Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

It’s strange that your ex­cel­lent mag­a­zine is called Bird Watch­ing, why? Be­cause it is be­com­ing clear to me that many more peo­ple sim­ply want to see birds. Let me ex­plain. I am lucky enough to be a vol­un­teer at RSPB Titch­well and Snet­tisham and al­most the first thing peo­ple ask me when I am on site is “much about?”. I have be­come in­creas­ingly aware that this ques­tion ac­tu­ally means, “any­thing rare?”. So many peo­ple sim­ply want to tick birds off a list, be it day, year, re­serve, county, life, the list seems al­most end­less. When I re­ply “yes, loads, there’s some great Coot ac­tion on one of the pools, and the Blue Tits are tak­ing food to one of the boxes” they so of­ten look at me as if I’m an id­iot. Peo­ple seem to have lost the love of sim­ply watch­ing birds for the sake of it. I can spend hours watch­ing Marsh Har­ri­ers drift­ing over the reed beds or see­ing Grey­lag de­fend their young from any­thing that comes close. You get my point, I hope. I will con­fess to keep­ing a year list, but it is used for ref­er­ence so that the fol­low­ing year I have an idea when cer­tain birds de­part or ar­rive, I can then tell peo­ple that it is un­likely they saw a cer­tain bird in Jan­uary as they don’t nor­mally ar­rive un­til April! I guess my point is, it’s time we got away from be­ing ob­ses­sive about see­ing ev­ery bird pos­si­ble and got back to en­joy­ing watch­ing birds no mat­ter how com­mon they are. Les Bun­yan, Nor­folk A Bee-eater, their colours are so lovely Toa Thiru­vinoth­ini

Marsh Har­rier Red-backed Shrike

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