> My reasoning? The best thing in the world, obviously, is watching birds,
> we can't do that all the time, worse luck. So anything we can do at home
> which is still connected with bird-watching is the next best thing, and
> fiddling around on the computer with bird-lists is one of these. Anything
> which saves you time in this department is counterproductive. When I get
> back from a trip I'm fiddling around for weeks with my lists.
If you've time to kill, just input all your observations from the last
several decades. It's a guaranteed time killer, and after keying in "Sup
Fai" [Superb Fairy-wren] for the 10,000th time, you'll certainly be looking
for something else to do. I spent a couple of winters worth of cold and wet
non-birding days doing just that. Using one of the "off the shelf"
birdbases (BirdInfo) I can now do all sorts of wonderful taxonomic and
survey data manipulation and GIS mapping in what spare time there is. I'm
more computer literate than average, but I could not have programmed all
this functionality myself, and personally I'm glad that a real expert (Simon
Bennett) did it for me.
My partner Fiona thinks that spending hours fiddling with bird lists on the
PC is quite unnatural, but she's getting used to it. Being able to produce
fancy graphs and maps at the end has partly convinced her ;-)
PS: I don't have any business interests in BirdInfo - I'm just a very
satisfied user of the software.