Musings on a rainy day.

15th May 2017
While briefly browsing one of the birding websites earlier today I was really surprised to read that large amounts of birders/photographers have been travelling long distances to photograph a Common Cuckoo. This bird is located at a place called Thursley Common in West Sussex and apparently it is showing itself quite well. Incredibly one man travelling on a 230 mile round trip to photograph the bird. Other ‘Birders’ were saying they had never seen a Cuckoo, with one woman declaring that she had never heard one!!
When I read accounts like this I really begin to question what these people are doing in this hobby. As a birder if you can’t find a Common Cuckoo in May in the UK then you need to try harder. I accept, however, that photographing these birds can be difficult and herein lies the problem. This new breed of birders/photographers are not prepared to try and find their own birds, they want everything put on a plate in front of them! It's little wonder that people are vague about their findings and in particular their locations. In reality all it takes is for someone to get up at first light, stake out a likely Cuckoo territory, watch for a couple of hours to see what the bird’s favourite perches are and then return in the next few days and wait in a hide until hopefully the bird perches in a photographically suitable position and if it doesn't - then try again!

Unfortunately these days people would rather search the wildlife blogs, websites and other social media platforms for other people’s findings and then capitalise on their hard work. They are in fact a human form of Cuckoo themselves. I wouldn’t mind so much if they showed some sort of humility towards the hobby, instead they just see this behaviour as the norm. Please read one of my previous blogs on the appalling behaviour and attitude of the man in the Forest of Dean. I am not saying the people going for this Cuckoo are badly behaved but they are still typical of modern birding/photography, they are just plain trophy hunters.

Kingfishers are another subject that gets me going, people would rather pay £100 to go to a set-up site than get out and find birds on their local river etc.

I’m all for sharing rare bird’s info when it comes around, we all want to see those but come on, ‘Birders’ should at least try and find some of their own birds!!
I think the rain is stopping, I must get out more and find some birds, LOL.