I thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s nature programme called “Rainforest: the secret of life” on ABC1 television here in Australia.
It was particularly pleasing to see so many of our birds featured on the programme. I enjoyed the long sequences showing the Albert’s Lyrebird and his extensive repertoire of calls and songs. Another feature was the Brush Turkey dispatching the carpet python from stealing eggs from the nesting mound by violently flicking leaves and sticks at the hapless snake.
The only criticism I can level at this lovely documentary was at the commentary. Whoever wrote the script needs a lesson in basic nature writing. It was far too lighthearted and anthropomorphic for the seriousness of the subject matter. The final few minutes highlighted the global importance of rainforests. They are being destroyed at an alarming rate. This is great cause for concern, but I fear the message was lost after the humourous sections earlier in the documentary.
Despite my criticism, this is a worthwhile show to watch. It’s not available from the ABC Shop Online as I write this, but will probably be available in the next few days.
UPDATE: the DVD of this programme is now available – click here.
At this time last year I wrote a series of articles about how to be a lazy birder. It is about time we revisit these articles. At this holiday time in Australia many people take annual holidays after a very busy year at work. What most people want is not more busyness pursuing their hobby. So it was with this in mind that I wrote this series; just click on the link to take you to the relevant article.
Warning: do not strain yourself too much reading through these articles.
- How to be a lazy birder part 1 – in the garden.
- How to be a lazy birder part 2 – on the porch or veranda.
- How to be a lazy birder part 3 – set up a simple bird bath.
- How to be a lazy birder part 4 – from the car.
- How to be a lazy birder part 5 – from your bed.
- How to be a lazy birder part 6 – while watching television.
- How to be a lazy birder part 7 – watch a video or DVD about birds.
- How to be a lazy birder part 8 – while in the office or at work.
- How to be a lazy birder part 9 -while travelling.
- How to be a lazy birder part 10 – by reading about birds.
- How to be a lazy birder part 11 – surf the internet – or read my blog.
- How to be a lazy birder part 12 – watch a movie.
So there you have it – 12 ways to be a lazy birder. Enjoy.
Visit your local zoo or bird park.
Watch the birds in the cages.
This is a really good, lazy method of birding; the birds will not fly away from you.
If you want more information about how to be a birder go to my series of articles called How to be a Birder.
Twitching is alive a well in Australia.
Over recent years there have been a number of well documented rare bird sightings in our country. Each of these has resulted in birders – twitchers – heading by car or plane to cross vast expanses of countryside just to “tick” a rare bird off their list of birds seen.
Then a few years ago we had Sean Dooley’s celebrated “The Big Twitch”. Sean spent a whole year – without any income – travelling the country trying to break the unofficial record for the most species seen in Australia in one calendar year. This adventure resulted in a very popular and entertaining book of the same name.
Every year various state bird organisations run twitchathons, 12 or 24 hour events where car loads of birders race around trying to see as many different species as possible in the given time. Some are having second thoughts about this concept. Sure – it raises lots of money for bird conservation. But at what cost? First there is the expense of fuel, then there are the extra carbon emissions racing around the country.
Someone has suggested that these events should be confined to birding on foot or bicycle. I like another suggestion; it appeals to the lazy birder in me.
The Armchair Bird Twitch
At least one birding organisation is organising a twitch where you stay in one place throughout the duration of the twitch. The Armchair Twitch details can be found here. I find this idea a great one – just get a few birding friends together with plenty of food, drinks, comfortable chairs and a place with a good view of birds.
What more could you want – ah, yes, a toilet nearby would be essential I guess.
- Twitching in Australia
- What is a Twitcher?
- The lazy birder – a 12 part series of articles on how to be a lazy birder.
- Twitcher: someone who is prepared to travel great distances or go to great effort or expense in order to see birds, often just a single bird, that they have never seen before so that it can be marked on their list of birds seen (called a Ã¢â‚¬Å“tickÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“liferÃ¢â‚¬Â). The word Ã¢â‚¬ËœtwitcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ might have originated from their propensity to develop a nervous twitch until the rare or desired bird has been ticked off their list.
- Twitching: the habit or behaviour of some very keen or compulsive birders, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœtwitchers,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ who must travel great distances or go to great effort in order to see a rare or unusual bird, or a species they have never seen before.
This is part 12 in the series of articles for The Lazy Birder.
How to use films for birding.
- Select your favourite film.
- Place the DVD or video in the appropriate player.
- Switch on the television.
- Sit in your most comfortable chair.
- Watch the film, not for the story, but rather watching out for any birds or bird calls while you watch.
- Make a list of the birds you see. Add this to your list of all the birds you have seen on films. (You haven’t got such a list?? Then start one!)
- Warning: if the film is set in a foreign country you may need to borrow a field guide of birds of that country.
To read 20 more hints on how to be a birder click on the link below:
- How to be a birder – some hints.
To read the other articles in this series click on this link:
- The Lazy Birder – 12 fun articles written very much with tongue in cheek.