Monday, 23 January 2017

Birding Generations

I guess now I've turned 60 I'm firmly in the "old fart" category. Changes happen. The older you get the more you see...obviously. I try to stay broad-minded...but it gets harder, maybe I never was! Just thought I'd share that with you! With the forthcoming switch in listing authorities it seems a fitting time to write this post.
From 2018...
Following the adoption of the IOC World Bird List on 1st January 2018, species-level changes will be made to the British List include:
  • Tundra Bean Goose from Taiga Bean Goose
  • Desertas Petrel from Fea's Petrel
  • Least Tern from Little Tern
  • Thayer's Gull from Iceland Gull
  • Red-tailed (Turkestan) Shrike from Isabelline (Daurian) Shrike
  • Two-barred Greenish Warbler from Greenish Warbler
  • Stejneger's Stonechat from Siberian Stonechat
  • Eastern Yellow Wagtail from Yellow Wagtail
  • Hudsonian Whimbrel with Whimbrel
  • Lesser Redpoll with Mealy Redpoll
I'm no've probably gathered that!!! So I won't pontificate, you'll be pleased to hear. This decision makes total sense to me. A standardised world taxonomy has to be a good thing...doesn't it? 
On a far less academic note I still have problems regarding my Birding. As is abundantly clear from this Blog...I like a tick! I'll travel the length and breadth of the Country (when available) to add a species to my list. I'll also travel to see a "good bird" as I did yesterday. A VERY good decision IMHO, I may add.
Are some birds "better" than others?
For me...most definitely. A well known character once said..."They're all one". That's very true BUT are some more worthy than others?
Moltoni's Warbler and Iberian Chiffchaff. Just a couple plucked out. Not very inspiring!
There is an element of hypocrisy here I'll admit, as I've twitched birds that were confirmed retrospectively...e.g. ACADIAN FLYCATCHER. This doesn't mean I'm totally at ease with the tick, especially when our friends across the pond consider "Empids" unidentifiable in Autumn unless they call? The official line WILL be followed however.
DNA Birding isn't!!!
There's also the question of provenance. Followers will (probably) remember I've turned down birds which I didn't rate e.g Chestnut Bunting (which was accepted). I can honestly say it doesn't bother me in the slightest. It's a personal choice. I do have a personal list which includes a few rejections...BOOTED EAGLE being one of them!?
So what AM I saying?
Simply this. From now on I'll decide what merits a trip. I'm as keen as ever to see new birds but I'll make my own decision as to what I consider worthy. I'll still follow the (new) "official" line but with a selective slant. It's (slightly) more relaxing and definitely more satisfying. It's also cheaper! Spending hundreds of pounds to go to see a bird I can't identify doesn't exactly get the juices flowing.
Still enjoying the memory of yesterday's see a PROPER bird...hope it makes it...
White-billed Diver (Yellow-billed Loon)

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