24 Apr 2012

We are what we are.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Dave.
    I enjoyed reading your take on where birding people stand, and what catergory we all fall into. I myself would say I am a general birdwatcher, someone who enjoys watching and taking in their behavour, happy to sit in a hide for a while. I have seen birders come in the hide, look out of the window, see very little, and move on. I believe that patience is the key, if one waits long enough many of the birds will make a appearance, I have experience this many a time.
    Twitchers to me are not really interested in the bird, it is just a name to put onto a list, tick it off and move on to the next one.
    But we all have our opinion, otherwise the world would be a boring place.
    Interesting subject Dave, food for thought.