I am never comfortable when I meet one of my 'heroes'. I remember failing to say thank you to Sir Peter Scott way back in the early 1980s. He came into the Miller's Bridge hide at Martin Mere with Dr Janet Kear. I desperately wanted to say thank you to him for answering my schoolboy letter sent when I was around 10 years old. My shyness was maybe a little due to my attire. Birding in a bright lime green floral shirt with shocking Bermuda shorts; well I'll leave it to your vivid imagination.
That return letter was so special.
So it was today when David Lindo, the Urban Birder passed my table. No one has done more to promote Urban Birding than David and his philosophy inspires thousands. Birds are everywhere no matter what the location. Just look up!
At Christmas I asked for the two autobiographies of the solo rower, Roz Savage. I was incredibly disappointed with the first and the second has gone to a charity shop unread.
David's though I found unputdownable.
I hope he will forgive my copying from his website but he puts it so much better than I ever could:-
Born and raised in London, I love anything nature, but for as long as I can remember birds have been my particular obsession. When I was three I went missing during a family party and caused my mum great panic. The police were called and a search party dispatched and I was eventually found standing outside a graveyard watching some Magpies.
I never switch off when it comes to urban birding, I’m forever on the lookout. If you saw me strolling down a street you’d think I was in Manhattan for the first time, gazing up in wonderment. The sky is my canvas and it’s amazing what you can see when you look up; birds of prey, swirling swifts, migrating thrushes, raucous crows. It’s a beautiful world up there.
My main passion is for urban birds and I spend my time doing as much as I can to promote the appreciation and conservation of the birds that share our city lives. I now travel the world encouraging citizens and organisations to step outside wherever they may be to enjoy urban birding. Through my TV appearances, writing, talks and tours I try to inspire people to re-look at their urban environments. I believe wildlife in urban areas is so easy to engage with. All we have to do is open our eyes, ears, hearts and minds and soon we will be linked into the nature around us.
Don’t stress about learning the names and songs of all the birds you encounter, just enjoy them.
Get your friends involved.
Find a local patch to regularly visit.
Think that anything can turn up anywhere at anytime.
That still works for me to this day.
Don’t go out expecting to see anything. That way you’ll never be disappointed but most likely be surprised.
My message is simple – #Look up!