Wednesday 26 September 2012


I've a ton of things to get done before I go, I'm almost not sure where to start. The two most critical are to have a haircut, which is fairly straighforward, and to pack, which is the complete opposite. A nightmare in fact. Many birders going on a trip will simply pack bins, job done. Not me. Look.

This is my hand luggage, the bare minimum that I need on Shetland. Bins not shown, and neither is the backup camera I took it with. You can probably see the problem - it's that big green thing in the middle. The lens and camera is basically my entire hand luggage allowance in one fell swoop, and even then it's slightly over the max weight. The rest - smaller lenses, converters, gloves, phone, radios, spare battery, memory cards, really cool snood, strap, phone, wallet - has to somehow fit in my pockets. It's just about doable I think, but I am going to look rather peculiar. More peculiar. I've been agonising over this for well over a fortnight now. Ridiculous, I don't know why I am bothering. As far as I can see, the weather forecast precludes any birding whatsoever, and we would all be best off in the pub, in which case the only thing I would really need is my wallet. And the snood, as Col wants to see it I think.

Shetland is going to be carpeted next week with London birders, Kent birders, Scottish and Irish birders. All sat indoors looking at a howling westerly and drinking Simmer Dim. Sounds good to me, but not quite what I'm bringing all the gear along for. Nevermind though, it's going to be good. Hopefully veery good.


  1. Don't worry about looking peculiar. I once wore my Sorel snowboots on the plane on a December trip to Alaska because I didn't have room to pack them.

  2. Yes, please, a self-portrait with snood, haircut...and socks too, if possible. Perhaps a scrunched-up crouch position might show them all in close proximity?

    Hope you see your Veery, and are back in time to enjoy the Wilson's Warbler that I plan to find in the Cot Valley on 8 October...

  3. Wear it all, and die of heat exhaustion, it's the only way when flying to Shetland! Oh, and just be glad your not flying on to Fair isle. It's 15kg total! Wimp!

  4. I've got same problem! We're in the Decca from Tuesday but I also need to take my laptop to keep in contact with work. I'm sacrificing the 500 mm for the Sigma 50 -500. See you there.

  5. You're just showing off cos u got all that kit. For the record I am takimg 1 camera with one lens, 1 pair of bins, no scope, 1 drinking head and 1 pair of lucky pants! Ok maybe 2. Can't wait, see ya bright and early Sat AM.