BLPN Nature Journaling for Birders – Level up your Listing

Lively discussions were the highlight of the session on 27 February 2021. Between the six of us, we had birders with an interesting mix of skill levels, experiences and birding styles.

The planned theme was “Level up your Listing”. However, most of the group was new to nature journaling. So, we combined an introduction to nature journaling with reflecting on peoples’ current listing practices. We looked at approaches to listing that are possible with field notes complementing existing practices.  One is a variation on traditional listing, using bird names (identification). 

Another is to create lists without focussing on, or even knowing, the names (no name birding). The example of no name listing generated keen interest.

Here are some of the reflections on the session. 

This session served to consolidate what I have learnt before and gave me a new insight into how to record birdcalls and so add a new dimension to my nature journaling.” Jane

I am very interested to learn more about recording sound on paper.” Rob

“What I was also reminded of during the session is the pleasure of immersion in nature. Being able to grow in experience among superbly experienced birders. Our club has many kind and humble members who have no need to overwhelm anyone with their expertise and with whom birding is always a pleasurable experience. During the session I was reminded of the courses I’ve attended with Steve and the late Roy who taught us to pay attention to the detail of the bird, its habitat and behaviours. 

Journaling will help to record and develop birding knowledge and skill; it can also serve as a record of the human side of the club. I was reminded of Nicky’s enthusiasm, Crispin’s wry side observations, Jenny Norman’s wide knowledge base, Mark Liptrot side-tracking me into looking at butterflies. Sandi and her caterpillar parenting.  Arnia and Leslie who are legendary, at least to me, Elena who was the first female bird guide I ever met.

Christelle once asked for photographs, not of pretty birds, but of birds doing stuff. To record that stuff, you must know your stuff and that means observing with understanding and a will to deepen that understanding and for that, journaling is key.” Sheryl

I enjoyed every minute and the 2 hours just flew past. Of particular importance was that we were a small group. I sincerely appreciated learning about nature journaling and will use the opportunity to enjoy the anchoring effect and being in the moment. “Will happily attend another nature journaling online presentation in the future.” Monique

Report by Cati Vawda

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