Bird watching; A Free and interesting Pastime For All
My first experience of deliberate birdwatching happened in Richmond Great Park. The time; 1966, the occasion; one among the primary dates with my (now) husband. There i used to be , all dressed up and prepared to knock him out with my kick the bucket gorgeousness (memory plays strange tricks as you get older!) and there he was, luring me into the undergrowth of the park, hissing to me to stay my head down. No, it wasn’t this bird’s feathers he was after observing, but a Picus viridis that he had spotted. It must are love on my part because, although i do not remember seeing the flash of emerald, I do remember getting my trendy high boots covered in mud.
And that was the primary of the many times that I even have shared the thrill of avian observation with my spouse. He had been a committed twitcher from an early age. As a boy, a family friend had dragged him along to several birdwatching expeditions, from sighting an outsized wader (a ruff) on a 1 time farm , soon to become the fifth terminal at Heathrow, to happy weekends spent observing the various migrants arriving on the Norfolk coast from Europe.
Birdwatching is one nature pursuit that almost anybody can get something out of, and most folks have ‘twitched’ at a while in our lives. What child hasn’t fed the ducks, or pigeons? that is the good thing about birds. they’re so accessible. you’ll see them almost everywhere at any time of the day. And you’ll hear them; blackbirds and nightingales are immortalised in song and verse. the ever present gull are often heard far inland; pigeons coo vociferously in our city centres; rooks squawk as they reach their evening roosts and starlings chatter as they take in flocks on our roofs, telegraph wires and concrete trees. No other wild biological group is very easy to ascertain and admire. The skill of flying, and thus the power to urge out of the way if needs must, has been a boon for the latent birdwatcher altogether folks .
That birdwatching foray with my husband to be was the primary of the many enjoyable observations of our feathered friends. Some i will be able to always remember . Standing on top of the Preseli hills in Wales and taking note of the liquid bubbling coming from the throats of many curlews within the gathering dusk of the evening; sadly not a standard occurrence nowadays. Or that magic afternoon, cycling along a rustic road with my young son and counting 32 larks as they rose skywards from the fields either side folks . Another sight, rarer now than it wont to be, was the spectacle of thousands of starlings darkening the sky and turning together with a whoosh of wings, above the sector next to our first home; We’ve watched puffins and guillemots on Skomer island off the coast of West Wales and along the seashore we’ve seen countless flocks of all kinds of waders. and the way to explain the joys of seeing two peregrine falcons screeching over a deceased pigeon that they were devouring at the bottom of a sea cliff; or watching red kites circling lazily within the thermals above the hills of mid Wales.
And there are always more. I’m so glad I’ve seen a minimum of one dipper, incongruously running along a stream bed, underwater feeding. Another stream frequenter, the heron, also can be sighted, perched in prehistoric stance, within the middle of a field. what’s it doing? i’m assured by that fount of all bird knowledge (my husband) that it’s on the lookout for a tasty mole; and sometimes, if we went out on a Summer night, we might be lucky enough to catch sight of a touch owl, staring down at us from his high perch on a telephone pole .
We called one among our homes Hafod Y Wennol, Welsh for summer house of the swallows, because, in it’s previous life as a cow parlour, the swallows had swooped in and made their little mud nests on it’s walls. We felt so guilty at evicting them from their home, especially after such an extended and threatening journey from their Winter habitat somewhere in Africa. But swallow poo is prolific and to not be tolerated indoors; and that they did have a garage and another barn to breed in. for several years they were a big a part of our summer; the sighting of the primary arrival was always noted. Their twittering and swooping around the farmyard a never ending source of enjoyment; their gathering on the phonephone wire and subsequent departure a dark time, heralding because it did the approaching winter.
And at our next home, a tall Edwardian row house , we had the amazing luck to be the Summer residence to a flock of swifts, whose ariel acrobatics, as they screamed past our windows, would have put the Red Devils to shame. We never uninterested in watching as they swooped and dived after insects, banking at the last second when it seemed they need to hit the house wall. it had been better than television!
We have been lucky enough to measure during a beautiful a part of the country where birdlife is prolific and constant. But town dwellers have opportunities too. In any urban garden a good sort of town birds are often seen; especially with a touch little bit of encouragement. Introduce a nut feeder and a bird table and, abracadabra, in an amazingly short space of your time there’ll be blue tits, robins, blackbirds, sparrows and various finches; if you’re lucky there could be the odd nuthatch. the small wren might hop about underneath, learning any titbits and, if, all of them suddenly scatter for no apparent reason, search to the skies and look for the form of a sparrowhawk, on the lookout for an unwary prey.
Yes, bird watching are some things that you simply can do during your life; from a window or outdoors. Introduce your children to the present fascinating world and that they will have a pleasure which will last and last; it’s free entertainment and a superb grounding in learning the way to appreciate a number of the wonderful world around us.