Birding

The Life of a Wife of a Twitcher

My husband is a keen bird watcher.   No matter where we go, he usually keeps a list of the bird species that he sees.  Every year he begins New Year’s Day with a “tweet watch” and it is the start of the list for the year.   During the first month of the year he usually gets quite a few on his list since he is starting over.  Everything from the common robin to the more unusual Ring Ouzel gets recorded.  By the end of January this year his list had 101 birds, which is a lot. I might add that he got 100 and 101 on the 30th January on the very cold, windy and wet cliffs of Wales!  Not a very pleasant experience!

The result is that he has decided to try and reach 200 for the year.  Apparently this is a big achievement in the bird watching world.  This also means he keeps dragging me out to go look for birds.  Thus, this morning, we went for a walk.   We added one new bird to the list, the Redstart, number 168.

In our pursuit of the great bird list, we took a short 4 day break earlier in the week.  We heard and saw a nightingale in a beautiful bluebell wood.  I was exhausted after an 5 mile bike ride, a 4 mile walk through a bird reserve, and the return 5 mile bike ride.  We ended the break on the south coast of England and visited a marsh; walked another bird reserve where we saw a very rare Dartford Warbler  (there are over 50 different types of warblers in Europe); and had a beach walk with no one else on the beach which is amazing in a small country with over 60 million people.

So, as you can see life this year has not been exactly full of excitement unless you like bird watching.  I have learned to recite a list of different bird types now and describe some of the differences.  For instance, did you know that in Europe there are about 12 different types of “tits” ( a small bird) and only about 7 of them are found in the UK.  We have identified 6 of the 7 and are still trying to find the illusive “bearded tit”.    So, we will be off on another adventure this week in pursuit!!

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