Thursday, 29 December 2016

Uncle Ronnie

Mummy, why are all those people staring at our house?

They're birdwatching Johnny.

But why are they staring at our house?

Because the bird that they have come to see is in our garden.

Don't they have birds in their own gardens?

Well they do, but the bird they have come to look at is rare.

Why is it rare?

Well, as far as I know, these birdwatchers keep a list of all the different types of bird that they have seen, and if a bird that usually lives in another country comes to our country, then they all get in their cars and drive to see it.

Why?

That's a very good question Johnny.

Mummy?

Yes Johnny.

Why are they all men?

I don't really know, but I'd imagine that most women have got better things to do.

And why are they all like Uncle Ronnie?

What do you mean Johnny?

Well, they all look like him.

I've told you before, we've got to be kind to Uncle Ronnie, he has difficulties with people. And hygiene. He cannot help the way he looks. Or acts.

Why are they all wearing a uniform?

That isn't a uniform, they are just wearing similar clothing. It does look a bit strange, I must admit. They do look as if they are all copying each other.

Why's Daddy making sheep noises?

Ignore him, he's just fed up with the men blocking the driveway.

Oh look, they're all running! I didn't think old men could run! Uncle Ronnie can't!

The bird must have been seen further down the road.

What's the bird called Mummy?

A Blue Rock Thrush. It comes from another country.

Mummy. Can I be a bird watcher when I grow up?

No you bloody well can't. I don't want you ending up like Uncle Ronnie!

11 comments:

  1. Possibly one of my fave posts of the year Steve, I was about to do something very similar! Birding in the internet age has a lot to answer for!

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    1. A worryingly accurate account of the current state of UK birding. As you remark, the internet has exerted a very negative influence on many aspects of our natural history enjoyment. Although I read Steve's words with a wry smile - this type of scenario is unlikely to inspire kids to want to join in?

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    2. No, because they'll look at the footage on the local news or on the web and think what a bunch of morons we are. And they'd be right!

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  2. A very accurate description and music to my anti twitcher ears. They always try and excuse such weird behaviour by hiding behind a collection bucket.

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  3. I'm not anti twitcher myself. I just don't bother that's all. I will admit looking at the RBA map (lite obviously) for a report of a really rare bird. All I need after that is to see a picture of said bird and let my imagination do the rest.
    Saves masses of time and money.

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  4. Thank you all for your comments - they really are appreciated. Although my frequent posts on the subject may suggest it, I am not anti-twitching. I have, in the past, done it. I have stood on housing estates peering into gardens in the past. But now I see the absurdity. It's not for me, but that doesn't mean it's not for others. So, my piss-taking is tongue-in-cheek and self-deprecating. Ommmmmm......

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  5. I'm not anti twitching either, and in some circumstances it can be really rewarding, but the big south of England ones of the type you're referring to just make me cringe. I've been to some and they are awful, but the people there just don't see that, it is every man for himself and nothing else matters.

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  6. There are some Aunties but you need good ID skills to differentiate. Their plumage is very simmilar to Uncle Ronnie's.

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    1. Maybe you could write-up the ID paper for me Phil!

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