Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is bird listing really geeky?

Yeah, I've heard the rumor. birdwatchers are specially geeky. They have their own language, love to talk about binoculars, scopes, migration, big days, year list, etc. They are even sometimes suspected to be autistic, due to their inability to look at people's eyes during a conversation (scanning the sky for a rare golden eagle, or red-shouldered hawk).

This is until I talked recently through the net to one of my old friend, Pierre Henry. We had been in class together from high school to engineering prep school (a particular feature of the french education system, some sort of jail where the students are locked in for 2-3 years, with 40 hours of classes a week, including 20 of math and 15 of physics. Competition is high, and self estime low). My buddy was indecently gifted with maths, physics, and was spending most of his time programming his calculator or naping in class. It did not matter, because he was always, always first.

So when we talked about hobbies, he was not really impressed by the geekiness of bird listing. His answer was "Oh, sure, I do the same with Seeslugs"


yeap. His hobby is taking seeslugs pictures, while scuba diving. He is trying to see the most of all the seeslugs species of the world, although his local "seesluging" area is certainly the mediteranean see. His website here

Doing a little bit or research, it turned out this is a more popular hobby that I thought. There are forums dedicated to these slimmy creatures. One message in particular, was specially interesting, since it was concerning a "vagrant" (?) see slug. The title was "First sighting of Doris ocelligera in the UK".

So who said birdwatching is for geeks?

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