Wednesday, 4 March 2020
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.