Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Quiet Season - The Alternative Highlight Theory

Summer is always a strange time. The sun is shining, this year we are basking in warm temperatures and our gardens are being reintroduced to the barbecue. We should revel in this and in many ways we do, but there is always something missing. The birds are breeding, if lucky your gardens might be home to new families, but it is somehow not as fulfilling as the other seasons.

The only explanation is the removal of unpredictability. Human nature likes surprise and anticipation. In mid-summer we visit our patches and somehow we know what we'll see. There are exceptions and a satisfaction that we know where birds breed on our patch. But nothing quite replaces that migration season feeling, where anything is possible and however small your patch, you could hit gold and put yourself in contention for a nice new pair of Forest and Bresser Optics bins.

So how do we replace that in the summer. Some will turn to the jobs list in garden and house to earn points and time off in the autumn. But here's the quirk, a lot of people diversify their interests so that there is something unusual to find year round. And birders almost always pick things with wings! Moths, butterflies and dragonflies litter the blogs of birders that don't have exciting avian finds to write about. What is it with flying that so captivates the birder?

I have started to pick up the moth bug (no pun intended) again this year for the first time in years. It fills the gap and ensures that I don't wish away the summer in pursuit of autumn scarcities. I find that my search for the new is fulfilled and I can simply soak up the joy of nesting Robins and Nuthatch in the garden without wishing it was something altogether more Siberian!

Poplar Hawk-moth... not a bird
With your July submission, feel free to put an alternative highlight if your birding month has been quiet and I will do a round up each month on the blog. Perhaps not personal highlights, let's keep it clean after all, but any aspect of the natural world that has lit up your July.

Spending the summer wishing it was autumn is a common birder affliction I think, and we all need to find our own remedy. What is yours?

Pyramidal Orchid... not a bird
Harbour Porpoise... not a bird
Four-spotted Chaser... not a bird

No comments:

Post a Comment