Posted by: digibirder | October 7, 2007

Birding Meme

I was tagged by Roger B for this meme.

1. What is the coolest bird you have seen from your home?
That depends which home. Shortly after moving into this (new) house three years ago, we dug a pond, which was subsequently filled in, and one day I looked out of the kitchen window to see a Grey Heron sitting on the fence staring into the pond. There were no fish in there, and a local moggy leapt onto the fence from an adjoining garden and scared it off!! I think the cat was being rather ambitious there. Other than that, we do get a Sparrowhawk visiting occasionally, and we have actually seen it three times this week, swooping in to try and nab a Goldfinch from the feeders. We’ve also had one visit from a Willow Tit, just after moving in.
When we lived in Norfolk, we had a Barn Owl quartering the garden (it was rather a large garden), and we had Marsh Harriers over occasionally.

2. If you compose lists of bird species seen, what is your favourite list and why?
I didn’t keep birding lists when I started birding, but usually noted which birds we’d seen on our holidays. These lists were not kept as a record, though. I started listing more seriously in about 2001, when I was employed at BirdGuides, but still not to the level some people do it. Even when I no longer worked there, I continued listing until a year or so ago, when I started being a bit more nonchalant. I did start a year list – something I hadn’t done before, and did it as a matter of interest, not to keep on with it, but it fizzled out part way through the year, as I began to have health problems about that time. Now I just enjoy the time spent out in the field, rather than having to achieve a certain bird or number of birds.

3. What sparked your interest in birds?
On a holiday to
America, we went to stay with our friends who took us to a local wildlife observation point, where you could look through one way glass at a feeder station. There were dozens of lovely birds there, the names of which I can’t recall, but we were hooked. On our return to the UK we bought some cheap binoculars, joined the RSPB and off we went.

4. If you could only bird in one place for the rest of your life where would it be and why?
This is a difficult one! If there was only one place I could choose, it would have to be Extremadura, for the amazing scenery and variety of birdlife. If I could choose two places, a close second would be the
island of Lesvos for similar reasons. But there are places I’ve never been to that I’ve heard are fantastic, so my choice may change yet again if I ever get to them!!

5. Do you have a jinx bird? What is it and why is it jinxed?
I don’t think I have a jinx bird, because I don’t go out primarily to find specific birds. However, earlier this year we went on a birding holiday with a couple of friends to
Lesvos, and the object of this trip was, obviously, to see as many species as possible. One bird that was playing extremely hard to get was the Sombre Tit, despite us searching in all the recommended places. We eventually found one on the penultimate day of the holiday!

6. Who is your favourite birder? and why?
Without a doubt, it’s Dave Gosney of BirdGuides. His birding knowledge is incredible and he’s more than willing to share it with others without being self-important about it. Second in line would be a colleague from my BirdGuides days, Andy Hirst. He took us on a birding trip to Extremadura a couple of years ago, and what he doesn’t know about birds isn’t worth knowing.

7. Do you tell non-birders you are a birder? What do they say to you when they find out?
I do tell other people that I am a birder if it comes up in conversation, and sometimes their immediate comments usually contain the word ‘twitcher’. I get tired of explaining the difference, so I usually just smile sweetly and let them carry on in ignorance.


I will be tagging Pete for this one.



  1. Love the list! I’ve been catching up and looking at your photos. Really really lovely!

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