The occurence of a Brown-headed Cowpat on Fair Isle has given me an idea for a new form of Twitching that given the current economic conditions, pandemic madness and our duty to protect the environment is sure to catch on. So ladies and gentlemen I give you Carbon Neutral Twitching.
Here's how it works.
Stage 1. The pager alerts you to a new British Tick, in this instance we'll use the Cowbird.
Stage 2. Funds.
Check that you have the appropriate funds. If yes go to stage 3
Stage 3. Travel arrangements
If the target is within immediate striking distance go to stage 4.
Now in this case you should now check the availability of flights. However I know allready that there are no flights going near Fair Isle this weekend as it's horribly windy. So it's the Sunday night ferry from Aberdeen and pre book a flight from Tingwall which I would have got my Shetland contact to arrange. If no travel is possible then it's a non starter otherwise go to stage 4.
Stage 4. Request leave.
This is the easy bit if like me your boss is very understanding - however the other half won't be quite as easy! However you should have no problem convincing her that your sanity depends on it and that you'll bring her something nice back like an itchy Fair Isle jumper.
With stages 1-4 complete you are now ready for your carbon neutral tick. It's simple really you can just stay at home and wait. On Monday the Cowbird appears on the pager, now providing it is there at the time your flight would have arrived you can tick it - after all you would have seen it anyway and if like me you've seen 100's of Cowbirds it doesn't really matter. Obviously if it isn't there on Monday you dip. So fingers crossed come Monday I can add it to the list from the comfort of my front room - after all at least one leading twitcher has been doing this for years.
This might all sound slightly insane but if nothing else proves that twitching is utterley futile and clearly a form of OCD. Will realisation of this change me? Probably not!