Most of the time I bird alone. Not that I am anti-social but due to my busy schedule, my field trips are usually spontaneous and unplanned. Birding alone does have one big benefit because birds are keenly aware of the presence of strangers and there's nothing more annoying than a big group of birders disrupting their activities.
Rule number one is to be quiet and not to bother the birds. Birds lead active and somewhat very precarious life. Every new day starts with activities that are vital for survival. Be aware of the presence of various bird species in the immediate vicinity by tuning in to the different birdcalls.Bird songs may express joy but they also communicate territorial claims and the attracting of mates. Territory is about securing sufficient sources for food, feeding, resting, mating, nesting and the brooding of young.
By understanding what's going on when you enter a given area gives you the best chances of sighting the birds. Getting good photo opportunities you have to observe and appreciate the light conditions, sufficient space for the scope to have good field of vision and getting into a nice observation position.This is where I prefer to sit quietly and wait for whatever turns up at a fruiting tree or a flowering shrub. In the heat of the day, a shallow forest stream can be a good spot for the feathered denizens to come out for a nice birdbath.A small portable chair helps me to relax and simply enjoy the moment. The scope will be focused on a prominent object as my reference point.
I prefer binoculars with as wide a field of view as possible. The drill is to listen, watch for movement, close in with the binoculars, acquire the bird on the scope and finally capture on the digital camera.Everything happens naturally in one smooth flow that comes with practice. In a "bird rich" area with lots of birdcalls, the slow patrolling mode with quiet pauses can be very productive. Just relax, just soak in all the birdcalls and become one with the whole environment.
Happy Birding..John is an avid birder since 1996. He is based in Singapore, you can check out his fine collection of tropical bird pictures at Easy Bird Watching Guide.
By: John Lynn