When I was about 16, I remember watching a
programme about bird-watching on the TV. It was presented by Eric Morecambe
and I recall thinking that, if he could see a wide variety of birds
in his back garden, then so could I. My parents gave me a pair of
binoculars and I was off; it was amazing just how pretty some of the birds
were in our back garden. After all, you see programmes about the splendour
of Amazonian parakeets and yet you don't have to go far to see extremely
colourful birds such as blue tits, goldfinches and jays.
Liz shares my interest in wildlife to the extent
that we spent our honeymoon birdwatching in the Gambia, clocking up over 150
species we had never seen before. We are not 'twitchers', in that we will
not traipse the length and breadth of the country to see some rare migrant.
We will always take binoculars with us on walks and, of course, on holiday
and take our luck as to what we happen to see. One example is when we were
walking along the banks of the River Spey in Scotland and saw a
cinnamon-coloured bird. We were amazed, when we levelled the binoculars on
it, to discover that it was a hoopoe, only the second ever sighted in
Scotland and quite distinctive.
Our interest in birds has taken us to many
countries, including Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Botswana. The binoculars we
use are 8 x 32 rubberised bincoulars by Opticron, which can be purchased
direct from the wholesalers in