I was in the yard the other day and heard a raucous cackle from our little woodland. I wish I could, from the sound alone, recognise the species. I wish I was better at sorting out hawks, buzzards and falcons in flight. I delight in the colours of bullfinch and kingfisher. But I'm not going to turn my life upside down to sort out the LBJs [little brown jobs] of which Ireland has a confusingly large number. I'll leave that to Dempsey and my friend Des. Here's a task for you:
Monday, 29 November 2021
"I wish was as certain if anything
as Tom Macaulay is of everything"
maybe Lord MelbourneThe Complete Guide To Ireland's Birds with "There! that's me Leaving Cert!". They were most extraordinary parents for 1960s Ireland: not afraid of The Church . . . or child-thumping teachers; proud to be trade unionists; proud to be working class; interested, interesting, supportive, literate and generous.Birds of Ireland News Service or BINS - a clever play on binoculars - the birder's essential tool. News was collated of any interesting observations from all over the country and updated at 2130 hours every night . . . for 20 years. That nightly report was sorted "by rarity", so that real obsessives could drop the phone after "the emu seen last week in Cork is now behind the schoolhouse in Ballycotton . . ." and set off into the night in the hope of catching a glimpse before sunrise the next day. Like everyone who reads content on the internet today and complains about paywalls, in the 90s, there were plenty of begrudgers who complained that information used to be free before BINS came along. Free maybe, but neither time-sensitive nor reliable.
identify the species which feature above as thumbnails aboveOver the years, several readers have complained about the quality of the bloblistrations: it being true that I do try to save bandwidth electrons. But don't use that as an excuse to disengage from the task. Dempsey and Des could recognise each of them at 100m, half obscured by shrubbery, with the last photons of eventide.