There are many different facets to ornithology, from garden feeder observation to the extreme world of obsessional twitching, some careful thought has gone into this article and has left me wondering exactly where I slot into the scheme of things.
No doubt wildlife followers would have seen the recent television broadcast highlighting the activities of some extreme behaviour regarding ornithology (twitching).
The pursuit of seeing a rare species of bird, is known as ‘twitching’, it has developed into a culture in which individuals travel the length and breadth of the country in order to increase the number of species that they have seen. ‘Twitching’ involves a fanatical group of individuals who are obsessed about birds yet despite being rooted in this obsession with natural history, their travelling is a form of ‘collecting’ in a similar vein to philately, aircraft and train-spotters. The notion of ‘twitching’ contests the boundary between nature and culture and allows one to become increasingly aware of a community that is shaped by nature.
The birding family tree bears many twisted branches from feederwatchers to world birders. Yet, few are considered as twisted as the slavering hordes of ‘listers’ and ‘twitchers’. You will already know that a lister is a birder who keeps track of birds spotted through the use of checklists ranging from simplistic to Byzantine. Twitchers take listing to another level.
I think in retrospect I will do exactly what my mood dictates, and having regard for the prevailing weather conditions go about my usual Willy Nilly totally unrehearsed spur of the moment decisions as to where I will try my brush with nature, it has, in the past been very successful.