Sunday, September 06, 2009

Now I Know How The Birds Feel

Little kids do it. Older people do it (just not as intensely). It was "Stare at Americans Day" at Bei Hai Park in Beijing on Wednesday. Of course, we brought much of this on ourselves. It wasn't bad enough that we were foreigners in the park; we drew even more attention to ourselves by also staring—it's just that we were gazing through binoculars and we were looking at birds.

Our first big venture out on our own was a five kilometers bus ride to Bei Hai Park to have a look around and hopefully find some birds. Bei Hai is big-- 168 acres-- and surrounds several lakes. In spite of the fact that this is a city of 17 million (plus or minus), we found some trails where we could not see anyone for several minutes (apparently not having learned our lesson from being mugged in Mexico). We saw ten species, of which we identified seven. My favorite was the "scrub jay on steroids," also known as an azure winged magpie.

While we watched birds, many people watched us. This happens at home, too, and I have to admit, it cracks me up when people gawk up at where we are looking through binoculars to try and figure out what we are looking at. It's just that at home, we are not so much a part of the show.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:35 PM

    I hope they are snapping photos of you two love birds too. lol