How to be a bad birdwatcher

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How to be a bad birdwatcher

  • We all have a difference in opinion at times which is healthy and thought provoking. Debate is a good thing in my mind.

    I agree with McAlan - its not a book that will give you the different race plummages of the Yellow wagtail but it does however put some perspective on watching wildlife and the very enjoyment that you can take from it.

    thanks

    Craig

     

  •  

    Hi-

    " I definitely agree with you; it is frustrating to not know what it is you're looking at, especially when you suspect it may be something you've never seen before.  But there is still pleasure to be gained from the common, from the birds you see every day. "

    Exactly why I made my comment about Goldcrest :)   An everyday bird that looks great, is unbelievable to look at in the hand and crosses oceans in autumn :))

    :)

    S

    ps- NOBODY but NOBODY  ( except maybe a Scandinavian ringer) looks at  Blue Tits asoften as I seem to  :) ***

     

    ***  possibly Hyperbole but not by much  :)

     

     

     

  • seymouraves

    Exactly why I made my comment about Goldcrest :)   An everyday bird that looks great, is unbelievable to look at in the hand and crosses oceans in autumn :))

    I wish I lived where you lived, seymour, where a Goldcrest was an everyday bird. ;)

    And regarding Blue Tits, I doubt it is possible to notice one and then turn away. :)

    Anyway, I'll take a look at Simon Barnes' other books, what with Christmas coming up shortly...

  •  

    Hi-

     

    Goldcrests breed in the lone conifer in my garden :)

    S

  • Hi McAlan

    I must buy some of the books mentioned here but really to me, it depends how many hours are in the day.  I much rather be out and about, and seeing the bird species with my own eyes.  Still it is nice to hear other people's/author's prespective of birds by the written word in a book or an article in a magazine.

    Know what you mean about people in hides giving a running commentry about all what they see.  One of my own experiences over the weekend denoted exactly what you are saying here.  This person was loud.   Dave and I did everything to avoid eye contact due to the fact he wanted to talk about everything but birds!!!.  Dave and I talked in whispers between ourselves as we believe that is the polite thing to do in a bird hide.  He took offence at us and said I am not saying what birds we are seeing. and moved with a loud crash to the other side of the hide.

    Dave and I where on limited time at Norfolk.  We did not want this type of interaction with someone who was happy to dominate everything that was said.  I thought he was quite rude to be honest.

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    McAlan

    seymouraves

    McAlan

    The author does a great job in conveying the simple pleasure to be gained from watching birds. 

    The book could probably be summed up as "Enjoy what you see, whatever it is".

    Agreed :))  But I like to know WHAT  I'm looking at and where it's come from :)

    I definitely agree with you; it is frustrating to not know what it is you're looking at, especially when you suspect it may be something you've never seen before.  But there is still pleasure to be gained from the common, from the birds you see every day.

    Perhaps I can rephrase it more accurately as: "Enjoy what you see, whether for the first or the thousandth time." I think that is more what the book is about. :o)

     

     

     

  • seymouraves
    ps- NOBODY but NOBODY  ( except maybe a Scandinavian ringer) looks at  Blue Tits asoften as I seem to  :)

    Hi seymour

    I look at blue tits every day. They are constantly in my garden so I see them whenever I watch the birds through my window, or indeed if I look through any windows to see if there are any cats around trying to bother the birds. :-)

  •  

    Blue Tit still in my top 10 birds :)

    S

  • seymouraves

     

    Hi-

     

    devil's advocate here again;

     

    I was given this book for xmas once, and my dentist, osteopath and various others all ask me if I've read it because they enjoyed it.

    I did read it then deleted it from my hard drive I think , as I dont remember any of it except that from the title on I didnt like it. I spent 2 years getting to be a good birdwatcher then 35 getting to be a good birder.

    :)

    S

    Seymour think i am one of these bad birdwatchers but funny enough does not worry me and i do enjoy it.

    Of course you are in a different class and obviously more clued up and fantastically knowledgeable which allows the likes of me to be amazed at your I Ds and general knowledge,in fact we find that birders like you are often invaluable when we may be stuck for knowing what a certain bird is with a bit of luck someone like you will be around and freely be helpful.Think you must have a gift for birding as well as working at it but of course we haven't all got that gift 

  • I'm a fairly prolific reader and tend to categorise books into two types, The read and re-read possibly repeatedly type, and the read once and put down indefinitely type. I read How to be a bad birdwatcher a few years back and, guess what - it went into the second category. I now can't remember a thing about it apart from the opening passages which involved seeing an urban Hobby (well I would remember that bit wouldn't I).

    I think that Mr Barnes's short articles are excellent. I'm just not sure that his style transfers that well to extended narrative.

    My most extensively re-read book of the last decade is Bill Bryson's Life and times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Even though I can almost quote most of it from memory it still causes me to laugh out loud. I nearly did myself an injury the first time I whipped through it.

    JBNTS

  • I agree John. I too am a prolific reader and there are hundreds of books I read once and a select few I re-read many times.

    Lifetime winner is Lord of the Rings (and yes, I loved the films too).

    Probably second is Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and I re-read Austen and Bronte books too.

    However I have to disagree slightly with your dismissing of Simon Barnes' book. I particularly enjoyed his narrative style. Many of his comments will stay with me for a long time.

    No, I probably will not read it again but I still put it up in the 'memorable books' category and I would recommend it to any bird lover.

    I love Bill Bryson but he is a one read guy for me.

    The one book that had me laughing out loud,even in public on the train, was Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    It would be good to hear others' views and booky likes too.

    Pipit

  • Sooty

    seymouraves

     

    Hi-

     

    devil's advocate here again;

     

    I was given this book for xmas once, and my dentist, osteopath and various others all ask me if I've read it because they enjoyed it.

    I did read it then deleted it from my hard drive I think , as I dont remember any of it except that from the title on I didnt like it. I spent 2 years getting to be a good birdwatcher then 35 getting to be a good birder.

    :)

    S

     

    Seymour think i am one of these bad birdwatchers but funny enough does not worry me and i do enjoy it.

    Of course you are in a different class and obviously more clued up and fantastically knowledgeable which allows the likes of me to be amazed at your I Ds and general knowledge,in fact we find that birders like you are often invaluable when we may be stuck for knowing what a certain bird is with a bit of luck someone like you will be around and freely be helpful.Think you must have a gift for birding as well as working at it but of course we haven't all got that gift 

     

    Hi Sooty,

    the number one priority has to be whether you enjoy the birds :)  I noticed in that program on twitching ( program-makers agenda and editing apart) that the drive seemed to be to see more bird species not because they were fascinating creatures but merely to keep up with the birding jones's.... :(

    This weekend I shall be showing people birds in Norfolk- some will be birds they havent seen before - I get a real buzz out of seeing people enjoy a bird they've never seen before, and explain why it is .. what it is . For some of them it's a Cole  Tit, for some an American Golden Plover- it doesnt matter- the buzz is the same  :)

    S