Natural born twitchers. This is perhaps one of the birding categories I don't fall into. I am inclined to get on my high horse about the obsessive nature of twitching, the dark side of birding, listing, ticking, not appreciating what birds are part of. Recognising the bigger picture. It's a vice that grips and grips tight.
Check pager/phone, panic, few phone calls, drive, walk, anxiety, despair, bird, elation, tick. It all appears to be a little perverse, but it is horribly addictive, and I am loathed to admit, that I get it.
Today not for the first time this year, I was involved in the chase.
The morning started early, the usual routine, wake up, grab phone (what have we become?), and a cursory glance at the early morning bird news. I don't have a pager, as it doesn't serve my passive approach to chasing rare birds, so my birdguides app suits me fine. Monday morning, three bold red exclamation marks, GREAT KNOT, Breydon Water, nice.
Flirting recklessly around the periphery of the twitching fraternity, and being awkwardly immobile in not owning a car, a mega bird sighting is usually met with a little sigh, a tinge of self-deprecation, before getting on with my day.
But then there's The Prof, kindly offering me the opportunity to see these rare birds for myself, for which I am extremely grateful. For the time being, it is a relief not having to live vicariously in the pursuit of these ornithological anomalies.
So there we have it, a bird that breeds in the tundra of northeast siberia, and winters as far away as New Zealand finds itself pursued by hundreds of twitchers in Great Yarmouth.
Check pager/phone, panic, few phone calls, drive, walk, anxiety, despair, bird, elation, tick. Beautiful!
Great Knot (courtesy of: Paul Whiteman)
One or two excited twitchers