what I will miss part 2

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I’m going to miss a website. As the website is not closing that may sound a bit strange, but I will miss it because it will cease to be entirely relevant to my new patch and I will have little cause to read it.

The website is the Londonbirders Wiki.

You may think that as London is a generally a more frosty place to live on an interpersonal level that you would have more coherence amongst birders in the idyllic flatlands of Norfolk than you do in London. It is my opinion that the reverse is true. Londonbirders seem to be able to work better as a unit in spite of the difficulties that the city presents whereas the individuals in the Norfolk birding scene don’t seem to be able to get it together to maintain a project as good as the wiki, which is a pity. They have yahoo groups and what not but they don’t seem to be able to unite behind a common technowebical cause. As far as I know the most popular venue for discussion is a thread on Birdforum that is as long as it is chaotic, and I’m willing to be corrected. Yes, it is true that the Londonbirders mail group does have the odd barny, and a certain Mr Evans of the parish of Amersham has been, erm ‘deselected’ but that was a rarity. I suppose it could be that Norfolk birders are all out in the field seeing birds, and London birders are all keeping the interweb up to date rather than doing their employers will. Something that I would obviously have no truck with. No that would be very naughty indeed.  The nub of my point is that the birders in London have got all this interweb thing all sorted and have an excellent resource. I will miss it.

Meanwhile in another land, a listers list is listed.


James Emerson said...

I would love there to be a Norfolk version of the London wiki site, but it will never happen. There is a clear split between the North coast where the number of wardened nature reserves mean birds are reported swiftly and regularly, and the east coast which is birded very effectively by a few locals, who (understandably) don't want large numbers of people descending upon them everytime they find a migrant. From your photos I presume you are moving to the east, in which case on a personal level you may well be able to meet some key people who will keep you in the loop.

So is there a way that sightings could be shared online, as happens in London and also in Suffolk? The birdforum thread you mentioned is the best we've got, but some key birders no longer post due to the high volume of posts about twitching. Despite this, no alternative has developed on Surfbirds. One alternative would be if enough people kept patch blogs to cover a large amount of the county, but in reality I think anyone who birds in Norfolk has to accept there will always be a lack of information from certain areas.

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