I am currently re-reading "Blood Knots' by Luke Jennings. Here is a book ostensibly about angling but it is far more than that - far, far more. The parallels between fishermen and birders are uncannily close. There is a passage in his book where he discusses the part of ritual and anticipation in angling. This is also true of birding.

I still get excited when I prepare for my time in the field - even if it is just a sky-watch from the back garden. The ritualistic cleansing of the optic lenses, the picking up of the notebook and pen, the arrival on site when the first scan is full of optimism - even after forty years of doing so, I still get a shiver down the spine. But why? My hope of a rarity, of a big viz-mig watch, and of hope for the unexpected is not really there - I do always hope, but realism and pragmatism kicked in years ago. It is all to do with the ritual. It is all to do with the fetish qualities of the tools I use. It is a trip back in time to those early days that were full of wonder.

I hope that I never lose these feelings. They are worth a 'mega' any day of the week.


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