Birdwatching – Not such a Flighty Hobby

When you write every chance you can, it’s hard to have another pastime or hobby of any sort. However, I was smitten with bird watching about five years ago and it has remained with me. I wrote an earlier  post about becoming a bird watcher a while back- and to this day I’m surprised that I’m still so into it. What makes birdwatching interesting? On the surface it sounds like a most boring and uneventful pastime, almost akin to “watching paint dry”.

But here’s the surprise-Birdwatching – not such a flighty hobby at all! It’s actually fun and rather addictive. Now, by this I don’t mean looking at crows or staring at sparrows that are ubiquitous in both cities and the country. But it’s the special bird, the bird you’ve never seen before that gives the thrill, or should I say- trill!

Primarily, the fun is in spotting them, and then, it’s naming them. And here, I am updating this post to say hearing- them, as many established birdwatchers love to be able to identify the bird by it’s song.

What adds to the bird-joy is if the bird is not supposed to be there in normal circumstances, but is just passing through on its journey.This adds to the high one gets when spotting a special bird- a combination thrill of being privy to a bird that maybe not all would see, a rare bird or a bird that’s rarely at the present location, or just plainly- a new bird- for you. And don’t downplay the  thrill of the hunt.  

Bitdwatching- Not such a flighty hobby

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When I first saw Evening Grosbeaks, as mentioned in my earlier post and pictured above, I was amazed. They looked like some tropical bird invasion had come to my outside frozen February world- turning it magical. I had to know what kind of birds they were and where they came from. I searched bird books and the Internet before I was satisfied enough to label them.And you do need basic equipment like a great book on North American Birds and a good set of binoculars.

It’s the kind of interest that stays with you and grows. Suddenly  you’re into naming any new bird you haven’t seen and then you’re interested in finding new ones and spotting them and having a good studied look with your binoculars. Yet, having a good look can get frustrating, as they often flit away before you can see their markings and characteristics.                                                        

                                                                        Did you say Buffleheads?

Birdwatching- Not Such A Flighty Hobby

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The next bird  I got excited about were actually diving ducks- Buffleheads. I never saw them before, but every spring we saw them in our little bay, (part of a central Canadian lake), after a long winter.  The bufflehead is a  diminutive diving ducks with bold white and black colouring and adorable big heads. They stand out decidedly from the natural camo background of lake and forest. They put on a great show for me that first spring, as during mating season the male will engage in quite the display on the lake- diving and skimming and dancing  on the water’s surface to attract the female.

Never in my life had I seen anything quite like these bufflehead ducks, even though they are a familiar sight to all who live in the forested and lake regions of North America. For a few lucky years we lived up in the Kawarthas of  Ontario at our cottage, where I was visited by and searched for, many new birds and ducks. This was where my lifelong, birdwatching hobby was born. It came as a surprise then, and remains just below the surface now, until I spot a different coloured bird and then frantically run to find those binoculars. 

#happybirdwatching #backyardbirdwatching 


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  1. Derdriu Marriner

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