After a long, cold winter, the spring is a great time for bird watchers, with new migrants coming over for the summer as well as many local birds out in full force as the weather takes a turn for the better.
If you’ve never given birdwatching a try, it’s a great way to add a bit more fun and enjoyment to your outdoor adventures around the UK, and you don’t necessarily need any specialist equipment.
What’s more, some of our parks here at Pure Leisure are ideally located for spotting birds, so here’s a quick guide for beginners.
What to Look For
It’s one thing to go out and watch the birds going about their business, but eventually, you’ll probably want to figure out exactly what it is that you’re looking at!
There are hundreds of species of bird in the UK, but you don’t necessarily need to be an expert to be able to identify them.
You can use a tool such as the RSPB’s Identify a Bird feature to help you out, but here are a couple of things to look out for.
- Try to estimate how big the bird is. This can be tricky, but it’s easiest if you compare it against more well-known species that you’ll know like a pigeon or a robin.
- Look at the bill and legs of the bird to try and identify what shape it is. The bill is usually a good indicator of what type of bird you’re looking at, as ones with shorter bills will likely be seed-eater, while bigger birds with long, hooked bills might be birds of prey.
- The colour of the plumage is also important, including both the main colour and other smaller splashes. For example, birds with blue on the wings are almost certainly jays, while those with red faces and yellow wings will be goldfinches.
You don’t necessarily need a lot of equipment to enjoy bird watching, but there are lots of bits and pieces which can help to make it more enjoyable.
If you’re buying binoculars, then the most important thing to take into account is the comfort.
As long as they’re comfortable to hold and easy to turn the focusing wheel, then you should be ok.
If you want to go one step further and buy a telescope, this will be a bit more expensive, but they do of course offer higher magnification.
While you’re out enjoying some spring bird watching, it’s important to remember to take some steps to respect not just the birds that you’re watching, but also other people who are out about.
The Birdwatcher’s Code is a good reference point, but a lot of it should be common sense!
Be sure to always put the birds’ interests before your own and make sure that you don’t disturb them in their natural habitats.
It’s also important to have a general respect for the countryside, as well as local landowners and residents, so don’t enter any private land without permission.
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to come across a rare bird, think twice before spreading the word, as if large numbers of people flock to the site, it could have a negative effect on the land and wildlife.
Our parks here at Pure Leisure are ideally located for spotting birds, so here are some of our favourite local spots.
Fell End Nature reserve is now open and features the fantastic John Wilson Hide. Among the protected wildlife spotted at the nature reserve are owls, marsh harrier, birds and deer, all of which have been spotted from the John Wilson Hide. Not only can you spot the beautiful wildlife but you can take a leisurely stroll through the nature reserve. Located just a few minutes away from our parks in Lancashire.
Bird watching is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, and the best thing about it is that anyone can enjoy it, so why not give it a try when you’re next on a stroll through the countryside near one of our holiday and leisure parks?