RSPB Christmas Quiz Night – Tuesday 12 December 2023 Report


Christmas Quiz 2023 coincided with NW LONDON RSPB GROUP’s 40th Anniversary party. Consequently, participants were asked to determine what other anniversaries arose in 2023 (e.g. BTO = 90 years).

We learned that on 9 January 1493 (530 years ago) Christopher Columbus mistook manatees for mermaids! They must have been at sea a long time. The first commercial Christmas Card was produced in 1843, the same year that Charles Dickens penned ‘A Christmas Carol’, practically inventing many Christmas traditions. The first Teddy Bear went on sale on the 15 February 1903 (120 years ago) and the famous Hollywood sign and the Walt Disney Co. both celebrated a centenary.

2023 also marked 400 years since the (posthumous) publication of William Shakespeare’s (1564-1616) First Folio. When he wrote that Hamlet “knows a Hawk from a Handsaw” (i.e. Heron), as a right-handed writer he would have preferred to use a left wing quill feather to avoid jabbing himself in the eye. It’s hard to believe that the World Wide Web was launched only 30 years ago on the 30 April 1993.  

Despite the newspaper article, Bob (now sporting his newly acquired Golden Eagle badge for 40 years volunteering with the RSPB) really did see a pair of Brown Boobys on the beach at Eilat.

Eros is the Greek name for Cupid the Roman god of love.

The definition the Met Office uses to define a white Christmas is one snowflake to fall in the 24 hours of December 25. Thus 2022 was officially classified as a ‘White Christmas’

Furthermore, for those who prefer to eat Partridge for Christmas a French Red-legged is considered bland compared to the fine flavoursome taste of an English Grey Partridge.

Identifying the Birds of the Gaza Strip was challenging as was spotting the various images of King Charles III, although this latter task proved easier than anticipated.     

Members were invited to support our Group at the RSPB BGB Alexandra Palace / Park event based at the Lakeside café on Sunday 28 January 2024.   

Thanks to everyone who contributed to making the evening a success particularly Clare and Marian (refreshments), Fay (fairy light scoreboard), Sue (assisting quizmaster) and Luis & Ann (red wine) and especially the participants who entered into the spirit of the occasion and made the evening so jolly.


Lastly: WHAT GROWS DOWN AS IT GROWS UP? A Goose or a Duck, especially an EIDER DUCK

R. A. (Bob) Husband, RSPB Group Leader