My husband and I have the same passion for the environment, we're into conservation. We actually met in the organization where I'm working now. He was the Membership Retention Officer back then while I was the secretary of one of the Directors of Haribon Foundation.
Haribon is a membership organization, and as it is, it entails for us to organize small activities for the members that is inclined to appreciating and eventually caring for nature. One of which is birdwatching. Besides being the organizers, we, too enjoyed the activity. Until at some point, even when there's no activity for the members, we went birdwatching. And up to now, though my husband isn't with Haribon already as an employee, he remained to be a member of the organization, we still are into birdwatching (on our own).
Armed with a pair of binoculars, off we go birdwatching. Birdwatching is literally watching birds. It's amazing to realize and learn that there are so many species of birds. Here in the Philippines, aside from the endemic species (Pinoy birds; birds which can only be found here ex. Philippine Eagle), we have migratory birds (birds that passes by the Philippines and settles for a while during winter season in other parts of the world and goes back to their origin when winter is gone; ex. Terns & Herons), and resident birds (birds from other countries that found home here; ex. Tree Sparrow, more commonly known as Maya).
Birdwatching is a hobby both me and my husband appreciate so much because we're not just having fun, we are also enriching our minds with the learning we get from it. In birdwatching we get to learn of the different bird species, we get to see the beauty of each species, we get to see their activities as a bird and we are reminded of the simplicity of life.
I mentioned, binoculars earlier, to own a pair will cost us quite a fortune, but for us, its inexpensive in the sense that as members of the organization, we are privileged to be able to rent a pair for just a few pesos. Although, again, if we decide to really get hard core about birding, owning a pair of binocs would be the first step. Others who are into photography can also use birds as subjects of their art.
It is also inexpensive in the sense that you need not go far or away from your homes, just look outside your windows and in your backyards, you'll get to find at least 3 different kinds (species) of birds.
In the Philippines, there's a lot of places where we can go birdwatching. Olango Island in Cebu is a great place to observe migratory birds as well as in Candaba swamp in Pampanga, it is where I saw a Mallard apart from books and paintings. Subic in Olongapo is a good site for water and resident birds, we go bat-watching as well at Cubi Point, also in Subic. In Subic, crows are common, bee-eaters, serpent eagles, colasisi and coleto can be also be found here. me @ the Mangrove Trail a birding site @ Subic
Mt. Makiling in Laguna is another place to go birdwatching, here you'll get to see a malcoha, just be fast, woodpeckers, sunbirds and munia as well. The 2 latter sites are a few hours trip from Manila. Even here in Manila we do birdwatching, the Libingan ng mga Bayani and American Cemetery in Taguig are birding sites, though the latter became strict in allowing entrance to guest. Here, we saw a coucal, sunbirds and pied thriller to name a few. The area where the SM Mall of Asia stands was formerly a birdwatching site. It is where I get to see a barn owl in its natural habitat. Some areas in Antipolo are good sites for birdwatching as well. Even the Ateneo University and UP Diliman campuses are great birding sites. It was at the Ateneo that I was able to see a magpie robin. At the UP campus, in one area you'll get to see waterbirds such as common moorhen, bittern and crakes. In another area, you'll find grassbirds, a family of crested mynas and the bright yellow oriole.
Yes, we're quite hooked on birdwatching, thus we're set to bring along our 3-year old son so that at an early age, he'll get to appreciate the beauty of nature through the activity.
There's one thing to consider though, waking up earlier than the usual...the best time to catch birds in their finest is at the crack of dawn...when they stretch their wings to fly and welcome another wonderful day.
It's great to share hobbies, how about you? Here are more for you to go through...