The email’s blown up. A real 21st century disaster. They’ll come and fix it in the course of one of those eternities they call 3-4 working days. So you may not get this for a while.
Still, I’m now on the train, hammering from Norwich to London, where I have a speaking gig to promote Ten Million Aliens. Here at least the wifi is doing its stuff, so I’ve just caught up with the day’s messages, sent some copy to RSPB, and answered a query from The Independent. I’ve just done a few words for them about raptors and they wanted a tip about looking for wildlife. So I sent this.
Never stop watching. Never stop listening. Nothing is more important.
It’s not about going birdwatching. It’s about being tuned in. Always. So your eyes and your ears pick up stuff before your conscious mind has made a contribution. As a batsman in the zone doesn’t think about what shot to play next, so a good birder, a good wildlifer doesn’t think about looking for non-human life. When you’ve got your eye in the whole thing just flows.
And that’s what wildlife should be: not just a treat, not just something special, but part of everyday experience. As ordinary as Corn Flakes.
Between Norwich and Diss, in the middle of answering an email from some excellent person interested in Aliens, I saw three red deer in the dusk. Just loitering in a field. Pale caudal patches – what we naturalists call the bum – shining out in the gloom. Somehow managing to be both spooky and homely at the same time.
They must have called out to me as I passed.