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Birdwatching: A journey to nature

10-06-2012 08:59 BJT

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By CCTV reporter Julian Waghann

Birdwatching is an activity that aims to observe wild birds in their natural habitat. Since being introduced to China in the 1990s, the recreational activity has enjoyed increasing popularity. With a pair of binoculars, a field guide, and maybe a little notebook, you can begin a journey to nature. My colleague Julian Waghann has joined a group of birders for just such a journey.

"I’m inside one of the biggest city park in Beijing today, the Beijing Olympic Forest Park. As you can see, many come to the park in the morning for stroll, for exercise, or for some sports, but these people here are for some serious observation. Just check out these gears here. Let’s follow them and try one of the most increasing popular holiday recreational activities in China today."

Birdwatching is an activity that aims to observe wild birds in their
natural habitat.

On weekends, if you happen to see a group of about 20 in the park, equipped with telescopes, long-lenses or binoculars, you’ll know exactly who they are--bird enthusiasts. The Olympic Forest Park, situated at the north end of the capital’s central axis, is one of the prime locations to observe birds.

Fu Jianping, president of the Beijing Bird Watching Society, has been bird watching for almost two decades.

Fu Jianping, President of BJ Bird Watching Society, said, "It’s a lot of fun bird watching, and you can always learn something. With some simple tools like binoculars or a telescope, and a field guide, you can observe the beautiful creatures in the wild, and in the meantime learn more about the environment. A birder need never be lonely because birders love to share their knowledge and newcomers are always welcome. Beijing boasts a diversity of birds and you can watch them all year round."

Birdwatching is an activity that aims to observe wild birds in their natural
habitat.

Birds have always delighted people all over the world because of their beauty and their power of flight. Historically, they used to be considered omens.

In modern days, people watch birds to keep themselves healthy. Birding gets you outside and walking. Often times after a little birding, you’ve usually covered quite a bit of ground. And out in the open air, your mind settles down. Your senses open up, and nature seems to become your friend.

People of all ages can watch birds. It’s an activity you can keep doing all your life, in any part of the world. Ms. Guan started five years ago, she says nature keeps amazing her.

Guan Xueyan, Primary Sdchool Teacher, said, "Every time I come out, I learn something new! Out in nature, I drop everything like work or pressure and I’m just relaxed. I feel that I connect with nature. Watching birds live and fly freely in the wetlands, I myself found inner peace. It’s a lot of sport too but it’s effortless as my attention is on the birds. I love observing the beautiful creatures out here close to nature and as long as I can still walk, I will never give up this hobby."

Birdwatching is an activity that aims to observe wild birds in their natural
habitat.

Birding also fulfills another basic instinct—the quest for knowledge. Birding is about acquiring knowledge. Not just about birds’ names, but also about their songs, their behavior, and how they relate to the rest of nature. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy a unique human pleasure—the exercise of knowledge.

A field guide comes in handy. The little book that’s packed with information about birds is the next best thing to an expert birder by your side. It describes and shows pictures of the birds, and it tells you which details of each bird to look for.

Fu Jianping, said, "The birds we just saw in the water are a kind of common summer breeder in Beijing. With the help of the field guide, we can easily notice their features. This kind of bird usually comes to Beijing in the summer and reproduces here. They are expected to migrate to the south in October. We are quite concerned if they can make it this year."

Birdwatching is an activity that aims to observe wild birds in their natural
habitat.

Birding invokes our primeval hunting instincts. It delivers all the satisfaction of the hunt, even though the prey itself escapes unharmed. For the photographers, their cameras are like their hunting weapons. Capturing the beautiful moves of a bird gives them huge satisfaction.

Han Jie, Birder, said, "It’s interesting to watch the birds with a pair of binoculars. However, I am more happy to get the golden glimpse of a bird and keep it with my camera. I print it out and hang it on the wall. It feels great! "

Every outdoor trip is a great opportunity to connect with nature. If you think the performances of the birds are excellent this time, you will definitely find something new next time.

"We spent the entire morning walking through bushes, forest to wetlands...I think I’ve definitely walked enough to call this a sport. But you can see, it’s also a communal activity. As I come to the end of this morning, I found that it’s also a very meditative activity too, where people through their passion for the animal, and to discover, not only the nature, but also themselves and how we all fit in this landscape."

Sounds of nature collected by bird enthusiasts.

Birdwatching is an activity that aims to observe wild birds in their natural
habitat.

 

 

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CCTV.com

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