Monday, 10 March 2014

Feeling Factor's pain

I don't know why some of us are prone to it, but occasional frustration (and dissatisfaction) with birding is something that I share with Neil Randon (aka Factor). Take a look at his latest post (here) and see if it rings any bells with you...

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?

5 comments:

  1. That cheers me up as it is one of my favourite liverworts.

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  2. I'll have to admit that the sight of that liverwort did somewhat excite me. Is this worrying?

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  3. Yes Bill, it is. Go have a lie down and think of something constructive. Like finding rare moths.

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  4. I blame the internet and the easy access to information. It's too easy to spend hours scrolling the bird sites, blogs, pagers, scuttling around trying to see everything and suffering birding burn-out as a result. I didn't get involved in this pastime until new technology existed but I wish I'd experienced the days when it was completely different. It's very hard to imagine what it must have been like – more satisfying probably.

    Lists are fun but not when it becomes a bit competitive like the Surrey bird list is. My life list is relatively low, less than 300, but I get more enjoyment going to see a rare bird I actually want to see (the Red-flanked Bluetail) rather than, for the sake of a tick, belting down the M3 towards the Hampshire coast in the off-chance of seeing a Lesser Yellowlegs and possibly a Long-billed Dowitcher.

    There are loads of birds missing off my life list I could have ticked off in previous weeks but I really couldn''t be arsed!
    Then there are other birds I would really like to see before the winter/spring if I knew where to look, such as a Long-eared Owl. I presume Sheppey or Cliffe Pools would be the best places for a possible sighting?

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  5. Andrew and Bill: come to think of it, I did get excited by that liverwort in the first place. Seth: thanks for identifying it! Neil: seems to me as if you have already decided to chase a Long-eared Owl. You are beyond help ;-)

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