Top Gear, birds and bears

To: <>
Subject: Top Gear, birds and bears
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 21:34:40 +1000
Hi all,

I've a confession to make. Rather than watch David Attenborough's show on bears 
(except for the last 5 minutes on the Giant Panda, which was fantastic!) I 
watched 'Top Gear'. Sorry about that.

The thing is that on Top Gear they drove across Botswana, over the Makgadikgadi 
salt pans, through the Kalahari, and then onto the Okavango Detla.

Also guess what!? Jeremy Clarkson, the show's main character, is a birder. He 
was rarely seen without his binos (Leica from what I could see) around his 
neck. In a similar vain to the Tour de France (which, by the way, starts soon), 
there were many birding references. Mainly about hornbill: 'There's a Southern 
Yellow-billed Hornbill!'. Botswana's known for its hornbill.

Also FYI the following article appeared in the Agence France-Presse (AFP), see 
below. (That being said Clarkson once said: 'There will be no tree, leaf, 
cloud, lawn, peat bog or environmental precious place that I won't drive over.')

Now isn't this what birding-aus is all about! Good birding gossip, intermixed 
with some other stuff.


Tim Dolby


Botswana clears "Top Gear" of damaging salt pans

GABORONE (AFP) ? Botswana's government came to the defence Friday of the makers 
of "Top Gear" after the BBC motoring show was accused by environmentalists of 
damaging the famed Makgadikgadi salt pans during filming.

Jeremy Clarkson and his co-hosts had been widely criticised earlier this month 
for driving an assortment of vehicles across the sun-baked salt flats, home to 
one of the biggest populations of zebras in the whole of Africa.

But in an attempt to dampen the row, the government in Gaborone has issued a 
report it commissioned into the filming, saying the producers went to great 
lengths to ensure that there would be no damage to the wilderness. "Many weeks 
of planning went into determining a suitable route for filming".

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