Sunday, 4 December 2011

An Odd One Out.

I was on the reserve earlier today and what a cold, grey, breezy, not properly light and gloomy visit it was. These cold and gloomy days that are only around eight to nine hours long are very much not my cup of tea. I hate having to walk round weighed down with winter clothes on and my body rigidly tensed against the cold. I hate it when its only light for four hours either side of lunch time and having to spend so much time indoors looking out at darkness or gloom. The photo below from this morning records nothing other than how cold and grey it all looked.

However, reading several of the regular blogs lately, it seems that I'm the odd one out - no surprise there to many who read my comments - but in this context I refer to this deep winter period and my loathing of it. Several of the other writers are hoping for some proper winter weather, snow even, purely to apparently increase the bird species and numbers that are being seen. Mind you even those guys portray some contradictions in what they say - when its sunny and bird-boring they call for cold, grey, more like it winter weather and when they get that weather, plus the birds, they then complain that its too gloomy to photograph them.
Some of these people seem to spend every day either working or birdwatching, with nothing in between - no mention of spouses, or mowing the lawn, or shopping, or decorating - just the constant hope that if they stay out long enough each day that they might add one more bird to each month's list. Its easy to imagine them emerging from a violent storm that has wrecked their houses, stepping over the wreckage and saying, "wow, I bet there's some birds about today".

No, I hate this weather, I spend it looking forward to the passing of The Shortest Day, praying for a mild January and February and at last, that first warm and sunny Spring Day. Oh to feel a hot sun soaking into my bones, a cold glass of wine at hand, light till 10pm and sitting outside watching swifts overhead and bats hawking round, and of course, just a couple of hours each day birdwatching - does that make me the odd one out?


  1. I'm with you on this one, Derek. But then again, I'm not a proper birdwatcher, rather just a watcher of birds and other wildlife.

  2. That description pretty much sums me up as well Wilma, whilst birds feature quite prominently in my life, just being out in the countryside means more.

  3. I would be one of the moaners Derek, always wanting the sun to shine at a particular point, today would have been nice when a Snow Bunt was a few meters away but NO, gloomy skies. Nice one with the Lapland Bunts today, one is good but a flock is excellent.

  4. Derek. I do think that as hard as winter is the arrival of Brent Geese, Hen Harriers and S.E. Owls amongst others is for me a source of Joy. Also the knowledge that as many plants and trees kind of close down for the winter that this makes for the wonderful countryside that we are blessed to have here in blighty. Of course as I work full time and live 2 hours drive away I dont have the constant access that you have, it is therefore understandable that you see things differently. I suspect that your incredible knowledge of the flora and fauna (compared to my negligable knowledge!) also impacts on your enhanced enjoyment of the summer

  5. Ian, I realise that probably most people just accept it as one of four seasons and enjoy it for what it is/brings. Me, I just hate the cold that goes with it, hate being hunched against it as I walk round, hate the very short days.
    If I was sensible I'd clear off abroad for 2-3 months, its always been my ambition to enjoy Xmas Day sitting on a hot beach with a cold beer.