Today, April 25, 2015 is “Go Birding Day”. Other wards, the entire day is dedicated to watching our fine feathered friends. I am an avid bird watcher. I never started out as one; bird watching is form of recreation. Recreation is all about finding an activity to while not at work or meeting any other responsibility that seems to full our daily lives.
Over the last two years, I really have begun to enjoy all aspects of bird watching. I never thought I would be the person who would actually go searching for a particular bird to view and photograph. My area in Michigan had a wet start with lots of standing water which brought a lot of new birds to my area. I have always enjoyed being outdoors and photographing wildlife; bird watching was just a new component of this activity. Bird watching is also an activity that my mother can join.
Equipment Needed for Bird Watching
The great thing about bird watching is that the type of equipment you invest in is up to you. You can simply take a walk through your local park or hiking trail and try to figure out which little featured creature is making chirping noises in your direction. Or if you really want to get into the activity you can buy expensive spotting scopes.
These are the items that I take with me:
- A pair of binoculars
- My camera which actually travels everywhere with me.
- a field guide (I know a lot of people use apps which is great, but mom and I like looking at the book to see what species we are viewing.)
- Pencil and notepad (I take this along to jot notes; I use a lot of my experiences for writing and I want to remember everything that I view).
- Water (I have recyclable container that hooks to my camera bag. It is important to stay hydrated while out walking around especially if you are in a wooded area).
- Cell phone (I turn mine on silent while I am out walking. Accidents can happen; a slip and fall can ruin your hike. A cell phone is just extra precaution in case of emergency).
Know the Area
I am fortunate. I live in a rural area which is surrounded by wetlands along side the Maple River; the common Michigan river flats are all around me. I spend a lot of time on the back property where I can view numerous birds and other wildlife. But I do like to venture out into other trails and preserves. When I am getting ready to go to a new trail, I download the map either to paper form to have with me or to my phone. I know a lot of the trails are marked, but I like the extra precaution.
Remember to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. The trails can be long; you want to make certain that you are comfortably dressed. Also, obey the signs; the signs are there for your safety.
These are only a few aspects of bird watching. Have fun and be safe as you look for that rare species which only turns up doing summer months when the birds migrate back to the area.