Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Top gear

As this blog has precisely zero readership due to its infancy I doubt anyone will even take note of this but on the most recently aired top gear (9th July) the road that runs from Medbourne village and up the rolling hillside towards Eyebrook reservoir was featured in the last few minutes of the show. I've always thought that view was magnificent and clearly the esteemed top gear producers thought so too!
Well, that was the first series of blog entries. Any visitors (no-one knows about this blog yet except me so I somewhat doubt this) will notice that this is a bitter shambles of a blog with no flashy lights or explosions or photographs or any substantial mention of any birds and is basically me talking shite for four paragraphs to absolutely no-one. I intend to fix this with a post later with all, yes thats right, ALL my bird photos taken with my trusty camera. Theres about ten. and they're all shite. Be warned. I will also add bells, whistles, and general stuff to this blog....once I figure out how to do so. I have a strong suspicion I may also have to find out what twitter is. Badtimes.

Rant oclock

 And now for a small rant....Hoodies.........seriously why don't more people wear them whilst out birding?? I'm answering my own question here by suggesting that hooded apparell simply wasn't available for the older generations and as humans are creatures of habit most people simply never bought one and discovered that they're fucking ace. Now without being a dirty ageist, most birders do seem to fit into the 40-dead category and just today a man called Paul or Phil who I got chatting to at Eyebrook commented how refreshing it was to see a younger face. I must also admit myself that I very rarely see birders of a similar or younger age to me who have not clearly been dragged out by relatives and are red faced with embarrassment and shame . I often wonder whether in 50 years it'll just be me and a few other die hards who have even the faintest idea about what a Zitting Cisticola is, and instead of being genially asked whilst out birding, "seen much today mate" it'll be, "are you a paedo? im going to nick your telescope". Okay, I've just realised I went massively off topic...back to hoodies. Seriously, hoodies are well good. Its just like a jumper with a hood on it. Only better. It also has a pouch. The pouch is where the winnings be had. Tire of carrying your notebook, glasses, binoculars, sandwiches, baby kangaroo, field guide, thermos by hand, in coat pockets or even *shudders*  a rucksack?? Never fear, stick it in your pouch! Okay if you bend down to tie an errant shoelace your Zeiss bins may tumble out in an expensive fashion but its a risk everyone should glady take. Its my opinion that hoodies have eliminated the coat from British usefullness. "What if its cold?", I hear you shout. Wear two. "what if its absolutely throwing it down with rain?". Wear two, stop being a nancy and go out anyway. Similarly going to eyebrook works well too as you can just drive around and birdwatch without ever leaving your car. Just park the drivers side on the lee side of any rain and you'll be absolutely loving it.

Blog title

I have pondered and debated with myself over many months now whether to start a blog or not and one of the chief questions I asked myself was "well having a blog is all very well and good but what on earth will you call it??" and I must admit the matter had me flummoxed. If I had a dedicated patch (more on that later) I could have named my blog after that place but as the birdwatching destinations within walking distance of my house are all pretty devoid of interesting birds any such blog written about those places wouldnt have any words. Ever. So I had to try to be inventive.

 "Andys bird Blog": too boring, too easy.
"Fuckingwellgoodblogaboutbirds": too many words.
 "Leicestershire and Northampton but with occasional trips elsewhere blog": too long winded, too vague.
"Ifyouthinkleeevansisahalfwitreadthis": slightly too abusive. 
"leicesterllama" :too plaguerised.

The problems were endless. So I settled on a pseudonym or alter-ego type arrangement, and due to my habit of wearing a battered old hoodie whenever I go birding (similarly I could have settled on the "hatted" birder, but that sounded ridiculous frankly.) the chosen name stuck.

Hello internet land! an introduction...

Hello! My name is Andy and I am the enigma that is the Hooded birder! Right lets get on with getting the boring intro stuff out of the way..... as previously mentioned my name is Andy and I am in my 25th year on this beautiful planet, in specific my 25th year of living in Leicestershire. Chief interests include the mighty L.C.F.C, the somewhat less mighty LCCC, fishing (diminished somewhat over the last few years due to an increased amount of birding), and birding - the subject of this bloggage. Oh yes, im also a student, Im doing  a course at Northampton uni in Geography and conservation and in the near future hope to start work in the conservation of something. Im not fussy. And despite my interest in birds I have somehow managed to snare a lovely girlfriend named amy....well actually her name isn't amy but lets not get into that.....who.....errrr....lets be nice here.....doesnt share my level of passion in birds......but she's very tolerant of my "disorder" and does have her uses. She knows what a chiffchaff' call sounds like and the other day at Lakenheath fen whilst I was vainly scanning the trees for Golden Oriole she nudged me and asked me what the big bird was that had just erupted from the reedbed....it was a spanking bittern....only my second ever! She was declared a "keeper" on the spot.