Friday 8 July 2011

Failed Twitcher

Friday evening and I find myself fervently hoping that a small Warbler currently enjoying itself in Derbyshire falls off its perch tonight. I've never seen a Bonelli's Warbler, of any variety, it would be a world lifer. Wow. I refused to go last Sunday, but it looks like I could be heading that way Sunday unless the bird does the decent thing between now and then and buggers off. Why does twitching have to be like this?

I have silly conversations with myself:

"It's only a bird, forget about it."

"Yes, but it's pretty rare."

"So what?"

"Bradders has seen it, he went straight away. Now he doesn't have to worry about it."

"Pffff. I stand by my previous "so what?""

It" would be a good tick. One closer to 400."

"Don't care. It's only a number."

"But it's the first one you've even been able to go for."

"Go away, you're annoying me."

"How am I supposed to go away exactly? Anyway, it's only 200 miles."

"Gah! 200 miles!"

"Motorway the whole way, you could be back for lunch. Look, you went for the Pied-billed Grebe in roughly the same place didn't you?"

"That was stupid too. Anyway, Pied-billed Grebe is much rarer."

"What else are you going to do instead?"

"Oh piss off"


This is precisely the reason that twitching, or at least the thought or mere possibility of twitching annoys me. Your tick-hungry side keeps niggling at you, and won't let up. That said, my change in stance on twitching is still quite recent. I'm a raw convert to "not caring", and will I hope gradually recover and be able to cope better when rare birds turn up. The pager is gone, that was hard, but really I've barely missed it. There was a moment of sheer filth with the Audouin's Gull when I basically dropped everything and legged it to Minsmere, but apart from that my aquisition of new birds in 2011 has been fairly restrained and carefully targeted. I'll let you know how I get on on Sunday.


  1. Twitching's fine so long as it doesn't take up a whole day just to get to where the wretched bird is. Let's face it, the trouble with just walking the patch as a replacement is that it takes a certain level of patience and creativity for it not to be utterly and mind-numbingly BORING! Perhaps you should create a line on the map so that you only twitch within a 150-mile radius or something like that - or at a distance you can comfortably get to and arrive back without any potential domestic difficulties. Just a thought

  2. Congratulations on holding your nerve! I have a two hour rule: if I can get to the bird in two hours in the car then I'll twitch it otherwise it's too far. Mind you I do extend that to three hours for a proper rare.