Birdwatcher

Today 5 June is all about the birds. My husband and I woke up to the sound of the waves rolling and the birds singing . Ahhh…the joys of nature. We strolled down for a coffee …okay coffee and cake… and sat outside in the wintery sun only to  be joined by some lovely little birds who were enjoying the sunshine too.
I wish I knew a bit more about birds. I don’t think I need to go the whole ornithologist thing, but a little bit more knowledge would go a long way. Indeed I would not even qualify because as vocabulary.com says “an ornithologist is a type of zoologist who focuses on birds. Having a birdbath in your backyard doesn’t make you an ornithologist. An ornithologist is someone who studies ornithology — the branch of science devoted to birds.” Okee dokee.
Perhaps I could just be a bird lover. Or maybe a twitcher or a birder – though when I looked more closely I found that those terms are quite controversial and that there is a pecking order (pardon the pun) in how people describe themselves in the avian watching world.
Says Julie Fairless in the Guardian “Any serious birdwatcher will take great exception to being called a twitcher. There’s a world of difference between the two. Birdwatching entails making careful notes about the birds one sees, even if it’s the most common, boring bird imaginable. It entails having the greatest respect for them and making strenuous efforts to minimise disturbance when making observations. These observations then contribute towards our knowledge of birds, their distribution and nesting habits. Such information as is gathered can tell us if the bird population is increasing, stable or falling and can help with their conservation. Twitchers are only interested in adding to the list of rare birds which they have seen.” Ouch. Staying clear of that debate.
Birds are however quite a common motif in the art world which often serves as an inspiration for the patterns on wrapping paper. So I see (but do not disturb) my fair share of birds and while not all of it is of the same aesthetic standard, there’s no denying that there are some stand outs, often rich with meaning and history.
Andrew Lambirth in a wonderful review of a 2014 exhibition called “Painted, sculpted and stuffed; a history of the bird in art” described birds in art thus:
Birds are synonymous with flight, and as such are a potent symbol and embodiment of many of humanity’s hopes and dreams. They connote both the human and the divine spirit through their soaring freedom of movement, and their linking of earth and sky (often also water). Birds can represent our souls, or stand for wisdom and the power of thought. They have visual beauty, make music, hold the secrets of the universe.
Wow. Lofty symbolism there. I am not sure of the symbolism behind the beautiful paper of  today’s wrap. It was a one off creation by Ted Baker that I was fortunate enough to work with on a special gift wrapping promotion. I am sure that the combination of colours and nature really pops and that you can’t take your eye of the bird no matter where it ends up on the wrap. It doesn’t need much embellishment though strangely it seems a bit underdone without a little something – so I went for an almost see through gold bow to pick up the golden colours. If an ornithologist  saw this wrap, I am hopeful they would declare it a rare beauty.
Birdwatcher getting ready to wrap

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