I cannot speak for Neil, but I know that my birding downers are mostly caused by limited time in the field coupled with either 'poor return' or 'lack of joy'. I have always needed a focus for my pursuits, something to 'hang' my observations on, a reason for doing what I do beyond mindless wandering around with my optics. If you have limited time, chasing a year list (or any list come to that) is doomed from the start - you are going to miss out big time, particularly if others are chasing the same aim. So you need to find something that is of a more personal (and limited) scope. In an ideal world it should be enough to go out and bathe in the unbridled joy of watching whatever it is that comes your way, but I haven't met many souls who are that easily pleased.
I have no answers for Neil, just commiseration for a kindred spirit.
Just to cheer us all up, here is a fine show of Porella platyphylla (Wall Scalewort), found on an old flint wall at Mickleham. The close up is on the right hand side.
|Does he really think that a bryophyte is going to cheer anybody up?|