Monday, 28 April 2014

The two L's of birding?

Remember the days when this Blog was crammed full of interesting topics about birds, with one or two half-decent images thrown in to boot - how quickly things change! I've now resorted to posting photographs of London's most numerous rodent in a vain attempt to throw-up some interest in this rapidly declining Blog - so what has changed?

Basically the two L's - Lifestyle and Luck.

Having spent the best part of last year unemployed, I had acres of spare-time to pursue my favourite past-time, of course this was squeezed in between the odd school-run and a few domestic duties, oh and job-hunting! But now fully employed with a young family to entertain, my free time is now at a huge premium, I'm lucky if I get the odd morning at the weekend to enjoy the wider-world outside, and because this is such a small window of opportunity my fortunes in seeing, let alone photographing something of interest percentage wise is rather small - am I complaining? No - I wouldn't change a thing but I wouldn't mind a little bit of the old luck! I estimate birding is made up of 60% luck, 20% aptitude and another 20% knowledge, so whether you stumble across a Wryneck on your local patch, see an Osprey drift over your house or even find a yank Warbler feeding on your bird table, it's all mostly right place, right time - you can increase your percentages by being in the right place, at the right time, on the back of reading a decent weather forecast or by constantly just being in the field (which I'm not) but still, I believe birding is mostly made up of luck, and if she's not currently smiling down on you, it can be a tough and lonely place (ok, tough and lonely is bit over the top, but you get my drift).

What I'm trying to elude is this, I'm still going through a lean-time on the birding front and spending what little free-time I do have wondering around Wanstead Flats in the hope of seeing a Shelduck flyover (still missing from this year patch-list, despite numerous sightings by others) has become all rather frustrating, when at the same time I could be on the coast tripping over migrants, experiencing flocks of waders, or witnessing large moments of Terns and Skuas, or anyone of numerous other birding scenarios - so it's time for a little change of scenery. 

My next foray won't be chasing yet another uninspiring patch year tick, but to some remote coastal peninsula, hopefully surrounded with birds and a CF card full of crisp images - but the way my lucks been going, the guys will pull a huge mega out of the bag and my next birding window will be spent back on the Flats trying to bloody relocate it!

Rat

Common around the Alexandra Lake area and a lot easier to photograph than those darn flighty Lesser Whitethroats!

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