Let's Go Birding
Bird behaviour, bird encounters and birding trips. Join me and let me share over 40 years of experience of watching wild birds in my birding videos.
People often ask me what is the best way to start bird watching. The answer is to just start looking at birds, get some binoculars to make seeing birds easier but there is no need to spend a vast amount of money on them to begin with. Just get out, watch birds, enjoy their variety of colours, shapes and behaviour using a field guide to help you put a name to the birds that you see. Don't worry about making mistakes, we all do that. Even after 40 years of birding I still make the odd mistake, beginners should not worry about that, it is part of the learning process.
I have led birding tours since 2007 and this allows me to share my experience of birds with others but to do this with a larger number of people I make short videos about birds which anyone can watch on Youtube. I make several types of birding videos.
Virtual Birding Videos
Join me for a birding trip
Leading birding trips since 2007 has given me the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge with lots of nice people from all over the world, as well as learning from many of them too. In my virtual birding trips videos I try to recreate some of the essence of my birding tours in videos of around 8 minutes in length.
In these virtual birding trip videos I visit a different location and show viewers a selection of the birds that can be seen there, trying to give some information about them along the way. Check out this video to see the sort of thing I do.
Binoculars for Beginner Birders
For beginner birders this pair of Olympus 8 x 40 are a good quality buy. The wide field of view makes it easy to find birds when looking through the binoculars, a skill which can be difficult when just starting.
I own a pair of these as a backup to my more expensive binoculars and can recommend the quality and durability.
See interesting bird behaviour for yourself
We all want to see new birds, that is one of the driving factors for most bird watchers. This desire is the manifestation of a deep-seated instinct to hunt in bird watchers but another rewarding aspect of bird watching is watching their behaviour.
Bird behaviour is often the key factor in the evolution of a species or the key factor in identifying a bird. Certainly the various aspects of bird behaviour can be amazing and in some of my videos I focus on an interesting aspect of bird behaviour in a single species.
Listen to some amazing bird song
You would be surprised at how many bird calls and songs you can recognize. Experienced birders will have learned many calls over the course of their career but even people with little interest in birds can usually identify the calls of common species that are around them.
Bird song is one of the most striking aspects of bird behaviour and each species has evolved to have a different song and set of calls. Some bird song can be extremely attractive to the ear, such as in the case of Nightingale whereas other species just grunt and squawk. However, frequently the song/call of a bird is the key to telling it apart from another similar-looking species and the diversity of bird song is amazing.
Most birds have a unique organ called a syrinx which enables them to make several different sounds at the same time and it is this organ that makes bird song so amazing.
If you want to listen to the call of any particular species then you can search for it at this website - Xena Canto.
For those who wonder what equipment I use you can see in the list that follows.
For the best quality photographs and video I use a Canon 7D Mark II with a Canon 100-400mm IS Mark II zoom lens. This is a very good quality camera but for video it needs to be on a tripod or rested on a steady surface; it is hard to do hand held video with this camera.
If I need to do hand held video for a fast-moving bird then I revert to an older bridge camera - Panasonic Lumix FX 300 (FZ330 in Europe/UK). This captures 4K video and is excellent in good light although the video quality is noticeably poorer in bad light than if I use my Canon.
In my early videos I did not use a microphone and wind noise was a real problem as was the sound of the camera lens focussing. Early feedback I got was to imporve the audio quality so I bought a microphone which works really well and was inexpensive.
Enjoy watching birds
I am out birding a lot. I lead birding tours for a living and of course even when I am not I go out a lot on my own. This leads to a lot of interesting encounters with birds that I like to share with people, particularly some of the exciting spectacles of large numbers of birds in places that I know well.
Some of these are some of my most-watched videos, I guess my genuine enthusiasm for these birds comes across in the video.
As well as video of birds I take a lot of photographs of birds too. I use my Canon camera set up for this; it is particularly good at capturing birds in flight. Here is a small selection of bird photos that I have taken but you can see a lot more on my blog which is linked in the section below the gallery.
Indochinese Blue Fl...
Read More About My Birding Adventures
Check out my blog for information on my most recent and upcoming bird watching tours.
Join me on a birding tour to one of a variety of bird-filled countries around the world. The complete selection of planned tours can be viewed here - Calidris Birding Tours.
I am a professional bird tour leader with over 15 years experience of guiding groups and individuals. All the tours are designed to allow sufficient time to find a high proportion of the key bird species and enjoy watching them at a sensible pace.
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