This week has been tough… Not only have I been getting to grips with a new group of students, but the weather has been ideal for migrant hunting. To heighten my yearning for being outdoors, most of my friends (and seemingly all of the social media birding fraternity) have been filling my phone screen with tales of their forays around the Norfolk Coast.
This has led to some ponderous, almost uncomfortable moments. Moments where I’ve quickly looked at what’s been reported and I’ve frozen, almost trance-like, at the realisation that I’m stuck at work and seemingly every birder I know is out zig-zagging through Norfolk’s extensive dune systems in their search for scarcities.
However, I snap back into the here and now and realise that I actually have a lifetime (hopefully) to enjoy birding and there really isn’t that much urgency to be out all the time.
I have a good job, an extremely challenging yet rewarding one at that (I teach in a specialist school for young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties). This is my career, my vocation.
At what point did I care… worry in fact, about finding birds and missing out on a new species for my ‘list’. This wasn’t what I started birding for and it greatly shifts the parameters and motivations for doing it in the first place. Time to step-back, strip-back and soak up the environs that I’m birding in… Not place unnecessary burdens on my already fragile mind-set and turn an organically beautiful pastime into a numbers based competition.
The work/birding paradox.