Series 2: Episode 2 - Gabriel Willow, Adrian Thomas, James Taylor Foster

Hamza was born in Sudan and grew up Northampton before moving to his current home in the west coast of Scotland. He's now surrounded by a plethora of bird life, but this has always been the case. In this episode of Get Birding Hamza explores birding as part of the built environment from how nature can inspire us and be experienced in the most densely populated and built up areas, how we can encourage this and how we can come to appreciate birds wherever we come across them. 

First, he talks to Urban Naturalist Gabriel Willow fresh off one of his nature tours of New York City. Gabriel talks about his experience of encouraging and being inspired by his experiences of birding in the city and he sheds some light on the differences in birding in the UK and the US. He reminds us that birds can thrive and be enjoyed in many different environments.

Adrian Thomas is the RSPB Garden Bird Expert. He talks Hamza though his own garden and the birds he finds there, and gives tips and advice for making our gardens and urban green spaces attractive to birds, whether you have access to an acre of land, or a balcony. 

James Taylor-Foster is the curator of contemporary architecture and design at ArkDes - Sweden's National Centre for Architecture and Design. He shares with us his love of birds and the similarities between birding in the UK and Sweden and describes the work of Studio Ossidiana who for which consideration of bird life plays a role in their architectural practice. They invite us to consider a world designed for co-existence of birds and people 

Host: Hamza Yassin

Guests: Gabriel Willow, Adrian Thomas, James Taylor Foster

Producer: Jo Barratt

Executive Producers: Jane Gerber & Katie Derham

Production Coordinator: Louis Facey

Social Media Assistant: Dilber Mogal

All music by Poddington Bear. Additional birdsong and nature recordings by dobroide, /listeningtowhales, sheriff, tim.kahn, tim.kahn and Keith Selmes under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence

Podcast art by Make Productions

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Sponsored by birding binoculars specialist Swarovski Optik. To Find out more visit:

Swarovski Optik, headquartered in Absam, Tyrol, is part of the Swarovski group of companies. Founded in 1949, the Austrian company specialises in the development and manufacturing of long-range optical instruments of the highest precision in the premium segment of the market. The binoculars, spotting scopes and optronic instruments are products of choice for demanding users. The company’s success is based on its innovative strength, the quality and intrinsic value of its products, and their functional and esthetic design. The appreciation of nature is an essential part of its company philosophy and is reflected commendably in its environment-friendly production and its long-term commitment to selected nature conservation projects. 


Sponsored by Zurich Insurance - insuring conservation groups across the UK. To find out more visit

Zurich insure more than 15,000 not-for-profit organisations of all shapes and sizes including conservation, gardening and ornithological groups across England, Scotland and Wales.

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