Dec 292013

Bongauksen Hurma coverBongauksen Hurma is a collection of tales from the finnish birdwatchers.

And by birdwatchers the authors mean more or less obsessive collectors of bird sightings. They are a bunch of twitchers, in the british side of english language.

A lot of the stories precede mobile telephony, GPS receivers and as such read as heroics in a pre-digital world. It was quite a different thing to see a stray nököhuittinen back in the eighties.

A lot of the stories sadly do not read very well. They come off as war stories for a small audience. A small audience able to understand the jargon. At worst the tales use (apparently) outdated words or are written in the local dialect of swedish.

However, at times the authors transcend the borders of clique and actually provide a meaningful story on how seeing a bird was either world-shattering news or somehow extremely meaningful to them.

And while I wouldn’t be able to differentiate between the scores of small passerine birds (the most populous group in Finland), I did get an itch to actually list the bird species that I’ve encountered. It’s not an itch I’ve scratched thus far, but one that remains.

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