Bird Watching: an Unusual Hobby
I have a friend coming from the United Kingdom. He is in his seventies and he has been living in Russia since 1992 when first came here from Rochester. One day when we were fishing at the lake, he asked me if I had ever heard about bird watching. My answer was ‘no’. A bit later I read about it in some text, but at that time it was surprising.
When we came back home he showed me a book in English. He opened it at a definite page and pointed to a bird which was drawn there. ‘A hoopoe’, he said with some obvious satisfaction. ‘I saw it once’. It was really surprising to get to know, that bird watching is so widespread in the UK. As for other countries, I am not quite sure.
What you need for this hobby are just binoculars and patience. It turned out that there were even special books for those who are keen on bird watching, so that they would easier recognize the species. A few years later one of my acquaintances began to take pictures of the birds using special long-focus camera lenses and to publish them on the Internet. It was simply amazing! I am fond of photography and would like to do the same, but unfortunately I don’t have enough time for it.
The first thing that occurred to me when I got to know what bird watching is was as follows: this hobby is much better than hunting or something else, because you just admire the beauty of birds and don’t kill them (in contrast to making stuffed birds). And at the same time it is as interesting as hunting, because you have to look for the species you are interested in, but you do not have to pull the trigger.
Sometimes we may see this hobby in films. I have recently watched ‘Hunting Forrester’ where the main character, the old writer, shot videos about birds and kept the whole collection in a drawer. I remembered my English friend at once when I was watching this film.
I believe that any hobby which is not harmful for nature and the man himself is good. The world around is created to please people and birds in particular are a sight for sore eyes.
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