far too controversial"








Andy Holden


Raconteur, wordsmith, professional, “only in it for the birds”


Famous for:


Not going to UEA. Enjoying geese and refreshers. Haemorrhaging news. Being the current hub of britain’s birding community. Prolongued, loud and copious swearing in front of children, old people, the clergy and quiet young families enjoying picnics in the countryside.


Famous quote: “The internet is for geeks and paedophiles”.






Tim Allwood
Oldschool badass, black sheep, custodian of our nation's youth

Famous for:

Being there in the good old days, when BBRC members had to scrape the blood stains and heroin residue off rares descriptions before they could read them.  Posting 2,365 messages on bird forum about that fall on blakeney. Posting 92, 848 other messages on Birdforum. Using fear, intimidation and violence in order to generate revenue for Oriental Bird Club conservation projects.

Famous quote: "It's going to be like that then, is it?" (uttered seconds after receiving a heavy tackle during a friendly kick-about, and seconds before delivering an extremely heavy life-threatening lunge tackle during the same friendly kick-about)



Simon Mitchell

Doncastrian, token yoof, ex horny-teen-birder chat-back member.  

Famous for:

Liking bands with werrd sounding names like Freezer-hedge, maintaining dignity in the face of adversity, holding his own in competition with seasoned professionals.... watch this space.