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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most entertaining, 17 Jan 2013
This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
I have to agree with Mark R's comments. A thoroughly entertaining book for anyone with an interest in birds (and aeroplanes). I only wish my life list was anywhere near the same number as Rob's! It brought back fond memories of birdwatching in my local patch of Hengistbury Head in the 1970s. Happy days!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 17 Oct 2012
This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
I didn't know what to expect when I started to read this book but as a keen birdwatcher I soon found myself thoroughly enjoying it. The somewhat puzzling title is an amalgamation of Birder and Dude (birding slang for someone that doesn't really know what they're looking at). The book takes a light-hearted look at Rob's attempt to add to his UK Life List (the number of bird species seen in the UK and the 344 of the title). I found it an amusing and at times nostalgic read, mirroring my own early experiences of birdwatching. As much of the "action" takes place in and around my home county of Hampshire it was also interesting to read about birds that I'd also been to see. This book would appeal to anyone with an interest in the ups and downs of birdwatching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and Informative, 1 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
Intrigued by the title, I bought this book not really kowing what to expect. I know little about bird-watching, but Rob Sawyer took me through his introduction to and consequent passion for the subject. His observations are amusingly made, with good knowledge for the afficionados. His journeys often seem to begin and/or end in pubs and restaurants, so you get the idea. He knows his stuff, certainly, but doesn't take it too seriously. A delightful read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and entertaining read, 26 Oct 2014
By 
Jon65 (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book a lot. (It won't show as a verified Amazon purchase as was a 65th birthday gift from my brother, who did get it from Amazon).

It's well-written and should appeal particularly to those who are not yet in the "400 Club" but who perhaps keep lists and are partial to birding anecdotes. It's not entirely about rare or scarce birds, though the emphasis is on such species. It communicates the excitement of getting a new bird for your life list, or the various other lists you decide to keep, and Rob describes well the "Can I count it?" dilemmas sometimes faced by listers. Rob also tells us a bit about his life in general, with some comical as well as a couple of sad moments

On a personal note, my own active birding career came to end about 15 years ago because of a change in circumstances, and I'm now almost flatbound from a medical condition. I notched up fewer lifers than Rob, a mere 310, but this book brought back a lot of memories, including some of the same individual rarities, and the first rare bird phone information phonelines. Like Rob, I quite often enjoyed a celebratory pint after succeeding in seeing a new species.

Being indoors nearly all the time in London, I seem well on the way to the lowest possible year list on record. But in the middle of reading Rob's book, and invigorated by his enthusiasm, I looked out of the window and there was a year tick, a fine first-winter Grey Wagtail. Thanks Rob!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read and ditto laugh, 12 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
A Very recognisable tale of the trials and tribulations of birding for the average 'birduder' who wants a life besides birding. Well written, some very nice drawings. All in all very much worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read - thoroughly recommend it, 14 July 2013
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S. C. Griffiths (Yorkshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
Great book in which the author tells his story of 30+ years birding - i have enjoyed books describing really hard core obsessives - this was nice change, Rob keeps his hobby in perspective. He combines birding stories with all the other stuff going on his life which he seems to live to the full - very enjoyable
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
Having read many birdwatching related books over the last few months, this is by far the best, & most entertaining of the lot. The humour expressed by the author in the way he describes himself, & the manner of other birdwatchers is brilliant. Great to read a book that is also mentioning some more overlooked, local birdwatching locations around the south coast. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable book, certainly worth a read by any birder/birdwatcher/twitcher, or should that just be 'birduder'!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you go down to the woods today....., 11 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
Being a keen (newish) birder I was intrigued by the book's title and overview and decided to take the plunge. I'm delighted to report that I was entertained and informed in equal measure.

We are treated to a journey through Rob's birding 'career' laced with significant relationships and events in his life and also more than a glimpse into the bizarre world of birding and twitching.

What makes it all work is Rob's ability to endear himself to the reader; he can amuse (a constant quality) provoke thought, self-deprecate and he clearly takes pleasure in sharing the birding knowledge that he has built up over years (frankly far greater than the 'Birduder' tag suggests).

A book that celebrates 'smelling the flowers' on the journey through life rather than a race for a goal at the end; it's a joy to read and I would thoroughly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Birduder, 20 Feb 2014
This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
Are you a birder or a dude? Rob Sawyer clearly is undecided, but given his approach to life he clearly sees the funny side to everything, hence putting himself down with the “Birduder” monicker. And 344 – well that’s his life list total.

This is a thoroughly entertaining book in which Rob – a Southampton birder – recounts his own personal journey to accumulate those 344 species. It could be said that for someone who has been birding since the 1960s a list of 344 is a bit on the low side (I guess Low-Lister 344 might not have sold many copies!) but as you start reading you realise that Rob’s birding involves more pubs and restaurants than some other books of this nature. Also he has a habit of being greeted by the phrase “Ah, you should have been here thirty minutes ago!”.

Those of you who were inspired by Richard Millington’s “A Twitcher’s Diary” in 1990 will immediately recognise Rob’s own parody of this in the middle of the book. He gives us a regular (sometimes daily) account of his birding in 1984/85. He concludes that the final score was Richard Millington 1, Rob Sawyer 0!

Much of the birding is in Hampshire – my own county of choice – and comes to a climax with the White-tailed Eagle that wintered in 2010/11, and an epilogue in 2012 with Rob reaching 346.

Rob shows that there is more to life than birds, and for once we have a bird diary that doesn’t involve through-the-night twitches to the back end of nowhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Watching him, watching bittern!, 28 Jan 2014
This review is from: Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary (Paperback)
Rob Sawyer has written a delightfully unsophisticated account of his interest in birds; the pages shine with his enthusiasm. One of the delights for me of this book is that especially between 1985 and 1986 my experiences mirror his. I was there too on so many occasions, and I read his accounts with considerable nostalgia. I too have stood by the obelisk at the end of Portland Bill for many hours watching sea birds pass. I am pretty sure that I was watching him, while he was watching a bittern on Stanpit Marshes near Christchurch in Dorset. As the author of Scilly Birding: Joining the Madding Crowd, it is particularly enjoyable to read about his visits to the Scilly Isles which he writes about from a very different angle to me. The fact that Rob Sawyer does not consider himself to be a twitcher, or even a birder (being a 'Birduder') gives a totally different angle to his accounts of birding, which I for one thoroughly enjoyed.
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Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary
Birduder 344: A Life List Ordinary by Rob Sawyer (Paperback - 16 Aug 2012)
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