Larry over at The Brownstone Birding Blog first defends the not-very-good birders and then explains how you can become one. My favorite part is this:
There are birders who spend countless hours studying birds in the field, reading books, and tapping into the latest technology to perfect their birding skills. The existence of birders with subpar skills adds value to this level of achievement allowing experienced birders to share their knowledge with those who have less experience. It also allows those few elitist birders to derive some pleasure in looking down upon incompetent birders with pity and shame.
Go check out Larry’s whole post!
I’m a very subpar birder. I dismiss large flocks of gulls as “gulls”. I assign little brown jobs to individual species based on the flimsiest of justifications. I even mix up the calls of Blue Penguins and Kiwi. Also, I keep very disorganised notes.
As a dedicated mediocre birder myself I want to really commend Larry for giving a voice to the moderately informed birders of average experience who are happy right where they are.