Saturday, 27 August 2016

Why Blog?

I'm sure this is a question most bloggers ask themselves every now and then. If not maybe it's good to?

Me, a blogging birder - birder first mind!

After a couple of exciting days birding on patch, I've reminded myself exactly why I like to blog and why I started this blog in the first place (eight years ago amazingly!). The last sixth months have seen very sporadic blog posts at times due to various factors, so if you've stuck with me through this thank you so much! The last few days though have really encouraged me to keep it up regularly now - having retired as County Recorder, and with my Dartmoor RSPB surveys completed, I do have a bit more time to type. So type I will. But anyway, back to the title and why I blog....
There are clearly different 'types' of birding blogs out there. There are those whose authors use their blog as a platform to showcase their photography or art, basically an online gallery with a few words. Then there are those that are about far more than just the birds, more about the blogger to be honest. Paragraphs about his/her emotions, their daily life and lots of reminiscing.  I really enjoy reading some of these blogs, and occasionally a post may appear on my blog similar to this type (like this one?), but Axe Birding is first and foremost a birding blog.

Hopefully the last couple of posts have shown the excitement and joy that birds, birding and wildlife gives me. I absolutely love going out birding, but I also get great joy in sharing my encounters and experiences with others, I always have. In my mid teens, after returning home from a day out with my Dad I couldn't wait to tell Mum what we'd seen, and then I'd be straight on the phone to fellow birders excitedly informing them of our day (which in hindsight at times could have been very gripping for them, but it was never meant that way!). This is just what makes me tick, I don't do it to boast/show off/gloat, I do it because I just enjoy sharing it. Simple.

When I was at Beer Head yesterday I met a couple of sets of birders who had come here on the back of reading my blog the previous evening about my morning up here on Thursday. I mean how fantastic is that - my hastily put together blog post inspired others to get out and enjoy what I think is such an incredible wildlife experience. Brilliant!!

The other thing I like to do with my blog is inform and maybe even educate if I can. I think if you have a passion for something it's a natural thing to do, wanting to educate and coach others who may be new to it.  Obviously there are so many teaching tools out there for birding these days, but I would like to think my occasional gull posts and some of ringing posts can be described as being educational...

Personally as well, for me, my blog is my diary. So some (most?) of the posts may just be my sightings for that day - not everyone's cup of tea at all - but it's my diary, just a very public one!

One thing I think is important though is to always adapt and change a little, just to keep things fresh. So I would like to make this a more interactive blog if I can, and in the future I've got a few ideas, including to possibly host some guest blogs from individuals who don't have their own blogs to showcase their talent/passion.  

Anyway, on the interactive thing... I have a poll! Now I am not saying either of these Spotted Flycatcher photos (both taken at Beer Head yesterday) are that good, but I would love to know which one YOU prefer:



Which photo do you prefer?

Sage Quotes

Thanks for voting (if you haven't, scroll up a bit and vote!) and as ever, thank you for reading Axe Birding :-)


  1. Hi Steve.
    I think your Blog is tops,always like to drop by your Blog from time to time,lots to enjoy,very informative.

  2. Hi John. Really appreciate this mate, and so glad you enjoy my blog. Have a great autumn, Steve.

  3. Hi Steve. Read your blog as preparation for this week's trip to Sidmouth, then had the pleasure of meeting your dad on the Seaton Tramway birding trip yesterday and again at the children's event at the Island Hide this morning. Your family are playing a blinder this week as far as my family and I are concerned. Thanks to you both.

  4. Hi Rob, that is great to read, thanks so much for posting this! Glad us Waite's have helped you have an enjoyable time. Come back again soon - be good to meet you. Regards, Steve.

  5. Hi Steve, we may have a walk up to Beer Head in the next few days. Your dad said there were loads of yellow wagtails around this morning. Also hoping to find Dartford Warblers and, if possible, Nightjar whilst we're here. And, obviously, to just enjoy being in this beautiful part of the country.

  6. Hi Rob. Well for Dartfords and Nightjars (which will be hard now, but they are still up there) you need to go up to the commons. Just to the west of Sidmouth is Muttersmoor - drive up past Jacob's Ladder, through the trees to the top of the hill and park in carpark on right. Both species there. If no Dartfords try Aylesbeare Common RSPB on the A3052 between Newton Pop and Exeter. Def come up to Beer Head, it's great at the moment. I may well be up there too - look out for Nikon binoculars, or a birder with a golden retriever! All the best, Steve.

  7. Hi Steve
    I enjoy reading your blog.....sometimes I head out to see something in particular that you've mentioned, but I'm also continually learning about the best places to see birds in certain weather conditions & times of year. As an older but enthusiastic novice, I'm keen to learn how to find my own birds in addition to going to see yours & other blogging/tweeters! Any advice or tips you can add to your posts would be greatly appreciated! I also enjoy your blog posts as they're a jolly good read! Thanks! Sue

  8. Sue thanks so much for the wonderful comments - reading comments like this makes 8 years blogging so worthwhile. You've given me a great idea, and a "how to find your own birds" post is now in the pipeline. Give me a few days to get it online... Very best wishes and have a great autumn, Steve.

  9. Hi Steve, thanks for the tips. Popped up to Mutters Moor last night briefly, and again mid-morning as part of a walk over to Ladram Bay. No joy so far, but we'll try Aylesbeare later this week. Lots of beach time and ice cream eating to fit in as well!

    1. Hi Rob. Sorry Mutters Moor didn't work out for you, have a listen to their call online as this is usually what firsts alerts you to where they are. I see them somethings often just down from where you park at Aylesbeare can have them. Good luck! Steve

  10. Hi Steve, tried Aylesbeare yesterday, heard one Dartford Warbler some way off but didn't see anything. We'll try again next time we're down.

    Thanks for recommending Beer Head, lovely walk up there this morning. Lots of corvids, including Raven, and a couple of Wheatear, for starters.