S2 Episode 1: Arjan Dawrshuis


December 25 1914: as World War I is raging, British and German troops along the frontline lay down their rifles, and cross the trenches to play a friendly football match.

September 2022: the mammalwatching podcast brings a second, arguably greater, testament to the human ability to heal wounds, cross divides and search for peace despite many years of conflict. Yes, Charles and Jon lay down their binoculars to reach out across the barbed wire and welcome a birder onto this podcast.

And not just any birder: we are joined from the Netherlands by Arjan Dwarshuis who holds the world Big Birding Year record for his epic 40 country and 6852 species trip in 2016. A professional birder, Arjan is an author, very successful podcaster and conservation champion.

In a (worryingly!) enjoyable chat we talk about some of Arjan’s favourite mammal sightings, his Big Year and why birding is now officially cool.

It would be crass to put ourselves forward. But if you are inspired there are Nobel Peace Prize nomination forms here. The three of us are ready to share the award https://www.nobelprize.org/nomination/peace/


Arjan’s website has links to his popular podcast (in Dutch), his book (coming in English soon) and much more including a trailer to the film about his Big Year. Here is an interview with him just after he broke the record.

Jon’s report from his Borneo trip is here. If you would like to join the mamamlwatching meeting in Spain – including joining remotely on Sunday 2 October – some more details are here. A report from Charles’s Gabon trip should appear here before too long. Cover art: Arjan Dwarshuis by Friso Boven.

Marc Bozon suggested that we ask Arjan onto the podcast and then made the introduction. Thanks Marc!