Thursday, 19 November 2009


I joined the Facebook generation several months back, many of you my readers whom I hold in the highest regard are on there too. I went in from the off to network, carefully and selectively hoping gradually to make contacts and friends that might help me achieve my aim of working in the birding field in some capacity. I avoided the scattergun approach of taking on every friend request that came along, I chose my requests carefully. It has been an interesting process from which I have learned a great deal and it provides a huge amount of interesting material to read.
As a middle aged man and a father I have kind of left hero worship on a time consuming scale way back. However, two names kept standing out amongst some of the 'friends' of 'friends' I was acquiring. Two names that are in my mind living legends of birding, Killian Mullarney & Klaus Malling Olsen.
That's KMO in the picture I've nicked from the Oriental Bird Club up there looking a little less eccentric than the one on his Facebook page.
Until a day or two ago I had avoided any attempt to kiss ass and get hooked up with either, despite being sorely tempted, not out of any sense of ego, more curiosity, I wanted to share in the words of wisdom that were being passed down from on high. The odd secret ID feature of 2nd calendar year Baltic Gull, or an occasional vignette from KM just for his Facebook friends.
Then that 1st-winter GWG (hybrid?) turned up and I began to wonder if there were threads of informed comment running on their pages, so I wrote a nice little note informing Mr Olsen that whilst I wasn't fit to shine his shoes I'd be eternally grateful to share in his wisdom. The following morning, I opened my Inbox and there it was, I was accepted, KMO was MY FRIEND, the joy. Almost trembling with excitement I logged in to Facebook and clicked on his name in my notfications, the screen hung momentarily as I waited for enlightenment. As the page opened it appeared odd, mixed up, I was too excited, "calm down", then it hit me with a huge thud between the eyes, square on

it was all in Danish.


Thing said...


Johnnykinson said...

Is een eilandgebied en het grootste eiland van de Nedelandes.

Stewart said...

Have you met them? I have! Mullarny was with Gordon Wilson AND Dick Forsmann at the bird fair and they was introduced to US! How cool is that...Olsen spent a week with us on Happy Island. Not a very cheerful chap...

Terry said...

KMO, as well as being a legend in his own lifetime, is a thoroughly nice guy and very helpful to any birder with less knowledge (ie almost everyone). His FB photo reminds me of Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider..! Having lived in Daneland for 2 years, if you need a translation, let me know (although "remiges", "tertial steps" and "gonys" are words I haven't yet learnt in my Danish class.. can't think why).

Anonymous said...

Funny ending. I like the honesty of your post, as I have been exactly there. At first making modest, conservative gains in my FB list. Not wishing to chase the coattails of famous birders. Seems all caution was thrown to the wind by August, when a massive infusion of birders to FB caused a reckless but friendly "friending" trend. Now I can't piss without Kenn Kaufmann knowing about it. And I can't screw up an ID in private anymore, either. Facebook: not sure I like you (though I do like that you bring Alan to my blog)