A Bird Watching Trip
I love birds. One of the most pleasant outdoor activities which usually fascinate me is watching birds. I have traveled to various places to watch birds since my youth days. There are a lot of things that you have to organize while planning for a bird watching trip. There are times that I just have to observe other bird watchers so that I can gain more experience on how to spot and identify various birds or where they go to watch birds.
The first step in preparing for such a trip is to identify a good birding area. The best thing is that there are several reserve areas which have been designated for birding by various institutions in different countries. All you need is to gather information about the various species of birds in the area that you intend to visit. You need to be careful in selecting the regions because you want a lifetime experience.
Recently, I went to Lake Nakuru to watch Flamingos. There were literally thousands of pink flamingos. I was in the company of my mother who had just recovered from a breast cancer surgery and treatment. She had been depressed by the treatment and a long stay at home and I felt that by taking her to a vacation, I could try lift her spirits up. It was one of the most awesome adventures and I could feel that she was delighted by the scenic sight of the flamingos.
Preparing for a Bird Watching Adventure
When you want to undertake such an adventure the first key is to plan. I researched for the best place that I could go bird watching and during the search, I came across Lake Nakuru. The best time to visit the place is in January or February, when there are thousands of them. There were some feeding, nesting perching etc. the sight was a beautiful one.
The there is the need to prepare the necessary gear that you will need for the adventure. You need some binoculars for watching the birds. Although for the case of flamingos or other big wading birds, binoculars may not be necessary. You will also need a good camera to take pictures, a spotting scope, maybe a bird checklist if you are going to a place where there various species of birds. Plot your route if you will be going to a vast area so that you can know where to spot various birds.
You must also prepare for the weather. A good knowledge of the weather pattern of the area is necessary to enable you prepare for the adventure. Wear the right outdoor clothes and boots. Also you need to ensure that you pack some personal effects which will be needed according to the number of days that you plan to adventure.
Carry enough water for drinking, as well as a few healthy snacks for good weight loss motivation. Good knowledge of hotels or cafeteria in the area is also of importance to help you replenish you stock that you need or to find a place to rest. Sometimes it is also good to carry along a GPS device in case the area is vast. You want to find your way back in case you get lost.
Other personal gear such as sunscreen or sunglasses, maybe a raincoat, survival kit, first aid kit etc may also be required according to the terrain and the weather of the place. It is also good to let someone know that you are going in case of any emergency.
When you get where you are going, it is time to enjoy the adventure. Mingle with other bird watchers who may have more experience so that you can learn a trick or two. Enjoy yourself but ensure that you protect the species and take care of the environment.
Previously, this website was owned by Doncaster and District Ornithological Society (DODOS) which was an organization based in Doncaster UK. The organization was dedicated to studying, documenting and conserving Doncaster’s wild birds. I’ve decided to bring this website back to life and I will be publishing interesting posts about bird watching trips. Already there are several posts that I’ve published and you can access them by clicking through various posts below.
Bird watching is a hobby with a difference. Some anthropologists have suggested that it is a reflection of the primeval human bonding with nature. Some have even found a trace of the innate, male hunting instinct associated with this sport cum research activity. Whatever be the roots, one thing is certain that bird watching is a unique way to relax and feel at home with one’s natural surrounding, at the same time.
Bird watching is a self-explained term. However, the more scientific version of the word is ornithology (a study and observation of birds). The American version of the same is ‘birding’. Birding is the same as that of ornithology, the only difference being it is more of an ‘amateurish’ activity. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to assume that the ‘amateur’ tag lessens the enthusiasm or the efficacy of the activity, in any extent.
Bird watching is a popular hobby especially for families where every member of the family can take part regardless of your age or budget as it is a relative inexpensive outdoor activity. It is also not affected by your geographical location as bird watching can be done anywhere in the world in the great outdoors, therefore making bird watching an ideal family activity with minimal start up costs.
For those who love birds and are eager to learn more about them, observing these birds in their natural habitat and discovering the different spectacular species is what bird watching is all about. What a sight it is when an eagle soars above the canyons or a hummingbird hovering close to some pretty summer flowers or a flock of playful gold and blue macaws fluttering their bright blue and yellow wings in the trees.
Unlike many outdoor activities such as fishing or mountaineering which require expensive specialist equipment, bird watching does not cost the earth. Additional gadgets may enhance the experience and help in gathering observational data for research purposes but they are not a necessity. Anyone can bird watch from a chair by the window of a flat, others who are more adventurous can hike to the far corners of the earth to catch a glimpse of some of the more exotic and rare species.
It is usually done by using the naked eye and for enthusiasts who would like to get a better and closer view of the birds, they would use binoculars. With affordable digital cameras so readily available on the market these days with zooming ability, bird watchers are now able to take high quality photographs of these birds and share them with other fellow bird watchers by publishing them on the internet. Specialty books on birds rich with illustrations are easily available at bookstores and libraries, making bird watching a very accessible hobby for everyone.
Bird Watching Is Not Science
It is very common for bird watching enthusiasts to be very knowledgeable about the different species of birds in the world but this does not make them a scientist. They do not study the birds by scientific methods. They simply take great enjoyment in watching, observing and listening to the different birds. They engage in this activity purely as a favorite pastime.
Some are quite happy to observe the birds that visit their backyards, others travel far and wide to observe as many birds as possible around the world. Many bird watchers will get up at the crack of dawn to see what type of birds might appear that day as birds like to look for food in the early morning. Some will log their observations by keeping a journal.
There are many national and international organizations devoted to this hobby. Members of these organizations exchange helpful tips and information to enhance the experience of other fellow bird watchers. Some local bird watching hobby groups are formed to observe and make records of the birds that are in their area.
Lastly being able to see birds from a distance is an essential part of birding and you should some good binoculars to start off with and as you get more serious you could then invest in a spotting scope to get even closer views of the birds. Being out in nature and watching the birds is a good recipe for enjoying yourself.
Although it can be challenging it is easy and inexpensive to take up and is always a lot of fun. Becoming a birder is easy to do and just by placing a nesting bird house and bird feeders in your back yard you will be able to get enjoyment from watching the birds.