Bird watching on the rise: no anorak required

This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.

Since global lockdowns came into force, bird watching has found a new lease of life with people from all backgrounds and generations taking more notice and care of the ornithological displays outside their window. This is partly due to the reduction in vehicle, plane and general noise allowing us to hear birds again and giving them space to spread their wings.

With exposure to nature proven to improve your mental and physical health – even if only enjoyed from out of a window – here are some tips to enjoy bird watching.

First, you need to notice the birds in your area and identify where they are. Look at the edges of fields, gardens, woods and coastlines as this is where they tend to be. Once you’ve found them, take time to listen. You may already recognise some tunes, but you will also discover new calls that might interest you.

Once you see a bird, take notice of the bill and patterns around the eyes. The wings may be a feature, but it is the beak that identifies the group the bird belongs to. Don’t get fixated on identification though. Watch what the bird is doing and enjoy the movement of their work.

And finally, draw and write some notes. It’s not only the best way to translate and record what you’re seeing, but there is real value in the process, bringing you closer to nature and even boosting mental health.

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