Friday, March 12, 2010


Rushed to my field guides, no one has published one on "One Legged pheasant-types of Blythe" Struck out.
I have given up buying bird books. I have more information than I need , nor can rationalize. The huge expensive tomes, with extensive authour enamoured ids, and conflicting photos should be kept out of the clutches of young birders, and released by the Book sellers only to birders over the age of 18. The joy of youthful birding has been destroyed. Better have been to 2 0r 3 ABA conferernces by 15 yrs, tote around the latest swearofskis, whilst your parents shuttle you from Tikal trips to Asia , and at least have Jon Dunn and "Ken" give you a nod on the next Debbie Shearwater trip. Birding has gone the way of a lot of things . It is no longer "I am going birding, I have a bike and my bins" to "Honey let me load up the tripod , dad has just filled up your credit card,and slipped the Guide Magnus a couple of Grand to make sure you are up front, and see the Curlicude Petrel" .
At the work coffee fountain "you know Naomie is just 14 but she enjoys her hobby so much that she has now seen 357 species of Roller this year " .
Do not believe me ? Classic example, on some British year list race recently some arrogant d#ck posted "1453 year list, 5 year old Amy Snot....(with help from dad)"
What kind of message does that send to youthful birders, With a skateboard a pair of K Mart bins, but an interest, The hell with youthful. How many rare birds are missed because the oldfuls start glomming on to birds, have a rarie,they think but get on the net and are terrified by this aspect of birding.
Oh I have seen Anthony Jones name , I think I will e-mail his blog, he looks so nice in the pictures.
HI I am Anthony Jones. I am current leader for flyby night Tours having birded every where except Uranus . I am currently photographing all the Coturnix Cervixes in the New World in preparation for my new BBC special. If you are not currently looking for Grey Capalucho, tomorrow , then call me on the Pitta trail Monday. reprints of my pics please see my gallery, and I am bicycling everywhere and looking for my 418 mammal. and the Endemic Dacow wren. Catch a trip report of our blast in Antarctica, catch a pic of Graham trying to balance on a beer can. Sid screamed with laughter..
Elder/neophyte person.
Oh dear. I had a Hedgehog last week, and 15 species, I know when they come and when they leave, mark them on the calender. Its red like the Cardinals I get every 11th of May, Ethel down the street beat me last year, but its much greyer she says its a Pyrro something. I think its a baby Cardinal. Anyway, no need to bother anyone I guess, they are all so busy.
You would be surprised how many phone calls I have received over the years that start along the lines of.........
In an apologetic tone.
"HI is this Roger Higson" "I am sorry to bother you ,but my friend said you are really into birds" " I hate to bother you but we have had a bird on our feeder for.....and we have looked in our books and we can't find it and we asked and they gave us your name but would you like to see it if you are not too busy, it is Blue and looks like a crow. You probably see them all the time oh yes it is still here. That kind of conversation in Imperial, netted me Pinon Jay, Dickcissel and Pyrruloxia .And at least a dozen life birds for Blythe. So do not be intimidated and lose your interest in birds.
Admittedly I started birding in a different slower environment, 50 years ago, My first birding trip was on the back "Seat " of "Archies" 2 stroke Scotney Squirrel Motor bike, to meet Ray the window cleaner, Arch was a Gamekeeper who never owned a pair of bins, when I had a pair much later and went out with him much further along. He was still correctly id ing birds before I could get my bins on them. Withersbys was the field guide.Hence my philosophy. Equipment does not make a birder. Find a patch, a window view, a pond in the park, whatever, learn the birds you get on a regular basis, and when to look out for them and sooner or later. A funny-un will shew up. And a chosen one will say are you sure, and you will have the pleasure of saying, "Yes".To me that is of more birding value than Amy Snot !
Find a patch. Make it yours.

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