Friday, August 24, 2007

Meme

Seems like everyone else is being 'tagged' with these meme things so I thought I'd tag myself. The questions were set by Cogresha, of Earth House Hold.

1. What is the coolest bird you have seen from your home?
From my current home, I think it's got to be the Peregrine that I watched picking at a pigeon in the field at the back of the house. Having said that, the Hobby that dashed past one evening was pretty smart, as are the Barn Owls we see occasionally and the Green Woodpeckers that still visit quite frequently to lick up ants from the lawn...

From previous house windows, I've seen a herd of Bewick's Swans, Common Terns carrying fish, Waxwings eating buds and a solitary Tree Sparrow, so I've done quite well.

2. If you compose lists of bird species seen, what is your favourite list and why?
When I lived and worked in Peterborough, I used to be a mad-keen local lister, but then I got a job in a different place and twitching things became much more difficult. So I threw in the towel, though not before I'd reached 200 species!

I don't bother with county or life lists so the garden list is the only one important to me at the moment. It's on 74 now, in the space of nine months.

3. What sparked your interest in birds?
Not sure, really, though my paternal grandfather kept birds (mostly canaries and assorted other finches) and I think reading his copies of Cage & Aviary Birds on a Saturday probably sparked something off.

In the third year of junior school (age 9) we did a project on birds and I was already hooked by then, though things didn't really kick off until I started going to [what were then] YOC meetings...

4. If you could only bird in one place for the rest of your life where would it be and why?
That's a really tough question. I've enjoyed birding in lots of places, mostly in the UK, so can I nominate the UK as my 'place'? If it had to be one site, I'd say the Nene Washes, but even that's quite big...

5. Do you have a jinx bird? What is it and why is it jinxed?
As I mentioned, I'm not much of a twitcher these days which kind of rules me out of having a jinxed bird (or a bogey bird, as we Brits call it). In my Peterborough-listing days, the bogey bird was definitely Pied Flycatcher. Absolutely untwitchable. It also took me literally dozens of attempts to see a Bittern, which is partly why I chose 'bogbumper' as the name for my blog (it's an old name for Bittern).

6. Who is your favourite birder? and why?
I don't really have a favourite birder, but if you asked me who I admired, I'd probably say Graham Catley - he spends hours on his local patch, he finds stuff, he takes amazing photos and he's a top bloke. If you haven't visited his blog, DO IT NOW.

7. Do you tell non-birders you are a birder? What do they say to you when they find out?
I'm lucky enough to work somewhere where there are lots of other birders and naturalists, so I don't experience that there - generally, I have my binoculars and camera with me at lunchtime. Elsewhere, I tend not to shout about it, but people are usually fairly polite - if bemused.

I'm going to tag Mike Weedon, Tom McKinney and Steve Dudley, though whether they'll respond is another matter...