John Pilkington's picture


Observed: 23rd February 2013 By: John PilkingtonJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in BirdsJohn Pilkington’s reputation in Birds

First time that a Nuthatch has been seen in the garden. Paid brief visit to feeder tray containing seeds. Unfortunately, it had gone by the time I had fired up the camera.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture

Nice description

I had come to think John that you did not posses a reasonable camera.
But who cares, such descriptive text is all that's needed.
We should all try this.

John Pilkington's picture


Many thanks for your feedback - greatly appreciated.

Most of my unillustrated observations arise when I can't get to a camera before the bird flies off or it is at such a distance that it would be a meaningless blob in a photo, even though I can see it through binoculars. Whilst I don't report every such sighting, I try to make an Observation when the bird is new to me or I haven't seen it in that particular area/location before. Then, I try to record what it was that made me think it was what I am claiming it to be.

As you know, unillustrated Observations don't appear in the carousel, so often only 1-2 people respond to them, whereas often 5-15 will respond to pictures. I know that "a picture is worth a thousand words", so that other iSpotters are more likely to agree, or even suggest better alternatives, if they see a picture, but I guess this restriction might discourage unillustrated observations, especially if one is trying to build reputation.

Anyway, many thanks once again - John

dejayM's picture


You are quite welcome John.
I have been surfing historical postings. There are quite a few without pictures, many of those have poor or no descriptions, quite a few have no agreements.
I have created a little stir among the original? 2009 iSpotters. For instance see here
and here
I am keen, now I have my tiny reputation, to try unillustrated descriptions.
I have tried one
(where you get a mention) then added the pictures after the first Agreement. Still only 2!
Good wishes from Orkney

Ray Turner's picture


I agree and John you should be commended for the written entries posted lately. (If you search John’s observations you will see he has a good camera and is very competent in its use.) As a matter of curiosity I have been feeding John’s description into the RSPB’s bird identifier,, they are normally enough to narrow the choice to a few species, the remaining being eliminated from other relevant information provided by John.

This does raise an interesting point about what level of evidence is needed, one I have been thinking about having listened to a BBC Radio programme a couple of weeks ago. Not wishing to hijack John’s observation I have opened a new discussion on the forums. See