Wednesday 1 June 2022

Once upon a time I had a blog....

Hello there. Remember me? Once upon a time I used to write a blog. And then, just like that, I didn't. These things happen from time to time, and I learned a while ago not to bother fighting them. You cannot force creativity and as such I have not missed it much if at all. I have been keeping busy of course, just not with anything worth writing about. Did you want to hear that I planted some runner beans last month? I admit I thought about it.... 

What is the change, what has caused me to pick up the metaphorical pen? Not local birding that is for sure! This year has felt a bit like a chore thus far. Spring was some distance from being memorable, and we are now in June and you know what that means. Yes yes, I saw some birds, all the usual suspects, but not with any great enthusiasm really. It felt repetitive and dull. Very dull. 

What has changed is that I have left Wanstead a few times. I cannot begin to tell you how important this is to me, how life-affirming it is. It can be near or far, long or short, it seems not to matter. I went for a nice meal in Marylebone and I went on a city break with Mrs L in Istanbul; both were fantastic. I had a few days birding in northern Spain with a couple of the Wanstead group. I worked a full week in Budapest and I went to Regents Park for an hour to listen to an Iberian Chiffchaff. I had wonderful views of an Eleanora's Falcon in Kent one morning and I took a camera to Madeira for three days. I spent two days wandering around Porto in the sunshine and I went to a wine-tasting evening in Islington. What I did not do was sit in Wanstead doing nothing. Well.... Actually I did a lot of that, in fact mostly that, but by interspersing it with things that were not that I came alive.

Madeira in particular was hugely helpful. It was unplanned, but when Mick said he had a trip planned and was I free.... ? I was free as it happened, and whilst I don't usually up and go just like that, I realised that I really really wanted to go. Mick and I used to travel a fair bit in search of bird photography opportunities but the pandemic put an end to that and I put my camera away. From time to time I had a go, but there was no spark, and it was entirely possible for it to sit in a corner for months gathering dust. Mick went one step further and sold the lot! 

I spent a day gathering everything together, retrieving lenses, charging batteries and that sort of thing.  Luckily I have two of everything so there was a camera and lens for Mick too. All of it was 100% dead, not a single ounce of charge in anything, which tells a story in itself. Bird photography is something you have to do a lot of to get any good at. Would we remember or would we be totally hopeless? The answer was a bit of both. For instance I clipped the wingtips on this one....

Cory's Shearwater, Funchal bay


  1. Hi Jono - great to hear from you again! I've been wondering what you've been up to and it would seem there's more bloggage material that might surface in due course - hope so!