Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Birdwatchers' Lingo'

Let us see if I got this right, and I apologize if I mentioned the word 'bird' too much.

I went tree-hunting with Cel Tungol and ended up bird-watching in U.P. In the process I learned that a 'spark' is that bird species which made you like birds in general, more like your 'bird at first sight'. A 'lifer' is the the bird that made you become a bird-hobbyist, in more popular terms, a bird-watcher. A 'twitcher' is a person who goes out of his way to spot birds, ultimately an avid bird-watcher.

Well, I still am to spot my lifer and a long way from becoming a twitcher. But indeed I got to see my spark that day. Cel said it was a coppersmith barbet (Megalaima haemacephala). It was peeking from a very small hole on an acacia tree (Samanea saman, not native). I was surprised that even how small this bird was (barely the size of my fist), the twitchers seemed to have had ease spotting it.

There were a lot of the avid bird-watchers that day, with their sophisticated birdwatching equipment aimed at the barbet's tree hole. Once the small bird emerged, cameras immediately snapped and clicks were almost simultaneously and successively heard. in a matter of seconds the commotion was over as the barbet flew into the cover of the acacia tree and away into the bright blue sky. After it, I was surprised how vividly wonderful the pictures captured by these hobbyists. were Indeed all the fantastic images was worth the twitcher's wait and trouble, which made me understand the rewards a bird-hobbyist gets. Birds are fascinating, but for now I'll stick to my tree 'lifers'. Oh yeah, Cel and I indeed got to see our own non-bird finds that day, a banuyo tree (Wallaceodendron celebicum) in flower. It was being nested on by another bird species, but that in itself is another story.

The spectacular coppersmith barbet pictures was from Cel Tungol. My own camera is not equiped to take such astounding bird images.

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