I had intended to celebrate my first anniversary of blogging by looking back at some of the things I had photographed over the past year.
My intentions were frustrated by a technical problem with my external hard drive (where I store the 40,000 or so photos I have taken in the past couple of years). [*Yawn]
So, not only did I miss my own anniversary, I have also not posted anything for three weeks.
Technical issues drive me up the wall – patience is not one of my virtues – but my passion, birding, can also be frustrating…
Birders travel all over the world to feed their habit: the constant urge to spot ‘new’ species of bird and add them to one of their lists: life/country/window (these are the three I keep). Birders will often visit remote and exotic locations. The other day I travelled to … [dramatic pause] … Staines. For those of you who are not familiar with the South East of England, to put it kindly, Staines is not a town to attract many visitors for its beauty or culture.
Staines recently became Staines-on-Thames. It was a bid to sex up or add class to a town mostly famous for the location of the fictional Ali-G.
Staines does, however, have a set of large reservoirs that are famous in the birding community…
Only two of the reservoirs can be viewed by the public via a narrow causeway that runs between them…
Staines reservoir is famous amongst birders because of the large number of rare birds that visit it. I spent nearly two hours travelling across London with the hope of spotting something like… a Long-billed Dowitcher, or a Collared Pratincole, or Whiskered Tern, or how about a mighty Osprey, or Montagu’s Harrier, or the more delicate Bee-eater, or Icterine Warbler. All of these wonderfully named birds have been spotted at Staines Reservoir over the years.
But I was not to be so lucky. I well and truly dipped.
Oh, I’m sorry did I just spring some birding terminology on you there without explaining it?
To dip (v.) to miss a bird that one had hoped or expected to see to add to one’s list
The common birds I did see, and the beautiful views, made up for any real disappointment. Birding wouldn’t be as fun if you always saw what you hoped for.