The Big Ramble...
4:29 p.m., June 28th, 2013 is the start of my Big Ramble... more of a saunter really! My Big Ramble is going to be a Big Ramble with polarity. No tearing about like a loon ticking off anything that vaguely looks like a contradistinction or could be manipulated with some creative accounting to be another tick... a tick is a parasitic arachnid that sucks blood leaving its victim suffering from Lyme disease... No tracking all over the country just to record a miserable old Night Parrot or two just because there’s been a sighting a few days ride west of nowhere... this is going to be bird watching in control. What I see while doing my run-of-the-mill, day-to-day, mundane, plain fat-free & vanilla existence.
My Big Ramble is all about value... it’s going to be about the birds; where they are found; what they’re doing; and why...
And so I’m starting here in my own back yard in the seaside suburb of Seacliff, Adelaide, South Australia. I’m sitting on the verandah on the old cane couch beside the new puppy who is so absorbed in my project that she’s sound asleep. I’m just waiting for the first bird to appear so I can start my list.
Rules of the Big Ramble:
- No positive, unequivocal, unadulterated and confirmed view... no tick!
- No “I heard one calling in the bushes” which has nothing to do with my inability to distinguish between an Emu call and a Thornbill... it’s a principle!
- No dead birds washed up on the beach after a storm and a container ship has carried the poor sidetracked bird from South America... unless of course I happen to be in South America.
- No dead and desiccated heap of feathers that once was a bird of a different feather... period!
- No shooting birds a-la Charles Darwin allowed except for ducks.
- No bird guides except for when I’m lost.
- All birds have to be identified correctly... only the facts, colours, shape, size and gizz can be altered to suit.
- No birds in cages can be recorded and opening the cage door when no-one is looking to let them out doesn’t count.
- No highfalutin’ scientific names...
I should have started this whole project this morning because unusually there is a total lack of birds in my back yard. An Australian Pelican flew over the house earlier in the day... just one. There were terns on the beach; Crested Terns and one Fairy or Little Tern; which sort I couldn’t tell because I was walking the dog. There were also Pied and Little Pied Cormorants and Welcome Swallows... but they’ll have to wait until another day. Rainbow Lorikeets flew over the house at lunchtime squawking loudly as they do...
And another thing; this Big Ramble is not going to be just about hotspots... I’m going to find birds in my back yard, the roadside, a track to nowhere, a patch of scrub somewhere, the beach and rocky shore, the tip... birds just going about their normal business coping with they way humans have altered the planet.
List - Day One
1. European House Sparrow... what a oarspicious start... groan; I should have started this morning... maybe I’ll kick-off tomorrow.
The end of day one...