Wednesday 27 October 2010

Damp Squib

On Viz-migging

I literally skipped down the stairs this morning. Giddy with excitement I made cup of tea. Coat on, hat on, bins round neck, camera over shoulder. I was ready! The time was 07:32. Let it begin!!

A blank sky.

Not to worry, it will all kick off any minute.

07:53. The first Wren wakes up. In turn, it wakes up a Blue Tit. Hmm, this is not going exactly to plan. 8am comes and goes, and I have seen literally nothing in the sky. Nothing at all. Predictably though I have heard Goldcrest and Green Woodpecker, and seen a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Jay, all four of which eluded me throughout yesterday and would have beaten the day record. Natch.

08:02. A Chaffinch!!! A single bird, moving from tree to tree in the gardens. Vizzed, but probably not migging. I conclude that something is wrong.

I heard a Redwing a few minutes later, but the sky remained resolutely blank. I glanced down at the enormous dollop of cat-shit on the terrace and realised it probably wasn't going to be my day. Shortly after that the first child appeared, looking hungry, and viz-migging was over.


I've been saving this one for a rainy day

On Writing
I realised whilst writing this that I composed most of it whilst looking at the sky this morning. Do any other bloggers do this? Whilst I've not written down exactly what I mentally went through outside, it is fairly close, and indeed some sentences are word for word. Is this normal? A sign perhaps that I am taking blogging too seriously?

I actually stand there, typing it in my head during quiet moments, of which a patch worker has many. Ideally there would be some kind of neural link to the PC, and I would return indoors to find it ready to go, but I don't think we're quite there yet. Are you listening Bill? I could use a dictaphone, but it's a bit 1980s, and would be truly a sign of over-exaggeration of blog-importance. I also don't have a dictaphone. This is probably a good thing. A secretary perhaps......a scribe......

Nonetheless, as I stand there constructing paragraphs, I wonder what on earth I am doing. I mean, why bother? Perhaps in need of mental stimulation beyond that offered by loads of washing, pouring cereal, and watching Pixar films?

It's the same with my Birdwatch articles; they're mostly written before I even sit down in front of the computer. Sometimes I'll have noted a few themes down, points I want to make, examples I might forget, but mostly when I actually start typing it just flows out. Unfortunately the same thing happens on BirdForum.....


  1. Your the best birding blog writer out there by a large margin - so don't worry about it!

  2. "Do any other bloggers do this?"

    Constantly. It's what makes life bearable.

  3. Back when I had the time to go birding and cared enough to blog about it afterwards I used to spend almost all the time between birds composing the blogpost to explain/excuse how little I saw. And that was a lot of time.

    I think there's a correlation between time spent composing and planning prior to typing the post and the quality of that post. I'm not for one second implying that any of mine were ever actually good, just that some weren't quite as shit as the others.

    As for the "why bother" question, surely if you enjoy writing about what you just did, and enjoy the fact that people actually read it then it's all been worth it, no? Again, a correlation I've noticed there: when the writing about your latest trip to the Ingrebourne (where you saw nothing) becomes a chore, then the resultant piece probably isn't worth writing, let alone posting.

  4. I also wondered if anyone else composed their blog posts in their heads whilst in the field, great to find I'm not the only one.

    On another note, can we swap gardens? I wouldn't mind a Waxwing or two from the deck-chair.

  5. Jono, I am the same even last night I was watching West Ham Utd with monkey and I took a photo of us celebrating a goal and straight away I thought about what the title of my next post ( why I dont )