Just en­joy the beauty of bird­watch­ing

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

I am in­creas­ingly an­noyed by the at­ti­tude by the at­ti­tude of some ‘bird­ers’ with huge great cam­era lenses shoved a cou­ple of feet through the hide view­ing slot click­ing and whirring away. Thank­fully, there are some of us left who are more than happy to sit qui­etly with our binoculars and tele­scopes and watch birds. Ear­lier this year, I was qui­etly watch­ing Swal­lows nest­ing in the sluice at Mins­mere with a few other peo­ple when some­one with a cam­era the size of a bazooka snorted “Oh look, they are all get­ting ex­cited about a Swal­low”. He was gaffaw­ing away like the ar­ro­gant in­di­vid­ual he is. For or­nithol­o­gists, bird­watch­ing is not about get­ting the rarest bird in a great pho­to­graph so much, as the won­der of just watch­ing them. You don’t need to spend an ab­so­lute for­tune just to en­joy this won­der­ful hobby. I don’t even un­der­stand run­ning around the coun­try just be­cause a rar­ity has been seen in the area. For me, it is a plea­sure to soak in the sound of the reedbeds or the gen­tle buzz of a bum­ble­bee in the mead­ows or the creak­ing trees on a windy day. The plea­sure is to just watch, lis­ten and en­joy. Some­thing I have been do­ing since the 1960s. Whether you are watch­ing a Sky Lark way up above your head in azure skies or a Lap­wing tum­bling about or a ma­jes­tic Marsh Har­rier wheeling about above the reed beds that is the beauty of or­nithol­ogy. Derek J. Wood

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