In Praise of Common Birds

I do not remember the first bird I saw. I can’t really remember what got me into birds, though it probably had something to do with an I-Spy Book of Birds my uncle gave me.  Looking back at that book now 40 years on the things I saw in my village.  Tree sparrow 1st January in the garden.

However, I do remember the first bird I saw with my own scope- Bushnell Spacemaster costing about £145.  The first bird was a Skylark on the Eye Field at Cley.  It was at that point I realised you needed good optics not to see further but to appreciate the detail and subtlety of feather tracts and how many different browns there are.

i still love Skylarks for that one encounter as the bird you are seeing now is not just that bird it is a composite of all the times you have seen that bird; in real life and in books.  So when I added this weeks only new bird, Skylarks singing over town moor in amongst my many thoughts I went back to that bird at Cley.

Later I managed to add Skylark to tetrad z as a couple flew over.

There are not going to be hundreds of species in NZ26 and there aren’t thousands of individuals of any given species.  It was quite early on I had a message from someone saying that I should have picked a more interesting 10km square!  But birding includes the common species while they are still available.