Thursday, March 30, 2006

Twitcher?

Living, as I do, part of the time in Norfolk, I suffer from the problem of twitchers. What is a twitcher? You may well ask. I offer this definition from one Dave Appleton at here. Dave writes:

"And that leads me on to one of the most mis-used terms of all time: twitcher. This does not mean birdwatcher as the general public seem to think, but specifically refers to people who travel out of their way in order to see a particular bird, usually a rare vagrant that doesn't normally occur there. And while we're talking about what we're called - birder means birdwatcher but it implies someone who takes this interest pretty seriously. Dude seems to have gone out of fashion but in relation to birdwatchers it means someone who's not very good - a bit of a demeaning term. Worse is stringer which is someone who habitually mis-identifies birds, especially claiming to have seen rare birds when in fact they were common birds which they convinced themselves were something rarer. The biggest insult of all is bird-spotter - only used by non-birders who think birdwatching is like train-spotting or plane-spotting."

Hmmmm, I am proud to be a stringer. Anyway, there is a Norfolk story about a man so incensed by a gang of twitchers standing round his garden fence staring at some tedious small brown bird that he took his 12 bore shotgun and not so much shot as utterly dematerialised the bird in question. I know how he feels. I once nearly terminated a twitcher gang by driving into them; they had elected to stand in the middle of a road just past the apex of a blind corner. They, of course, looked at me with anger and contempt, cuddling protectively their amazingly expensive Swarovski telescopes (monoculars?)The problem I have with these people is they can stand on Cley marshes with their backs to a display of staggeringly beautiful but common birds and their monoculars (telescopes?) trained on a dull little creature that has been blown in from Lithuania or somewhere, never having intended to visit Norfolk. Beauty, therefore, is not the issue, only rarity. Or rather not even that as these damn creatures may well be common as muck in Lithuania or wherever. It's all about making lists, ticking boxes. Why do people need to do this?

13 comments:

  1. This is an unbelievably late comment but in answer to your final question is this blog when expressed at it's simplest level nothing more than a list of your daily thoughts? Why do you do it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Because I enjoy it and a sufficient number of readers do also.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And in those first four words you have answered the question you posed in your original post.

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  4. bbbbbbbbbbeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr fuck off

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  5. hi could someone please tell me where does the word twitcher come from and what does it mean thannkyou.

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