• Dave Denby

First Steps

I think that lots of us thought about making changes in our lives an routines throughout covid. Not being able to freely go out made us all want to go out even more.

So thought it was time for a new interest that would get me out of the house more.

A lot of the guys at the camera club were ex- twitchers turned photographers. I couldn't see the point in just looking at birds through binoculars or a scope. But being a photographer it made sense that I'd photograph them. But where to start, and what order? I know next to nothing about birds. Most other people can recognise more species than I can.

So I decided to photograph all of the 'local' birds first. Luckily I live near to a park with a largish pond, and I know that there are swans and ducks there, so that'll be a good place to start. Then i have the beach less than a mile away so I'll at least find a gull or two there. Then the marshes, and a couple of RSPB reserves. Ah this'll be a doddle!!

But I didn't want to photograph them aimlessly. Sure, I could tick them off in the handbook. Maybe add a note and the date? But how about something a little more durable?

So I decided to create this website. It'll hopefully be laid out and categorised in a similar way to the handbook. That way I can see what birds I need to find to complete the set. Kind of like a Panini sticker book.

Now I'm under no illusion that this'll be a quick challenge. I can visit all of the local places in a short amount of time, but how many species are regular visitors to South East Essex? And how does that change throughout the year? So its at least a year to photograph all of the local birds, assuming I get them all (which I'm sure I won't). And then I'll need to travel further afield at different of the times of the year. Yep, its going to be a life's work for me I reckon.

Better get started then!

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