Recently I’ve become a bit of a Twitcher. Twitchers, just in case you were wondering, make lists of rare birds, then travel long distances around the countryside trying to spy one then tick it off their list. They’re the trainspotters of the bird world.
My fascination with our feathered friends began when I noticed a pair of birds gawping through our bedroom window one morning. Intrigued, I took a photo of them with the camera I keep by the bed for just such occasions… as you do.
Now, my knowledge of local birds could be described as ‘Fairly Basic’, but if you need someone to point out a seagull, crow, duck, magpie, chook, budgie, emu or pelican, then I’m your man. So I showed the photo to a bird loving friend who identified them as Rainbow Bee-eaters, then she handed me a book on birds, and my life hasn’t been the same since.
I’ve learned things! For example, Black Kites are actually brown and tend to flock at dumps, while Brahminy Kites look like small sea eagles and wouldn’t be seen dead scrounging at landfills.
My workmate, who has almost grown used to watching me dash off across rock and log strewn paddocks waving my phone about trying to capture shots of passing birds, recently asked if I’d ever spotted any elusive Pink Breasted Boobies at Tannum Sands Beach.
Unfortunately, it was only after I’d entered the shrubbery at Canoe Point, armed with my binoculars and camera, did it dawn on me that he may have been pulling my leg. I did find a pair of boobies, but there was some ‘unpleasantness’.
We Twitchers don’t joke about bird watching, or so I assume, because I haven’t actually come across a genuine Twitcher in the wild; yet. But they’re definitely on my list.