This birding web

Twitter is not for everyone, that I can appreciate, but for many it is a useful platform - one on which to keep informed, share thoughts, announce and entertain. I’ve tweeted from my account for six years now, and several years before that on another. I’ve made many contacts, mainly of people who I have not met in person. But there is another group, mostly birders, who intrigue me - it is made up of lapsed contacts. Having been birding for over 46 years I am bound to have met thousands of birders. Some have been an almost constant presence, even if they have been for broken spells across those 46 years. But most of them have briefly flitted in, and out, of my orbit. It could have been that I spent a single car journey with them; a week at a bird observatory; shared a patch; went on a twitch; used to be birding companions; were friends of a friend. They all left a mark, a memory and a name that has lodged in my brain. And now we follow each other or at least converse on twitter. Some were young lads when I first met them, not seen since the 70s or 80s. Many of them may not remember me, but I remember them. They are scattered across the globe, from the States to Australia, Italy to South Africa, Thailand to Spain. Even from Surrey to Yorkshire and back. They haunt bird observatories and migration watch points, they paint birds and write about them. I have a strange paternal interest in how they are doing. They are my birding web, my ‘virtual’ birding family. It’s good to have them around.

Comments

Peter J Morgan said…
Can totally relate to your statement, with so many contacts old and new, since retirement, across many spheres, birds: sea, passerines, ringing;museums, turtles, cetaceans and conservation in general, developing new contacts across the age barrier, after 65 'active' years keeping in touch and reconnecting with so many people.Much very depressing but keeps one positive.
PBO is always our link!
Steve Gale said…
Thanks for the comment Peter. Many of these links share hidden histories. I need only mention Beddington SF to back up that point. Many old boys still out there!
Derek Faulkner said…
Clearly, around 60 years ago, when as a twelve year old boy I joined the Kent Ornithological Society (KOS), I didn't realise what being a member of a birding society meant. I clearly took the wrong path and all of my interest and adventures in the great wildlife world outside, became a totally enjoyable and personal crusade over the last sixty years that saw me rarely feel the need to socialise with great numbers of people doing the same thing, or stand amid a mass rank of telescopes on some windswept headland or moor, swapping twitching stories. An exception to bird watching lore I imagine but am I bothered or lonely - no.
Steve Gale said…
Derek, what you have done and the way in which you have done so has been your choice, and if you are happy with that then nobody would suggest that you should have done otherwise.

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