"Tawny Pipit"

To: Paul Taylor <>
Subject: "Tawny Pipit"
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2000 14:37:31 +1000
Paul -

At 01:42 PM 18/09/00 +1100, you wrote:
>While thumbing through the TV guide looking for alternatives to
>the Olympics, I spotted a Tawny Pipit (ABC, 12:30am - 1:50am
>Wednesday 20 September.)  Apparently it's a comedy:  "In wartime
>England, dedicated birdwatchers battle to save a rare bird from
>becoming extinct."

I have seen this film, and I think it is definitely worth watching (if
recorded and seen at leisure rather than waiting up for and losing sleep).
It is so bad as to be frequently hilarious, although I think the comedy is
largely unintentional.  The Bird Watcher, the Egg Collector and the Very
Serious Ornithologists are quite ludicrous caricatures.  It was made in
Britain during (I think) the course of the Second World War, and there is a
certain patriotic propaganda element to it.  The 'save a rare bird from
becoming extinct' is, of course, ridiculous - the Tawny Pipit is a rare
vagrant to England but has never been in danger of becoming extinct in
Europe - although the symbolism of a bird finding sanctuary in England from
war-torn Europe must have been appealing to the makers of the film.

Watch it with tolerance for the time it was made, and have fun spotting the


Hugo Phillipps
Communications Coordinator
Birds Australia
415 Riversdale Road
HAWTHORN EAST 3123, Australia
Tel: (03) 9882 2622, fax: (03) 9882 2677
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