I'm giving a talk to the WI today about the wildlife of the Yare Valley. While I was compiling a powerpoint, I decided to start with how Linda and I met through birding / twitching (first 'date' was the Naumann's in Chingford!) and that led me to recalling our first commercial enterprise together.
Do any of you still have copies of these? For three years we videoed as many rare birds as we could catch up with in East Anglia: we missed very little! Remember, this was in the days before affordable high-def video cameras, so the quality was occasionally patchy. At the time there were a handful of stills photographers who sold prints at major twitches: these were usually a couple of pounds each, so I reckon our annual video diaries weren't bad value at a tenner! We made five altogether, including a record of a Scillonian Pelagic that included Wilson's, Great, Sooty, Balearic and Cory's shearwaters as well as three Sabs: all in great close-up!
The advent of cheap DSLRs and high-performance compact video cameras put paid to this little side-line: although, to be honest, our other businesses were beginning to erode the time available for chasing every rare bird in the eastern counties! Great days, though: I must work out how to transfer the VHS tapes to DVD!