John Clarke

Sad to hear of the passing of John Clarke.
I’d long been a fan of his unique brand of satire, first encountering him as Fred Dagg (using the classic intro “errr, yeah g’day”) on 3-RRR radio in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Of course he was already well known in his native New Zealand for this character.
Only recently, January of this year in fact, did I become aware he was a birder and nature photographer. Scott Baker and I met him at Beach Road Rocks, WTP (the facility formerly known as Werribee Sewage Farm) while we looked for Broad-billed Sandpiper. In between snippets of conversation, John took dozens of photos of the numerous shorebirds (2000+ stints, red knots, sharp-tailed, curlew- & a broad-billed sandpiper among others) that were showing well on the day. Clearly in his element, he quipped something along the lines of “Isn’t this great? Why would you want to be anywhere else?” Indeed.
Vale John Clarke, a great Antipodean.

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