Isn’t that a wonderful line. I believe it was written by Robert Lynd, but whoever wrote it they are right. You do need to become part of the environment to really observe the birdlife.
Occasionally you can be very lucky as something will just happen beside you or in front of you or even above you. Generally though to really appreciate our feathered friends you need to take a few moments to sit still and quietly as I did with this Egret on the fishing post and the Flamingoes in the Saltpans.
As regular readers will know, after all I never stop talking about the birds, it is the bird life that draws us back again and again to the Ria Formosa. Since mid March I’ve been focusing on individual species and I will continue to do so, but today I’m hoping to inspire the non-twitchers out there by sharing a few ‘birding’ memories from earlier this year.
Most of the time we are actively looking to see what we can see, and many of these photographs I have to admit were taken on those occasions. A few were not. The Sardinian Warbler had been flitting backwards and forwards for a while in the undergrowth, until the moment I took the photograph we were not 100% sure what it was. The Swifts we watched for a while as they collected mud for their nests. The Cattle Egret with his grasshopper was spotted as I was walked passed a window in the apartment, and chicken she was as curious by me as I was watching her. The beauty of the birds is in their individuality and also in their numbers. Who has not been amazed by the swallows swooping above you, or hundreds of starlings coming into roost. We can never resist the hundreds of waders on the saltpans, sometimes though you cannot quite tell what you looking at but their beauty still grabs you.
Other times it is the beauty around them such as the Coots in the Ria Formosa and the waders on the beach.
So next time you are out beside the sea, in a park or at the top of a hill, take a few moments and be still. Become part of the silence.