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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

Bustards & Brown Bears - from the Baltics to Bulgaria

Gerard Gorman, in truth, was much more into Bustards et al than ursus arctos, at least when this photo was taken, up in the Buda Hills sometime in the 1990s - but I liked the alliteration and the brown furry things do get a mention in this piece from 2007.

Back in 1991, I was a programme presenter on Radio Bridge - Hungary's first and only English-language broadcaster. Doing the breakfast show, I challenged the audience with a KesterTester which I thought would take quite a few clues and make for some fun throughout the programme.

I forget what the first clue was now, but to my utmost disappointment, this clever cloggs Lancastrian fellow phoned in with the correct answer. (I won't give that here - thinking about it I may be able to work into a blog tester at some time in the future.)

Gerard Gorman was, as I remember, teaching English in his day job, but he'd already written the first book about his main passion - birds. A Guide to Birdwatching in Hungary is a slim volume and long out of print, but, as far as we know, it was also a first book in English on the subject of Magyar aves. I still have the copy Gerard gave me, dedicated by the author on 27th August, 1991 when I interviewed him on air.

Before long, Gerard did what tens of thousands must dream of - he made his hobby his day job, and with a lot of hard work and dedication, he's guided hundreds of groups around Hungary and central Europe. Last I heard of, he had even expanded into South America.

He's also written a dozen books on birds and other wildlife, including six on his favourite species - woodpeckers.

I haven't met Gerard for at least a decade, but when I found a pdf in my email system of this book review, written for Diplomacy and Trade magazine in 2007, I thought it would be of interest for some readers.

If you fancy taking a trip to see the great bustards on the Hungarian puszta or beyond (Gerard has a lot of praise for Romania and the Danube Delta) his website is here:

Here's the review - I hope it's readable - and the book's still in print.

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