Celestron Big Year – 2 June 2016: Birding Naked
June 15, 2016
I'm not ashamed to say it. There have been times when I'm afield and the conditions are just right that I have birded naked.
No, I don't mean "birded naked" like the Naked Bird Club in Finland whose members only count on their trip lists the birds they see while in the buff; I mean naked eye birding.
It doesn't happen often, of course; even at reasonably close range most birders like to get an even closer look at the bird they're seeing by using their binoculars. However at the recently concluded Biggest Week in American Birding, some of the birds - particularly and most astonishingly the warblers - were coming so close to the boardwalk railing at Magee Marsh that even with the six and a half foot close focus distance of my trusty Granite ED 7x33's they were still too close to get in focus.
I have to say, it is a truly remarkable treat to be able to watch Black-throated Green Warblers, Magnolia Warblers, and Northern Parulas at a distance of two or three feet! At one point, I took out my iPhone to see if I could record this amazing occasion on video. Surprising as it may seem, what you're seeing here is the unedited video of a Northern Parula, normally a bird that stays in the upper levels of the tree canopy, that was within an arm's length of me.
If you haven't already had the pleasure, perhaps one day the conditions will be just right and you'll have the opportunity to engage in a little "naked birding" yourself. And if you happen to be in Finland... well, as they say: what happens in Finland, stays in Finland.
Cheers and good birding to you.
Other articles of John's Big Year: