Showing posts from March, 2021

Local Lockdown Bucket List

With an end to restricted travel getting closer every day, I'm sure everyone reading this is keen to get out and spread their birding wings. I know I certainly I am. But to avoid you wishing away these next few weeks or months, my post this week is going to be a series of 'Low Carbon Birding Challenges', to make the most of our local birding scene before we can all travel further afield, and before some of us forget about the spots that we've grown to love over the last year. A Lockdown Birding Bucket List Top 10 if you will.  Hopefully, it might help us to rekindle our love for our local area, a love which might have worn quite thin over the last few months of being forced to visit it exclusively every day! I hope this highlights a few positives that we can take away from this past year of enforced local lockdown birding, and maybe some that we can continue to enjoy after lockdown and beyond. If there are any you haven't done already, there's still time to give

The Birder's Paradox

Something that’s always been difficult for me has been finding the line between listing and watching, between enjoying a rare bird and appreciating what I see every day. It’s something you might call the Birder's Paradox - how can I truly enjoy a rare bird if I forget to enjoy those that are more common? I started to think about what birds symbolise 'home' to me. What birds do I see every day and often forget to give a second glance.  Back home in Leicestershire, this might be the birds on the garden feeder - the Goldfinches, for example - along with House Sparrows and Blackbirds. In my uni house in Bath, larger birds are the main cast - Herring, Lesser-black Backed and Black-headed Gulls are everywhere. Cormorants are common and there's always a Pied Wagtail on the road outside. It struck me how different these were. A Goldfinch in the single tree that I can see from my Bath apartment would be a breath of fresh air, and I find myself celebrating a garden Pied Wagtail b

Mindful Birding

We all need a bit of a boost right now. Fortunately for me, and for many of you reading this post, birdwatching provides some much needed relief in this difficult state of the world. Birding offers a mindful and uplifting escape that remains even throughout the pandemic. Sure, we might not be able to travel to a bird reserve or maybe even our local patch, but I've put together some birding activities that just about anyone can enjoy even now. Hopefully, they provide you with some of the mindfulness and joy that we could all do with at this time. Perhaps the key to all this is that nature is unchanging in the face of all the problems in the human world. Nature can provide great solace during the harsh reality of the pandemic. Watching a Goldcrest foraging in a pine tree today is just the same experience as it was 5 years ago, and it's this normality that we all crave right now. Being present and enjoying the birds you are seeing couldn't be a better way to experience mindful