Saturday, 4 February 2017

Birding, Wellbeing and a lunchtime Twitch

Been a while since I've posted owt on here, a combination of family responsibilities and the competing attraction of Instagram and Twitter for quick and concise communication. I'll not try and summarise what I have been up to since my last post in the Autumn.

With some friends at work I have set up a Patchwork Challenge site in Norwich which includes the Rosary Cemetery, Thorpe marshes and Whitlingham Country Park, a nice patch for short lunchtime walks. Already we have had a half hour bird race around the cemetery where the birders were joined by non birders. Than last week we had a mini twitch to Thorpe marshes for a Black necked grebe. Four of us made the five minute drive and it was great to immediately get onto this little bundle of feathers immediately, Patch Gold. Almost as pleasing though were a couple of common Snipe, context is everything and these were the first Waders' for our 2017 patch list.

St Andrews Broad, NWT Thorpe Marshes
Our walk coincided with a national initiative to take time out to talk to colleagues a watch out for their and your own mental health and wellbeing. It's interesting that I have been birding so long that I rarely think about why I do it. But of course I Bird because I enjoy it, it's something I reach for when I am stressed and when I want to clear my mind. Listening to my work mates as we finished our circuit of the Marshes it was clear that this Twitch aka Wellbeing walk had done more to enhance their mood that day than just the mechanical act of adding a bird to the year list.