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Bird Watching / Birding
Written by Catherine Davis   

Closely linked with wildlife conservation and environmental awareness, bird watching or birding has grown increasingly popular over recent years.

As a means of connecting with nature and the changing seasons, bird watching is a relaxing hobby which can be combined with activities such as walking and photography.

Bird watching is accessible to all. You don't need expert knowledge or expensive equipment, but you may wish to invest in a decent pair of binoculars and a pocket field guide to identify different species.

While bird watching can involve the thrill of rare sightings (known as 'twitchings'), you don't have to venture into the wilds. Visiting a local nature reserve allows you to watch birds at close range, perhaps from a viewing tower or 'hide'. You can also attract birds into your own garden by providing food, water and nesting boxes.

There are plenty of bird watching societies, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), where you can meet up with fellow enthusiasts. Most bird watchers are happy to share their knowledge and may help you to learn how to recognise birds by their distinctive songs and calls.

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