Yesterday evening I had written a lengthy post on the subject of birding behaviour during the second lockdown, but then deleted it rather than publish it - this after a bit of soul-searching when I thought better of it, and decided that it might ruffle a few feathers That wasn't something that I wished to happen.
So I tweeted this instead:
As can be seen, it has gathered a lot of interest, with over 58,000 views, 40 Retweets and getting on for 950 likes. But what about the 'not likes'? Even though I do put out the odd contentious tweet from time to time I am still a sensitive soul and do not like to think that anybody would be upset by what I post. I felt happy that the above post would be taken as a pat-on-the-back to those birders who have stuck to the government lockdown recommendations. Plenty haven't - or at least have played loose with the nitty-gritty of lockdown - and this has annoyed me somewhat. I could go into a bit more detail, but really don't want to. It's upsetting that some birders are out there playing Russian-roulette with a virus that can kill -if not them, then somebody close to them, or a perfect stranger that just happens to cross their path. I've been shouted down that being out in the open, innocently birding, is as safe as can be. That is just incorrect. The science is clear - the virus can live on a fence post, gate, bush, petrol pump, car bonnet, your glove or your jacket, for up to 48 hours. Regardless of perceived distancing.
Enough of that, back to the Tweet - there was one word in the above tweet that I should not have used...
I used it in the context as a list being meaningless when compared to a killer virus. But the clumsy use of the word makes it look as if I'm suggesting that listing is meaningless. There were several birders who have put me right on this. To them, their lists have meaning, or they can see that in some cases a list may be the one thing that keeps people mentally on the straight and narrow, gives them a reason for getting up in the morning. I did reply to each of them, accepting that I had got my wording wrong. Although the spirit of the tweet was not one of antagonism, I can see how it could have (and did) come across that way to some. I really should read through what I have written before touching the send button.
The gob-shite within me is going to go on a long holiday.
Lockdown 2 ends tonight. The tier system starts tomorrow. Wherever you are, keep safe and please bird responsibly. And none of that is meaningless.