Armchair Bird Twitching
Twitching is alive a well in Australia.
Over recent years there have been a number of well documented rare bird sightings in our country. Each of these has resulted in birders – twitchers – heading by car or plane to cross vast expanses of countryside just to “tick” a rare bird off their list of birds seen.
Then a few years ago we had Sean Dooley’s celebrated “The Big Twitch”. Sean spent a whole year – without any income – travelling the country trying to break the unofficial record for the most species seen in Australia in one calendar year. This adventure resulted in a very popular and entertaining book of the same name.
Every year various state bird organisations run twitchathons, 12 or 24 hour events where car loads of birders race around trying to see as many different species as possible in the given time. Some are having second thoughts about this concept. Sure – it raises lots of money for bird conservation. But at what cost? First there is the expense of fuel, then there are the extra carbon emissions racing around the country.
Someone has suggested that these events should be confined to birding on foot or bicycle. I like another suggestion; it appeals to the lazy birder in me.
The Armchair Bird Twitch
At least one birding organisation is organising a twitch where you stay in one place throughout the duration of the twitch. The Armchair Twitch details can be found here. I find this idea a great one – just get a few birding friends together with plenty of food, drinks, comfortable chairs and a place with a good view of birds.
What more could you want – ah, yes, a toilet nearby would be essential I guess.
- Twitching in Australia
- What is a Twitcher?
- The lazy birder – a 12 part series of articles on how to be a lazy birder.
- Twitcher: someone who is prepared to travel great distances or go to great effort or expense in order to see birds, often just a single bird, that they have never seen before so that it can be marked on their list of birds seen (called a Ã¢â‚¬Å“tickÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“liferÃ¢â‚¬Â). The word Ã¢â‚¬ËœtwitcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ might have originated from their propensity to develop a nervous twitch until the rare or desired bird has been ticked off their list.
- Twitching: the habit or behaviour of some very keen or compulsive birders, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœtwitchers,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ who must travel great distances or go to great effort in order to see a rare or unusual bird, or a species they have never seen before.