...and in particular, this chapter...
If you've never read it, well, I shan't spoil it for you. But suffice to say it superbly captures the angst and uncertainty that went hand-in-hand with twitching prior to the days of any kind of bird information service, let alone mobile phones/internet etc. It's an inspirational read for the jaded birder.
And that's what I've been seeking. A bit of inspiration. The trouble with birding (or more precisely, with me and birding) is that I cannot escape the realisation that birding is just plain silly. Looked at objectively, all the noting and counting and recording and identifying and listing and photographing and especially the frantic twitching...is simply frivolous. Try reading a long Rare Bird Information thread on BF with the eyes of an innocent. "These people are totally bonkers!" will be your inevitable judgement. And that's because they are!
However, there is an undeniable pleasure to be had from so many aspects of the hobby that I cannot ignore its appeal. So, one or two things that I've been mulling over:
- The 'new patch' issue. A couple of friends have suggested Cogden, between Burton Bradstock and West Bexington. Not exactly virgin territory, but quite underwatched by all accounts. I shall investigate.
- Topics for this blog. I recently discovered that all the photos which appeared in previous incarnations of NQS were available online, so have downloaded them to my laptop. I shall find reasons to resurrect a few. Also, I'd quite like to have a go at refuting the frequently touted view that Scilly has pretty much had it as a destination worthy of the serious birder. Of course, when I say 'serious birder' you'll realise by now that I believe there is no such creature!
- Audience contribution. From my own experience I reckon it's safe to say that commenting on blogs (well, on blogs like this one) is a step too far for the vast majority of punters. I'd be delighted if NQS readers proved otherwise. This blog will never be the diary type, and I am open to suggestions re topics for discussion etc. That said, I am under no illusions, so even without the stimulation of audience participation I'm fairly confident I will still be able to bung some words together periodically...