Which bird is sitting in front of your tent?

ACSI & NatureYou can hear birds in your back garden, outside in the park but probably best of all around your camping pitch. And you ask yourself, what could be better than to hear the cheerful tweeting of birds as you step out of your tent in the morning? But can you tell a starling from a blackbird? And how do you make sure that the feathered friend does not fly away if you get too close? A bird’s eye refresher course.

Bird-spotting at the campsite

Become a bird-spotter in 6 steps

1. Be prepared

It’s useful to know in advance what species of birds you might come across at your camping destination. That way you’ll get to recognise the birds you will encounter more quickly.

2. The early bird catches the worm

Get up early! You’ll come across songbirds especially in the morning and birds of prey can often be seen just after sunrise. This way you’ll increase your chances of spotting unusual species of birds.

3. Peace and quiet

Remain still so you won’t scare the birds if you make a sudden noise, and switch your phone to silent. You might be able to get quite close to them.

4. Look and listen

It’s unlikely that the birds will present themselves to you on a silver plate but will hide themselves in the undergrowth or in a tree. Look out for unusual colours, silhouettes and strange beaks. And quite possibly you’ll be able to tell which birds are in the neighbourhood by their chattering sounds.

5. What’s that?

Of course you only need eyes and birds, but binoculars are also a great help. You can see the details better and can identify earlier which birds you have in your sights. If you go bird spotting more often it’s a good idea to take a notebook with you and buy a guide book of different birds.

6. Discover and learn

A bird spotting trip on holiday is very enjoyable and educational, and at the same time it’s a great way to discover the natural beauty on and around your camping pitch. You can also go into it in more depth back at home; possibly by joining a bird study group. By using bird counts and knowledge and tips from others, you will quickly become an authority on birds!

Tip: If you’re hidden away in your tent or in the woods and you spot an unidentified species, you can use the Collins Bird Guide app for iOS and Android in no time you’ll know what bird you’re looking at.

Need inspiration?

There are several birds that you will encounter right across Europe, such as the magpie, crow, nuthatch and starling, but there are of course many more species to discover. We have selected four top spots in Europe for you where you will find beautiful birds.

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Joyce Broekhuis
  • Author: Joyce Broekhuis
  • As a child, Joyce travelled with her family and trailer tent to France every year. These days, she travels throughout Europe with her tent, looking for small, intimate campsites. Her favourite campsites are those in beautiful nature reserves or close to interesting towns and cities.

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