Sunday, September 28, 2014

What is Birding? in Athens...


Birding with our dog Teemo. He is leashed to my belt so I don't lose him.

Birding is a kind of quirky observation-meditation activity that usually non-scientists do. But it is a scientific way of observing nature. Its a way of 'being imersed' in nature, very much like hunting perhaps.

I bird in a big city, in Athens.
All my life I have thought that birding in the middle of a city can only be a bit boring.
This is not true. Anyone can learn to appreciate birding in a city - its interesting to observe; good recreation. This is not exactly an easy thing to do in a city that is not green, nor very open, nor well-planned for nature. Also a very dry and hot city for at least five months of the year. Athens.

The zen of birding.
You stalk birds.
You go into a real trance and think of nothing else; you hunt passively. Real observation, focus.

What you see:
Once in a while you see birds, you focus on them up close with your expensive binoculars. You study birds more as individuals. Sometimes you take a camera to take pics - to impress others. Sometimes you just have a 'bad' day. No birds. Sometimes a surprising lack of anything interesting shows up. But more often than not, I get surprised. I see new things.

Thanks to birding. 

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