Thursday, 19 March 2020
Now that there are a number of birders self-isolating, whether enforced or otherwise, several projects have sprung up to feed the collective ornithological soul. One of them stems from Italy, a country in widely enforced lock-down. The hashtag 'BWKM0' has been created by ornithologists as a means of both collecting data and fostering camaraderie (usefully explained by Paul Tout in a tweet):
This hashtag is now being adopted across the world, as a sign of solidarity with our European neighbours and as a recognition that we, in the UK, should also be reducing our own birding footprint to help lessen the possible spread of Corvid19. I have started my own #BWKM0 list and will be tweeting out some sightings over the coming weeks. As much as a balcony, garden or window is, to some, a poor substitute for a sea-scape or headland, concentrated or regular observations from anywhere can be productive. My own garden has provided me with big thrush and hirundine movements, Spoonbill, Honey-buzzard, Woodlark, Hawfinch, Whimbrel and Short-eared Owl, to name just a few, over the years. We may surprise ourselves and discover fly-lines that we didn't know existed, species breeding that we were unaware of and rewrite our assumptions on the status of some species in our neighbourhood. My garden is still a hot spot for House Sparrows (top) - does the roost in a neighbour's pyracantha bush still number c15 birds? I'll soon find out.
#BWKM0 - birdwatching at zero km.
It's already catching on...