Saturday, June 11, 2016

Whats App and Avocets

There is a dot on the island here. It is an avocet . I walked to Filey Dams and went in the hide and spotted it easily even with my 10x25mm Field 5.8 binoculars (whatever that means). If I had arrived an hour earlier , the bird would have been 10m away at other side of hide. I was however thrilled to see it from a distance , and thankful that the experienced birder already in the hide could point it out to me. Its only the second one I have ever seen as I am just a beginner birder. I have been trying to find my childhood copy of a paperback 'Birdwatching for beginners' Bruce Campbell 1952 but its gone . I've only got Malcolm Saville's 1946 'Seaside Scrap-book for Boys and Girls'. Those of us growing up when paper was scarce, had books  whose quality of paper  was deemed War Economy Standard . So we treasured the few books we had .  
We were not bombarded with info , pictures , vids and musak and allaround colour in the 1950s. We had no TV in the day time except for the Woodentops et al  after lunch for 15 mins. It didn't seem a colourless world  , the hues were in our neighbourhoods, gardens  ,skies and geraniums , delphiniums , glace cherries ,Omo roses and tin buckets and spades. No wonder we all loved Hull Fair and Bonfire night , so much brash colour to look forward too. 
Now  Information Super Highways are called something else, every small child can use a smart phone for app amusement when Mum is chatting to a friend for real, instead of chatting to her friend online whilst small child gives up asking questions. Noise is everywhere, paper is so cheap that wrapped goods are the norm , and restaurants all have to give away colouring sheets and hats and the postman delivers useless adverts in high colour for Farm Foods when we don't have one within 10 miles. 
AND YET I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR WHATS APP. This marvellous way of communicating with colour, pictures, vids, and the spoken word across the internet at little  cost is uniting not only families like mine instantly and inclusively. That is as  long as a smart phone is at both ends . AND Now it is working a treat for the Birders and Nature lovers of Filey . Not only was I alerted to the Avocet, but the last few weeks have also reported sightings of a Spoonbill, a Bluethroat, flocks of this and that passing through Filey , vast swarms of the Cabbage pest the Diamond Backed Moths, the fledging of the first House Martins and assorted Warblers . If there is one way to get me into birding big time its a message that something is at The Dams or on Carr Naze or East Lea . These messages are not from Twitchers , the train spotters of the Bird World , but of knowledgeable , interested enthusiasts , ecologists, who are not ticking off species but making valuable contributions to the Scientific Data of our Coast and training up the next generation . If only we could find a way of getting children and young people  to join FBOG or the Small Mammal Trapping Sessions  or get them out and about on the Country park with Field Glasses . A promise of cake and drink at the Country park Cafe might do it , but we need to wean them off their Roblox Studio, Minecraft and Xboxes for an hour or so.
 A biologist friend of mine in Filey taking groups of Filey Schoolchildren on to the beach to look at Marine Life and seaweeds  was astonished to find that when asked , many of the children said they  had never been on the beach before .

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