Wednesday, 12 November 2014
British birding ‘getting a bit dull’ say birders
“It’s partly because, once you’ve seen all the bright resident stuff like Blue Tits and Green Woodpeckers, you’re left with vagrant birds to provide variety,” said Arthur Balsam, a birdwatcher from Faversham. “And, let’s be brutally honest, they’re invariably dull as fuck to look at, for all they’re numerically rare in Britain.
“Look at the news these past few days. American Coot in Co.Kerry? Dull as fuck. And as for the putative eastern lagopodum subspecies of House Martin, I’d tell you that’s dull as fuck too but you wouldn’t be able to hear me over the sound of a massive barrel being desperately scraped. What the merry hell is the birding world coming to? When did it all get so tedious?
“We used to take the piss when Lee Evans banged on about some obscure subspecies deserving to be taken as seriously as the nominate full species. Now Martin Garner's at it, it's a different matter entirely. Which is odd".
The issue of tricky subspecies continues to exercise birders, with many uneasy about ticking any mooted species that can only be safely identified with a DNA sample, a sonogram, or a generous slice of wishful thinking in the field. For many, it smacks of desperation.
“Time was when I used to look at the Birding Frontiers website for cutting edge identification tips. Now it’s all possible split this and potential first subspecies for the Western Palearctic that,” added a disgruntled Mr Balsam.
“I bet Martin Garner would really, secretly, like to break the news of a nice, incontrovertible, properly rare species.
“Narcissus Flycatcher, for example. That’d be a good one”.