Our children love animals, but Matt, our oldest, has a special love for birds.
We are all new to birding so we are eager to learn. Matt will drive our mission to explore the world of birds with his own thoughts, photos, videos and posts as part of his homeschool assignments. It really isn’t “schoolwork” for him because he loves it.
Ornithologist / Zoologists / Nature Conservationist in the making.
He always liked birds but his interest grew into something more when, as a little 5-year-old his Grandfather, Oupa Brian, took the time to patiently teach him about the birds in our garden.
He got so excited when spotting and identifying a bird on his “Birds of the Southern Cape” poster. He still uses it today to identify local birds.
THE BIG YEAR
He was hooked after we showed him the movie The Big Year with Jack Black and Owen Wilson. One day we will do his own Big Year, but 2018 might just be our first family Big Year. We’ll be birding in at least three countries: South Africa, England and America.
We started a Birding List and we’re slowly adding to it, but with our limited knowledge, it’s often hard to identify birds.
I’ve downloaded the Merlin App by The Cornell Lab and will be adding the relevant country packages as we travel. So far I struggled using this app. I still want to download the Sasol Birding App for South Africa. It’s a bit pricey, but I will work it into the homeschool budget as soon as I can. In England, we downloaded the Birds of Britain and the British Birds apps. They’ve both come in handy so far.
2018 Is the year of the bird. Can’t think of a better time to start birding!
BIRDING BUCKET / WISH LIST
- Barnacle Goose: According to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) there are only 900 UK breeding pairs in England. The winter from October to mid-April in the UK.
- Great Grey Owl – They live in Canada and in the United States in Oregan and California.
- Tawny Frogmouth – Australian mainland and Tasmania
- Puffins: Atlantic Puffins are found exclusively in the North Atlantic Ocean. In North America, they nest from Labrador/Newfoundland to the Northeastern United States. In Europe, they nest south to the Brittany Coast of France, northwards to Iceland, Greenland, and Northern Russia.
The 10 best places to spot Puffin in the British Isles according to Discoverwildlife.com:
1 Hermaness and Sumburgh Head, Shetland
2 Lunga, off Isle of Mull
3 Fowlsheugh RSPB, Aberdeenshire
4 Isle of May and Craigleith Island, Fife
5 Farne Islands, Northumberland
6 Bempton Cliffs RSPB, Yorkshire
7 South Stack Cliffs RSPB, Anglesey
8 Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
9 Rathlin Island, County Antrim
10 Great Saltee, County Wexford
DO YOU HAVE ADVICE ON THE BEST BIRDING APPS FOR ANDROID AND IPHONE?
I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below?
Fall in the USA is when the great bird migration takes place from the north to the south of the country. We are very excited to witness this spectacular natural event and especially Matt. It will be a highlight for him.
USEFUL LINKS AND BIRDING RESOURCES
Sites with information on fall bird migration in the USA to be checked and cross-referenced
See our Birding List here
Do you love birding? Share your bird list with us? Which bird would you love to see?
Do you have any tips for us on birding in America, the UK or The Garden Route?
If you are an experienced birder, please get in touch with us?
We would love some guidance. We are currently in the Garden Route in South Africa