Archive for January, 2013

Am I a twitcher?

January 25th, 2013


When people find out that I like photographing birds, some exclaim that I must be a twitcher. Actually, I detest that expression when applied to me. I am definitely not into twitching. Uuuuuuuuurgh! Yuck! When I checked the definition of the word it said: Twitchers are willing to go to great lengths, including extensive travel and dedicated monitoring of local and regional birding hotlines, to see new bird species.

Tawny Frogmouth. Boring and common if you are a twitcher.

Tawny Frogmouth. Boring and common if you are a twitcher.

Now I cannot see anything wrong with seeing a new species. I like seeing them too, especially in my local area so I can see the biodiversity and the changes in weather patterns that may bring a

new species into my home range. However, for me, it’s all about photographing a group of wonderful animals that have feathers, beaks and can (mostly) fly and honing my photography skills in the process. I would not want to spend all my life looking at reports of rare birds in far away places with froth dribbling from the corner of my mouth in anticipation. I don’t see a problem with that though and if people want to twitch, so be it. But to me it’s kind of like taking a plane trip to Paris just to see the Mona Lisa in The Louvre, stand in the queue and quickly glance and her then keep walking along until I see the next artifact that is well known without taking in the beauty of the “old” lady. Of course, also having a list of artifacts to see and tick off and….you get the picture.

I love to sit/stand/crawl/crouch and observe. Even the same old boring birds many of these true twitchers would not even bother looking at. I always giggle when I see some of them say online that now they can add another species to their local list, their month list, their day list, their week list, their life list. Hey, don’t forget your shopping list. Know what they say? You don’t eat you don’t crap, you don’t crap you die. Don’t forget to eat! It’s far more important than flying to Broome to see a European Roller that somehow got lost with some wind and ended up in NW Australia. Well, in my opinion anyway.


So for the record, I don’t twitch. I don’t even keep a list at home. The only records of my observations are on an online database called Eremaea and they’re for the records. I am not fussed if I don’t ever get to see more than 300 species of birds in my life. Actually, I probably will, eventually. I think my total species I’ve seen in Australia is around 275. See? That’s how little I am interested in a tally. They are just birds, well not in a negative sense, as in boring, useless things. No, just birds, from the perspective that I love seeing and photographing them, observing their life cycles and recording those the best I can for myself and to share with others. Birds are beautiful creatures that need our help with survival due to many external factors (many caused by humanity) that put pressure on their well being and day-to-day lives.

If you wanna twitch? Be my guest, just don’t call me a bloody twitcher, for that I AM NOT!

Australian White Ibis. Yuck, how could I waste my memory card on this? Get off it! They are gorgeous birds in their own way.


Nature Photography