WILDLIFE DISCOVERY - BACKYARD BIRDING QUEST
By: Ramon Q. Gayas Jr. (Ser Montaineer)
You're wrong if you think I have a beautiful backyard. No its not, as the place where I live - in Sitio All-Top to be exact - is near a dirty creek, which we fondly called "gillage" means beside the village, as its just few meters across the exclusive village named Merville Park in Paranaque City. However, the dirty stream on my backyard is still possessing some vegetation where birds can perch, rest, and eat. There are trees living on it's bank such as; Talisay, Bangkal, Ipil-ipil, and fruit-bearing trees like Mango, Bilimbi, Guava and Star Apple, as well as cultivated trees like Papaya, Banana and Malunggay. Though not as dense wayback 1990s, yes! there still life on our backyard. I'm a bit lucky because there still remaining patch of greeneries from the past, where I can still see different birds living and pass through. On the otherhand, my involvement in hiking and other outdoor activities for several years exposed me to the beauty of wildlife specially birds; which I had the most experience in terms of wildlife encounter, in the form of listening and appreciating their flight. Bird is one of my fascination in the outdoor. I've been delighted by seeing the beauty of their presence and having enjoyment from music they bring. Moreover, to see some of them within my neighbourhood, is another great thing I truly celebrate. Making me have a pretty laid back birding spot, just on my backyard!
BACKYARD BIRD WATCHING
My backyard bird watching started when I brought home the Solognac 8x42 500 serie Binoculars from Decathlon Philippines for test. I tried it countless time by watching birds on my backyard, which happened after the two outdoor trip I did - where I also brought the said optic - in the month of October and November last year. However, the binoculars testing I had on my backyard did not end as trial. Indeed, It resulted to a preliminary spotting, which followed with focus backyard bird watching. So, on November 17, 2017 around 6:30 in the morning - few days after my last outdoor trip with the optic - I visited my backyard to watch birds again. Through the Solognac 8x42 500 serie Binoculars, I repeatedly watch birds, and record the color patterns on their feathers, wings, crown, vent, belly and tails, which eventually served as key for me to named them later on, with the help of internet. I felt glad to recognised variety of birds that morning - from Pied fantail to Yellow-vented bulbul, Eurasian tree sparrow to Asian glossy starling, and Brown shrike to Golden-bellied flyeater - showing the power of their flight.
|Solognac 8X42 500 serie Binoculars on my backyard 11-17-2017|
On the other hand, watching birds through the binoculars is truly entertaining. I was ogled with the birds I've seen, and it piqued my interest to think of ways to share this kind of enjoyment. Then, I come up to plan a photoshoot documentation like other birders do. But it didn't go easily, as I don't have zoom camera and It took a month before I am informed that I have the privilege to borrow our company's DSLR camera, thanks to my colleagues Aya and James! They made my backyard birding quest continue ---
BACKYARD BIRD PHOTO SHOOT
The backyard bird photoshoot I had - in the morning of February 02 to 04 this year - did not easily goes through. I'm just a beginner and I had encountered difficulties dealing with the camera. There are times I am over excited and unconsiously made noisy moves, which made birds became intractable and fly faraway. However, learnings goes along the way. I learned to deal with the camera, to hide myself, to silently observe them from distance and to carefully glimpse to see where they are mostly hop and perch, until I managed to take photo of them one by one.
|Eurasian tree sparrow|
The Zebra dove (Geopelia striata) - It has an occasional appearance - mostly in pairs - when I conducted the photoshoot. Perches on a high spot and not too much moving, yet active in surveying the ground like a chicken.
|Blurred Photo of Philippine Pigmy Woodpecker|
Overall, I am pleased to finally document different kind of birds from my backyard. Hoping I could see again and take photo of their other breed I haven't yet include in the photo shoot. Very thankful to the Decathlon Philippines' Solognac 8x42 500 serie Binoculars! This tool exposed me to the idea of enjoyable wildlife discovery without living my comfort zone and left high importance to my "birding eyes", in learning to identify the birds. For sure, I'm gonna bring out this optic again; to check out new birds encounter on my backyard or try it for a longer birding quest in the future.