What is Bird Watching?
Bird Watching –also known as Ornithology – is one of Britain’s favourite recreational pastimes next to fishing. An activity that was once considered to be something of a ‘nerdy’ practice, Bird Watching has now become a pastime that encompasses both young and old and allows both experienced ‘twitchers’ and novices to come together in pursuit of some of Britain’s most common and indeed rarest birds.
‘Twitching’ is the term used to describe observing a rare bird that has been observed in a particular location where it is known to stay for periods of time. Whereas Bird Watching is the observation of many different birds in many different locales, ‘Twitching’ is much more specific and carries with it the task of making lists of these rare birds and where they can be viewed.
Bird Watching as a Hobby
Many people take to Bird Watching as a way of communing with nature and also relieving stress. The techniques of Bird Watching mean that it is a hobby which is normally carried out in rural, secluded spots where the hustle and bustle of daily life is left far behind. Indeed such is this pastime in terms of relaxation that many individuals go on specially run Bird Watching holidays in order to pursue their hobby in areas where rarer birds are to be found.
Twitching as a Hobby
‘Twitching’ – as we have already mentioned – is the study of rare birds in their natural locales which may not normally be where you would expect to find them. Some birds migrate or move to different environments if their original environment has been upset due to changes in climate or by the intervention of man. In these very specific locations specially constructed ‘hides’ are erected so that individuals can spend time watching these birds without disturbing them in their natural habitat.
Bird Watching Holidays
Bird Watching holidays have now become very popular and are not just confined to the United Kingdom. Tour operators run specialised Bird Watching holidays to Europe, Asia and the Americas and these holidays can – depending on the location – run all year round.
These holidays can also include other excursions to see other wildlife indigenous to the area you are visiting and when consulting a tour operator you should ask in advance as to what other excursions are available.
If you are a member of a Bird Watching club they will often organise their own package holidays or day trips depending on the numbers of people interested.
Bird Watching and Camping
If you are not a member of a Bird Watching Club – or wish to do more Bird Watching than they can offer – you can organise your own Bird Watching excursion to coincide with a camping trip. Many people think that there is a lot of equipment necessary to go Bird Watching but really the most important elements are a decent pair of binoculars, a bird handbook, a notebook and pen, and a keen eye for detail.
You will find most areas have not only a camping ground but also a designated area for Bird Watching and if you wish to find out more you should contact your local tourist information centre or search the Internet.