Birding

Discussion in 'Hobbies & Crafts' started by Tom Locke, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    I am, I confess, a keen birdwatcher. I'm not one of these people that will travel 300 miles in the night because a stray warbler of a rare kind has been seen far from its normal range, but I enjoy a ramble with a pair of binoculars.

    It is fair to say that we have few exotic-looking birds in the UK, but we do have quite a variety of species and it's always a thrill to see something that you don't normally encounter. Recently, for example, I saw great-spotted woodpeckers for the first time in Scotland. I'd seen them in other countries, but not around where I live.

    I've been lucky enough to visit more than 40 countries and I always keep a list of birds that I've seen. I counted around 130 species when I lived in East Africa for two years, though spotting 76 different birds during 12 days in Sri Lanka was a pretty good return.

    Any other birders out there or I am just a lone oddball?
     
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  2. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    We keep feeders out for the birds year round. There are also various water birds that visit our lake. We have a book handy in case we spot an unknown species so we can look it up.
    We have a few ducks that are semi-tame and will come close and eat corn we put out for them. They will also come and help themselves to food we throw in the water for the fish.
     
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  3. Hannah Davis

    Hannah Davis Active Member
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    You are lucky to be in a region where you can see different types of bird life. In my area of Arizona we mostly seen Pigeons more so then any other type of bird. In fact, its a rare occasion when we see a crow or dove. My sister once told me about seeing someone who had a hummingbird feeder and she got a chance to see these small birds up close. I was sorry to miss this, I too am fascinated by the different types of birds out there, but don't get a chance to see too many types up close.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    We also keep a bird feeder and have it year around. Mostly we have the usual variety of cardinals, carolina wrens, and robins that are in the yard, or eating at the bird feeder.
    We also have a pair of doves that will come and wander around in the yard looking for bread crumbs; so I always try to throw out the last of the loaves of bread for the birds to enjoy.
    Since we also have a lot of squirrels, those little rascals often get into the bird feeder and munch up the birdseed.
    The also ate the seeds this spring when I planted sunflowers and swuash. I had to start them over again and keep the seedlings in the house before I set them out in the garden. I have now planted some jerusalem artichokes, which have a flower like a small sunflower, and will spread and come back every year; so I don't have to replant like you do with the sunflowers.
     
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  5. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    One fine autumn day during squirrel season I was slowly and quietly making my way along an old tractor lane that wound for several miles through the woods along the river. Rounding a bend, my heart nearly stopped. There, on a tree ahead, was a large woodpecker I would have sworn was an ivory billed woodpecker. I knew they were supposed to be extinct. But...
    I couldn't wait to get back to town and the library. There, I found there is another woodpecker that looks somewhat like the ivory bill. It's called a pileated woodpecker. Smaller than an ivory bill, but still large. Nevertheless, even pileated woodpeckers are kind of scarce around here.
     
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  6. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    We have actually had a woodpecker peck on the house a time or two. There is a tree in the backyard that seems to attract a woodpecker once in awhile. I have seen a few different species of birds lately that I have never seen before. We do have the wrens, crows and robins in the yard.
     
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  7. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    I was born and raised in the city and the only birds I knew was the common sparrow that we call Mayang Bahay - to mean a small bird in the houses - because they frequent the roof and windows. I have not given much attention to that brown bird which is small and kind of wild because it is common. But when we moved here in the suburbs, this village has a lot of trees and there's not a street with no tree, I noticed the different kinds of birds. And with our digital camera, we began to shoot photos and sometimes videos of those birds around us.

    Right now, we are spying on the yellow bird that inhabit the nearby bamboo grove situated beside our property. The lilt of the yellow bird is different so we know if they are there in the morning - there are 3 of them as of the last sighting.
     
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  8. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean Member
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    I have always been a keen birdwatcher ever since my pre teens. Since I moved to Scotland 3 years ago, I have seen no less than 6 species that I never saw in England!
    I was a pro wedding photographer for over 20 years, so have always had an interest in photographing them too.

    Cormorant2.jpg
    A cormorant on an inland reservoir
     
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  9. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean Member
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    WE have 3 bird feeders attached to our front lounge window, facing the street. So that we watch them anytime.
     
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  10. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean Member
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    Looking at other members pictures of birds I am intrigued by some of the North American species and how similar just a few of them are to European and particularly British species.
    OK, there are some birds like the Swallow for instance which is known as a Barn swallow in the US but has the lame Latin name Hirundo Rustica. So is obviously the same species. And I recall, someone posted a picture which looked identical to the British and European Song Thrush. And many's the time whilst watching a US tv programme. In an outside scene I have so many times heard the familiar song of a British bird in the background! For example, in an episode of CSI Miami recently, Horatio and the team were about to raid a naughty mans house and there was a Chaffinch singing somewhere in the trees!
     
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  11. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    The barn swallows we have here and the ones there are the same bird. But they don't seem to migrate. I haven't been able to find a source that says they migrate. Strange, huh?
     
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  12. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    Had the grass cut dthis morning. a good number of birds showed up to much on grass seed. Reminds me, I need to get another feeder and some seed.
     
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  13. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    What happened to the OP @Tom Locke?

    Has he written any more books?
     
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  14. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean Member
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    That's difficult to imagine. Resident all year round swallows! Ours will return from Africa any day now and will stay until the end of September. The earliest I ever saw one was in London on February 24th!
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I can fully understand and appreciate why birding might be fun. Maybe if I had stayed in one place, I would have come to be able to tell one bird from another but, having lived in Michigan, Iowa, California, Texas, North Carolina, and Maine, I gave up trying to learn one from another.
     
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  16. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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  17. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I wonder, too. The last I heard, he was either writing another book or thinking about writing one. I bought his first book. I wonder if he has finished the second one.
     
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