Tuning In

I went birding yesterday. For a rookie like me, that means taking a walk somewhere scenic with my camera, aiming and shooting (the lens) at birds, hoping my amateur work churns out something recognizable, then researching and identifying the species.

Bee in action on Palo Verde tree

As I moved along from tree to tree and bush to bush, detecting movements and sounds, I felt myself identifying a couple of birds by their calls, and hunting them out in that way. Suddenly it felt as if the volume was turned up – I tuned into the busy conversation that was going on above my head. This group of trees sounds like the single-chirp call of the species I just shot, so I needn’t go there. That direction is where that new twittering song is coming from. And where on earth is that sinister caw perched?

And then the buzz hit me. The buzzing of the bees that is. It seemed so loud as soon as I tuned in, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard it before. The entirety of the vivid green and yellow Palo Verde branchwork above my head was busy with bees. So I snapped a few clicks. I particularly love the take-off action in the one I’m sharing above.

But the birds are what I was out there for. And I’m learning them as I go.

Verdin on Palo Verde

My 2011 trip to Kerala and visit with the welcoming people at Raxa Collective offered me so many discoveries. One is the love of birding and the feeling that even I can try it as a hobby. My fortune of having met with Mr. Thondaman in Thekkady was inspirational, as were the species I encountered there. Now it’s a beautiful excuse to enjoy the outdoors, which for me, is always a good way to tune in.

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