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What makes a birder...well, a birder? (1 Viewer)


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Each to their own so be it, interesting that no one has touched on “finding”.
For me it’s “the core” value, ie doing one’s daily patch day in, day out, logging all that pass before, taking pleasure in ID-ing all that call or bound into cover (or at least trying to).

Then totally unexpectedly (normally when you’re contemplating a total opposite) you hear an unfamiliar call desperately “running it through the wiring” without success until Bingo! You’ve put species to call/song and you can’t quite believe it…until it morphs into view!

Conversely as before, bird flys into view before disappearing into cover, your instinct tells you that it’s “interesting”, however you say it can’t be and you default to the nearest commoner species.
Then after much angst you see it (or don’t) and the realisation that your gut feeling was correct and the famous Anglo Saxon two word expletive is issued…..

Being a “better” birder doesn’t come into it as far as I’m concerned, just going out hunting successfully or otherwise and enjoying what might come your way….and if you carry a camera, more joy to your day.


Hi Ken,

I would say that the first sentence here, while not mentioning finding explicitly, means you are going to find birds. I didn't think to mention it because finding birds should be an inevitable consequence of going birding.

I'd say a birder is anyone who spends much of their time actively looking for birds, and is constantly aware of any birds that appear within earshot/view wherever they happen to be and whatever else they happen to be doing. They would also be incapable of not attempting to identify every bird they happen to see or hear. If you don't passively notice every bird around you and attempt to identify it, (even subconsciously with common species) then you're not a birder 🙂

Okay, you may not find something rare but you should find something. I enjoy patch watching and one of the joys of retiring has been having the time to add more areas to my local routine and increase the diversity of habitat I am able to cover - this resulted in a singing male Wryneck last year and a Black Redstart and hopefully will result in other local goodies being found in future years.

I find it also means when I go elsewhere I assume that there are potentially birds waiting to be found at these other locations too and so keep my wits about me wherever I go - it often makes for a more enjoyable day for me and hopefully others too.



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