Well today, Monday 16th March 2020, Spain, as of 8 am this morning is officially in lockdown. At the moment the prognosis for this imposed exile of all residents is 15 days, but I am guessing the timeframe will be expanded well beyond the current diktat. So how will this impose on those of us who love nothing better than getting out into the countryside to enjoy nature and more especially our wonderful birds? The short answer of course is massively, an impact likely to send us into dark places where we feel frustrated and depressed.
Here’s a recap on the most significant ‘new’ regulations likely to have the most significant effect on us birders.
So what is allowed while the state of alarm is on in the next 15 days?
– Go to work and back
– Go to the doctor, shopping for food, assisting your elderly, going to the bank to take money out, going to petrol station to fill your car, and to the chemist or for other reasons that can’t be avoided.
– Walk your dog
All those things can only be done by individuals one by one, not the whole family together going for a walk. The police would be allowed to serve you with a fine.
Shops will be close with the exception of supermarkets, other food shops, petrol stations, banks, pharmacies, medical centres.
Hospitality business will be closed to the public, but will be allowed to make home deliveries.
Outside of the above, as has been reported happening today, the local Police and Guardia Civil can and will issue people with fines. Be warned.
Okay so what can we do? For those of us who are birding maniacs and need our daily fix, then our only choice is to see what we can see in our garden, or if you live in an apartment then from your balcony or window. It might not sound terribly exciting or be a substitute for being out and about, but it could actually hold a few surprises. For instance, when was the last time you really focused for any length of time on what birds are visiting your view, either in the garden or above and around the field of view? If you are anything like me, then yes I notice birds visiting my garden, but I certainly haven’t spent hours searching for the fleeting and perhaps rarer avian visitor. I am intrigued to learn just what I may have been missing with this enforced birding at home.
To make the prospect of home birding more appealing why not share your sightings with the Society on a daily basis? How about sending us by email your daily lists and we can publish them here on our news page? It could be fun to compare lists and also for us to maintain contact with each other during this period. To do nothing with our time at home would be so boring, so this is just an idea I am proposing to get us thinking of each other, as well as that all important contact with the outside world, to not feel too isolated during these times.
Please let me have your thoughts on this or any other activity you might feel appropriate during the lockdown. Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org (the Society’s email) and for the attention of Peter Jones home birding.
Note: The views expressed in articles are those of the authors, and are not necessarily those of the Society.