Friday, 19 February 2016


Here's an anecdote I thought I'd share with you!

When Linda located 'our' Firecrest at Minsmere on Wednesday, it was some way from where a 'gallery' had formed to look for the reported pair of birds: it was right by the main access road at Scott's Hall Cottage. She picked it out by call (I've ruined that end of my hearing spectrum with years of standing in front of 500W PA systems!)

Brian and I quickly got on the bird and started clicking away: he has (I think) the new Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR and got some really great shots, particularly when it fluttered down into a rhododendron bush just half a metre in front of me!
A small 'tour' group broke off from the main party (which was being assisted by a totally charming and very knowledgeable Vol / Ranger) to tell us that they were watching the Firecrest and that we should follow them. I replied that they were most kind, but we were watching a really confiding individual. Brian showed them the picture below: their group leader retorted 'That's just a Goldcrest!' and led his friends away!

This amused me immensely! Another photographer (who had spent two days obtaining some exquisite photos) came over and confirmed we were looking at a third individual. We chatted for a while and reflected on the growing prevalence of 'expert' birders with a couple of years field experience. He pointed out how many of these have blogs where their profiles often include self-styled titles such as 'environmentalist, eco-activist and conservationist'. It goes without saying that many of these 'eco-warriors' spend weeks at a time in far-flung birding destinations such as Central / South America, Nepal and Antarctica adding to their 'World Lists'.

Now I'm not a massive believer in anthropogenic GW, but, if I were, I'd have to point out to these 'environmentalists' that their carbon footprints are probably only exceeded by those of politicians ferrying to and from climate change conferences!


chris said...

Hi David This reminds of a time a couple of years ago now. My Jan was out with a friend and her son on the Winterton dunes. They were lucky to see a male Golden Oriole that was very confiding and they got a good view. A certain Winterton birder insists that all they saw was a Yellow Hammer. My Jan is no expert but knows a yellow Hammer when she sees one. And what other bird looks like an Oriole.But I did hear that if anything rare shows up in Winterton They keep Mum about it because of trouble over a bad twitch in the past. Hope your ok my friend Chris

David said...

Hi Chris!
Fine thanks: hope the world's good with you!