"...Birds are not always seen as if they were through a telescope and it is important to remember that. Because without the hot sun and the bright leaves and black shadows, that warbler would be far less of a thing. Somehow. It’s a viewer-centred thought but my god it’s why I watch birds. Birds are scraps of memory of landscapes, for me. Pleats by which whole fields of sensory and emotional phenomena are stitched together. These are the pleats that hold my world together.
"This is how birds get to become the places where they live. And it is in the sense that birds become the genus loci of a habitat or place that I think probably has conservation value in a deeper sense than knowing a bird from a field guide. Even though you need to know the field-guide picture of the bird too. Because it is where the two types of bird collide in the field - the type specimen, and the moving, dappled atom - that the magic happens. That's how you become part of the landscape the bird inhabits, and how it makes it home. That's what birdwatching is to me. Birdwatching is a series of getting to be at home in different landscapes."