You jest but many years ago, before everyone had a smartphone and alerts were done using pagers, the story goes that there was some rare little bird seen somewhere up north east I think. Rare enough so that hundreds of twitchers excitedly mobilsed and screamed up north. And when they got there found that the rare little bird had been eaten by a 🐈
If it was circa 1990, a cat having a rare bird for supper actually happened in Lerwick in a garden. The twitchers watched on as a cat pounced on the bird. I worked with one of the twitchers who witnessed it!
Can’t remember what the bird was or exactly when now.
Maybe not exaggeration of numbers as there were lots of twitchers coming and going throughout Shetland when I lived up there. Can’t remember though for this bird what George that I worked with said about numbers watching but there was a group of twitchers watching at the time I recall him saying. It was the a talking point of morning coffee break the next day.
> If it was circa 1990, a cat having a rare bird for supper actually happened in Lerwick in a garden. The twitchers watched on as a cat pounced on the bird. I worked with one of the twitchers who witnessed it!
>And when they got there found that the rare little bird had been eaten by a 🐈
There´s the popular myth of Lyall´s Wren; the last examples supposedly got discovered and simultaneously eaten by a lighthouse keeper´s cat on a small rocky island off New Zealand. Not quite true according to Wiki: "Often claimed to be a species driven extinct by a single creature (a lighthouse keeper's cat named Tibbles), the wren in fact fell victim to the island's numerous feral cats."
Some of us like to watch birds, like to see new (for us) species, like to record and keep track of what we've seen. Bit similar to most of us keeping climbing logs to remember what we've done.
Others are obsessed with lists, how many species they've seen in the UK (ever), how many each year, county lists, garden lists, etc, etc. Often these obsessives are not that interested in actually watching the birds, how they behave, etc. Got the tick, what's next. Much more like climbers who become obsessed such that grade chasing becomes the focus rather than the enjoyment of moving over rock, getting to nice locations etc.
Obsessive twitchers will drive hundreds of miles to get an extra "tick". Paparazzi for birds is a great description of the phenomenon.
> Obsessive twitchers will drive hundreds of miles to get an extra "tick". Paparazzi for birds is a great description of the phenomenon.
When we lived in West Cork, we had a Green Heron turn up (an American bird).
We were visited by several birders from the UK, a number of which had flown over to Cork City, hired a car, driven to Schull where the bird was, spotted the bird, ticked it off on their list and drove straight back to Cork and flew home the same day.
I also worked in the Shetlands and one of the welders labourers used to disappear for a day or two every time some rare bird was spotted. Once a rare bird (a North American thrush I think), was spotted on Fair Isle and he hired a helicopter to take him there so he could see it.