Wednesday 22 January 2020

Routine Birding & Unanticipated Blog Promotion

A very light offshore breeze was barely rippling the sea today, and with almost zero swell it was a great opportunity to see what was bobbing around out there. From the Abbotsbury tank teeth to East Bexington I counted 12 Red-throated Divers, 4 Great Crested Grebes and 6+ loitering Kittiwakes. I didn't count the numerous auks that were chugging about in little flotillas, but certainly there were quite a few hundred, and all those close enough to ID to species were Razorbills. Best of all was a Harbour Porpoise off the tank teeth. A lone Chiffchaff flitting through the beach-side vegetation at East Bexington was nice, and in several spots along the route I was accompanied by Stonechats, a bird which I'm always pleased to see...

Huge eye, scraggy plumage. Stonechat. Very lovable.

I had lunch at Burton Bradstock, where there was another Red-throated Diver, 16 Fulmars off the cliffs and lots more chugging Razorbills.

All the above could comfortably be filed under 'Routine' and, while pleasant birding, was not what you would open the 'Exciting' drawer for. And this is the general way of things isn't it? Most birding outings are indeed enjoyable in a very unremarkable way. I'm okay with that. There is only so much thrill a person can handle, so it's just as well I haven't encountered any more winter White Wagtails yet.

On a different note...

On Monday's NQS post I happened to mention my disappointment at hearing that the jolly smart (and photogenic) Black Redstart in residence at Seaton Hole was being baited with mealworms for photographic purposes, and outlined some of my reasons for feeling this way. My thinking on this matter is not some knee-jerk thing. I've been birding for many years, and my views on various aspects of this hobby have been shaped not only by my sensibilities, but also by experience. On some things I have strong opinions, and occasionally they make an appearance on this blog. Obviously, while I make no apology for that, I also accept that some will view things differently to me; that is their prerogative. So I was half-expecting some sort of response to Monday's post. However, I was not expecting it to get so many page-views, so rapidly - it is currently running at something like 4x the norm - and was initially puzzled as to why. And then I spotted this on Twitter...

Isn't there a saying about 'no such thing as bad publicity' or something...?

So anyway, here was the explanation. Lee has nearly 22x as many Twitter followers as I do, and a good number of them presumably clicked on the link and dropped in to NQS, maybe for the first time. I doubt they found what was alluded to (which is a somewhat inventive extrapolation of what my words actually said) but I am nevertheless indebted to Lee for the advertisement.

It was a thought-provoking reminder of how quickly you can access an audience through the internet, even unintentionally, and therefore why words are probably best chosen carefully. Once it's out there, it's out there. Birders of my ilk need to remember that... [insert winking smiley emoji]


  1. Well to be fair Gav. Your blog is a little more interesting than most.

  2. Bordering on comedy genius - what rule hasn't LGRE broken during his twitching career? Has any individual's behaviour done more to encourage birders, of whatever ilk, to resort to suppression because of his outrageous belief that he has some type of divine right to see a bird cum what may? Didn't he need to be rescued by the Fire Brigade at a Wallcreeper twitch purely because he had to get closer than everyone else. Absolute quality!

  3. Thanks Ric and Dyl. I'm frequently reminded that a sense of humour is a handy thing to have!