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Using a (human) Bird Guide...

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Using a (human) Bird Guide...

Unread post by huntsman » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:36 am

As a serious birder, (and sometimes we really are far too serious!) it is easy to become fixated on doing everything yourself, with regard to finding birds. If it's not done the 'hard way', the sighting is somehow less real.

I'd fallen into this trap, and have only recently started to add audio IDs to my list, which has opened up a new world for me.

This week I broke with tradition and actually forked out money for the first time ever to a bird guide. R195 for three hours and I cannot imagine why I have never done this before. It's like walking past a tap to reach the river...!

This took place at Bonamanzi, a non-SANPark, so I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say that a good (or even fair) guide is definitely worth the investment. I'd walked the area the previous day, armed with Roberts and Sasol, and while I saw some lovely birds, no lifers appeared.

Next day got 3 definites, :cam: plus I was shown two more which I rejected as I could not make a certain ID before the bird flew off.

Interestingly, the guide relied far more on audio than visual alerts and as a result we walked far less and saw far more than I did in the same area just 24 hours before...
A bird in the hand...belongs in the bush!

Canon 7D / Canon 100-400mm 4.6-5.6 IS EF / Canon 28-85mm 2.8 EF

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Virtual Ranger
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Re: Using a (human) Bird Guide...

Unread post by adrianp » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:37 pm

Hi Huntsman

I agree, it is great to find the birds yourself, but every guide I have used has been awesome. I have used three guides, all the time in areas where I had limited time to visit, so I have no regrets using them to see the birds like the green barbet, spotted ground thrush and Sekoki skops owl, and pipit. Rather than wasting money on the travel.

I also realised that they are great ambassadors to birding and conservation in their comunities :clap: so we should support them financially just for that reason!

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Bush Baptist
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Re: Using a (human) Bird Guide...

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:32 pm

I agree. I have us returned from a trip with a guide and other birders. I wanted to do the trip myself but it didn't work out that way. Just as well, as I would not have ID'ed anywhere near the +/- 400 birds we saw on the trip.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

In a world of grey, be RED

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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Using a (human) Bird Guide...

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:03 pm

We've used community bird guides a few times, always worth the money
The 'mite formerly known as joshilewis

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