So what is the thrill of chasing a small bird? Of waking up early, getting bitten by lots of bugs, getting sunburnt — all so that you can experience seeing a bird. To the outsider birding sounds like one of the worst ways to spend a day — as exciting as a root canal at the dentist.
I have been birding since August 2016, the ‘birding bug’ bit me hard when a friend took me birding during a difficult season of my life. The first few hours were, well let me say that tedious would be an understatement, but there came that moment — a moment that possibly other birders could identify with. I saw a little blob of a bird on a telephone post — I mean how boring can you get! My friend told me to look at the bird through the binoculars — and wow a whole new world was opened up to me. A world that I had never experienced before. I saw through the binoculars, this little blob of a bird coming to life. The colours on the bird burst through the lens and in a moment I was hooked.
So fast forward five months — my bird list is at about 160 birds — of which most I have managed to photograph to help with the identification process. Many birders (most with a bigger budget, bigger lens and much more birding knowledge) talk about doing a ‘Big Year’ — where they try to see as many birds as possible in a year. Some of their lists end up — after much travel, costs, and I can imagine relationship strain — having thousands of birds.
So I have decided to a ‘Big Year’ — well more like a ‘Little Big Year’ — the reason for this is I don’t have the budget that many of the Big Year people have and my bird knowledge is still limited. My goal is in 2017 to see and photograph 300 birds — some of these will be birds I have seen and some will be lifers (birds I see for the first time). I will use this blog to keep you up to date with my progress as well as post some pictures. I am hoping to be able to travel a bit (hoping for some lucky breaks with accommodation etc) but most of the birds I see will be close to home for me.
I am looking forward to sharing my journey with you.