Showing posts from December, 2023

End of. Beginning of.

Even here in the normally sedate south-east of England the weather is kicking off. An unusually blustery west to south-westerly wind is making itself felt and, looking at the weather forecast for the next few days, will continue to be a nuisance. What it must be like to the north and west of us I can only imagine and sympathise with. Roof tiles, fence panels, tree boughs, garden furniture and moth-traps all going on unscheduled journeys into the air...  Now Christmas is over (in my book that is when Boxing Day finishes) I normally start to tidy up in readiness for the new year and look back at the past 12-months. 2023 has been a bit of a roller-coaster for me, some great highs and some nasty lows. As I'm fond of saying, if you experience the privilege of reaching an 'older' age then you need to accept that things will not always run smoothly - unless you are very lucky indeed. It goes with the territory. Enough said. I didn't travel far this year. Most of my birding was

Time to reflect

I normally come up with the title for a post after I have written it. If I'm feeling creative it will be some sort of play on words, or if I'm not then an all-encompassing word or two will do. As for this particular post, and with a few things to discuss, I've written the title first, inspired by having just read a feature about musicians who have used the title of an album as the starting point for their creative exercise. Here goes... Firstly, blogs - yes, this very medium that I am writing in and you are reading from. - what content they derive, the reason that the content exists and what the writer should (or should not) expect from any reader that visits the blog. This was brought into sharp focus by a series of posts to be found here, at Jono Lethbridge's excellent 'Wansted Birder'.   His blogging output has recently included detailed and entertaining reports on his recent overseas trips which have received a bit of flak from certain quarters. None of us b

To tell it like it is, or not...

I am grateful to Gavin Haig (Not Quite Scilly) who drew my attention to an opinion piece, penned by Matt Phelps, which appeared in the November issue of 'Birdwatch' magazine, entitled 'Positive Approach', which I have now read. In it, he suggests that there is too much negativity being posted on social media regarding the state of our birding world, which is then acting as a deterrent towards a younger generation in adopting conservation and wildlife study. He also suggests that a lot of this negativity is being generated by older birders, and that these old timers keep banging on about the 'good old days' which isn't helpful in encouraging the youth to pick up a pair of binoculars and get out into the field. Does he have a point? Now, I am undeniably an older birder, and I am also guilty of having posted, blogged, written and spoken about the slump in bird and invertebrate numbers. I also like nothing better than to revisit my notebooks and share in the hi