The Big Year That Flew By A Global Birding Adventure Story By Arjan Dwarshuis

The female world birding record holder, Ruth, Arjan the new male World Record Holder and some other bloke.

Way back in 2008 two British Birders set out on a global birding adventure. Their plan had been to see many of the wonderful birds of the world they had always dreamed of seeing, it was a great idea. During the way to short time, spent planning the trip it somehow morphed into a world record breaking attempt! In 2007 the world record for the number of species recorded in a single calendar year stood at 3,662, set by American birder Jim Clements.

These two British Birders, Ruth Miller, and Alan Davies, recorded a massive 4,341 species in 2008, far exceeding their hopes and dreams. They were aiming for 3,663 so to exceed 4,000 was just amazing and what an adventure it was.

Fast forward 2014 and an American birder, Noah Striker, was planning a big year and intended to break the record set in 2008 by Alan and Ruth. This came as a shock to a Dutch birder, Arjan Dwarshuis, who was already planning an assault on that very record in 2016!

Noah smashed the 2008 record, passing it in September 2015 and going way beyond it to record an astonishing 6,042 species. Back in the UK two birders looked on amazed, they already knew that Arjan was planning a big year in 2016, would that huge target put him off? We thought it very likely as surely Arjan would not have planned to see so many birds and the year was soon to begin. Hard to imagine how Arjan would have felt, how would we have felt if in late 2007 someone had smashed the previous world record just before we attempted it? Maybe we would have returned to plan “A” and just gone birding for a year, no pressure, but no world record.

Having now met Arjan we know that was not an option for him, he had a plan “A” and it was to break the world record for a birding year. What a daunting task lay ahead though, over 6,042 species of birds in just one year knowing only one person in the world had done it before. But that is what world records are all about, you set out to beat the previous record, whatever that maybe.

So, on the 1st of January 2016 Arjan set out on that world record attempt and you can, at last, read all about the adventure in his recently translated into English book, “The Big That Flew By”. It is a whirlwind tale as a lone Dutch birder tore around the globe seeing crazy numbers of birds. But there is a lot more, Arjan is a passionate birder sure but he is also passionate about conservation. There are parts of the book where his insight into bird conservation and his very real concern for the natural world come through. The book also reveals much about this remarkable young man, how he became a birder and his love for sharing birds with others.

We don’t want to spoil the book for you so please go and read a copy and enjoy this amazing birding adventure with Arjan. Our only wish was that the book was ten times longer!

An inspirational young man following his dream and passion for birds and birding. Something we can all do in our own way, be it watching birds from the kitchen window, staring open mouthed at Barn Swallow migration, or setting a new world record. Birds are brilliant.

We run our Birdwatching Trips throughout the year a mix of set departure tours and custom-made trips perfect for you! To book your custom tour or any of our set departure trips please email us here….

We can then make all the arrangements for your perfect Birdwatching Trips tour.

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