“A bird is three things: Feathers, flight and song. And feathers are the least of these,” as rightly said by Marjorie Allen Seiffert. Just watch them, learn from them. If bird watching is one of your hobbies, then pick a holiday destination where there are lots of interesting types of bird. Here are some great places to enjoy bird watching.
The Scottish Hebrides
Definitely an ornithologist’s delight, the Hebrides provides opportunities galore to feast one’s eyes on a wide variety of species. Stay in rural accommodation, and you’ll be able to enjoy spotting birds from your own garden. Depending on which part of the year one is planning a holiday, one gets to see entirely different species of these feathered friends. From vicious birds of prey like golden eagles and peregrine falcons to migrant birds like whooper swan and long-tailed duck to sanderlings and whimbrel, there is so much on offer for the birdwatcher. Summer birds like pipit and winter birds like redwing too are rampant. If you spot a bird, and you aren’t sure what type of bird it is, you can use this handy bird identifier to find out what it is.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
In what is one of the world’s most famous national parks, bird watching is one of the major attractions. The very landscape of Yellowstone with its varied habitats and elevations lends itself to being host to a wide variety of birds. Some of the bird species at this park include water birds like pelicans and cormorants and the Trumpeter swan. Also, of interest are a variety of raptors like the osprey and golden eagle. Sandhill cranes, American dipper and many songbirds can be spotted here. Many migrant species make this park their home too.
Yunnan Province, China
A birdwatcher’s paradise, Yunnan is teeming with bird life. With a tropical and subtropical climate and a topography consisting of lakes, basins and forests, it is an ideal combination for birds of all types. The mild climate encourages many birds to inhabit as well as migrate to this part of the world through the year. There are natural reserves in Yunnan for the birdwatcher to indulge in. The famous black-necked crane is in abundance at the Dashabbao Nature Reserve. Some of the other commonly seen birds are the laughing thrush, Alpine leaf warbler and Yunnan nuthatch. If you are going on a tailor-made tour of China, then be sure to let your guide know about your interest in birds, and they can include some great bird viewing spots in your itinerary.
Chilika Lake, Odisha, India
Chilika Lake is the largest salt-water lagoon in Asia. It is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Because of its topography, it is more suited to water birds of different kinds through the year. A great number of water birds of the migratory variety too can be spotted here. The white-rumped Munia, Mallard, Eurasian wigeon, gull-billed tern, Rufous-winged Bushlark are a few among the many species of birds that throng this pear-shaped water body. The wetlands of nearby Mangalajodi also attract many birds.
For all that is colourful and tropical in one’s mind associated with flora and fauna, Madagascar has to be among the top rated among ornithologists and amateur bird watchers alike. There are about 105 species of birds that are endemic to this place like the Madagascan fish eagle, the country’s flagship species; also Madagascar partridge and Madagascan flufftail. Other commonly spotted species are the crab plover and white-faced whistling duck. There are many visiting varieties in all seasons that are a great pull for the dedicated bird watcher. From birds of prey to robins, it promises to be a unique watch.
Enjoy the feathered friends without ruffling any feathers. Visit these awesome places!