To cut a long story short, I was asked by my friends at the Ornithological Society of the Middle East to represent them in the Bird Brain of Britain quiz at the British Bird Watching Fair in Rutland, England. For the uninitiated, the Bird Brain of Britain is an annual quiz that is based on the popular Mastermind TV quiz. Each of the four contestants answers questions on a chosen subject and then have to face a general knowledge round.
I’m no stranger to this quiz having originally competed back in 1997, that time representing the British Trust for Ornithology. My chosen subject then was The Birds of the London Area and I came second being pipped to the post by one point by the venerable conservationist, Mark Avery.
I competed a couple times after that in the last few years with chosen subjects involving Thrushes of the World and Gulls of the World. In both instances I didn’t fare very well.
This year my chosen subject was Sandgrouse of the World and it looked like my two weeks of swotting up paid off. I faced very stiff competition from Michael Mills representing African Bird Club who majored on Birds of Angola, Ashley Banwell representing the Oriental Bird Club whose chosen subject was the Endemic Birds of Borneo and Tim Jones fronting the British Trust for Ornithology answering questions on the Birds of Spurn.
Just by a point mind. But I won £1,000 for the Ornithological Society of the Middle East. I can retire gracefully now.