Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Firstly, this post is not about how to do bird watching but why to do it. As a kid whenever I heard that someone’s hobby was bird watching, the first thought that came to my mind was that it’s so boring and stupid, as all you have to do is just sit at one place and wait for birds to show up. It requires tons of patience (which I knew I didn’t have any) and where’s the fun in that just sitting waiting! Well, now 5 years into this hobby I now know that although a tiny part of this statement is true but the real picture is so much different, that I feel everyone should give it a try. Believe me it is one of the most engrossing and rewarding hobbies.
You see bird watching is more like going for treasure hunting. Each bird has so many shades and colours that seeing them and photographing them is a blissful experience. Just like treasure hunting you use all your senses and solve puzzles, while looking for a bird you will have to go to secluded natural spots, you might need to hike , you will strain your ears trying to distinguish its voice from other birds, you will try to go after their calls, that may require you to go in bushes and even in forest patches where you might encounter other animals like snakes (which I hope not). And they are so perfectly camouflaged.
So, you spotted the bird, your first thought I have seen its picture in the field guide or Instagram, you are mesmerized and thrilled to see it and then you suddenly realise, shit this one is new! And you open your field guide just to see there are 10 similar kind. Or it’s a female, believe me every bird female looks nearly the same. Now birds are tough to identify and tougher to spot especially those small ones. And if you thought bigger birds like eagles and kites will be easy to identify, you are so wrong. For starters, just a small difference in colour a different colour belly, a different shape of wings might make it a whole new species. Now imagine distinguishing all these with your binoculars with the birds flying, hidden behind a bush, perching up on the highest branch. And then when you see it you have to remember their colours the sound of their calls so that you can find it in your field guides. You forget a detail and you will be left scratching your head. Lastly, the most important part in this hobby is waking up early!
So, you see the hobby is not as easy as it looks. Bird watching is challenging but that’s what makes people crazy about it. People are hooked to it , first you will buy a binocular , then you will get tempted for a camera , then a bigger lens , it will take to you places that you never imagined existed in your backyards and city and you will experience the nature revealing itself to you. It gives a small adventure to everyone. You go closer to nature and appreciate what it has in store for us. And you learn to appreciate it.
One of my most beautiful memories is sitting near a pond with my wife and arguing about which bird we saw. Just look around closely where you go for your walks or in your backyard with the usual crows, pigeons and sparrows you will see many countless small birds perching here and there identify them and I guarantee that you will be left amazed and thrilled.