March, 23rd 2013
Most people feel nothing when they passed this day. But not for me, March 23rd is my 2nd most important day of this month, and maybe in the big 10 for the year, while the first is March 14th, my birthday (which is also the day when Crocker lost Wanda and Cosmo and when Eugene Krab almost been fried by Neptune). It was the day when, 4 years ago, for the very first time i saw a bird through a binocular. Therefore, March 23rd is my annual birdwatching celebration, the day when i evaluate all my birding progress–lifer, annual list, rarities, everything.
Usually, at March 22nd night i sit on my bench and open up some birding galleries, notes, or field guide only to resurrecting my memories about my birding day. It can last for hours, or maybe the whole night, when i dive too deep in many sweet memories of my birding life. At the end, i will wake up with a whole new spirit, gratefully pride that i found this path as the member of those peoples who called themselves as ‘the birdwatcher’.
I still remember that day when i saw a black-headed greyish bird on a beautiful limestone hill–Sooty-headed Bulbul, not a very special bird, but this is the first ever bird i saw through a binocular. I was on a high limestone hill of Kulonprogo with some more senior birdwatcher (most of them are professional birders now :D) and they help me a lot to locate the birds which really hard for an amateur like me. They told me the principal of birdwatching and why this time-and-money-wasting activity have a really big interest for those people around the world. That time, i didn’t know that i would be one of those people and my life will never be the same!
I joined some other birdwatching event, again and again, until i realized that i got too addicted! My eyes can’t stop moving every time i feel a movement around the trees, my sensitivity to surroundings went better and better. I can’t stop it, neither start it, it appears suddenly and i never know how. But i really enjoy it, just like a food with mayonnaise, you just eat it joyfully without ever think that it’s a fermented chicken’s period!
So the binocular is like a gate of faith, which open up every time we stick our eyes on its eyepiece and show a whole new magical world. Every bird feather, every bird movement, every beautiful pattern, this item is like a magical bridge to see something from different point of view–and yet, it’s the icon of birdwatching. It’s a gate where i started everything, and shaping my boring world to be a new adventurous one.
Just like Sherina said in his old song ‘Lihatlah Lebih Dekat’; see it closer, and you’ll understand. Binocular helps me to see closer, and i understand that there are a magical world, around us, on the magical being called birds: the king of the sky.
I see it closer, and i still learn to understand.
While binocular is a gate of the magical castle, friends are the bridge to cross the moat. It was friends who invited and pushed me to this world. I will never cross this magical castle from my ordinary land if my friends never told me to do so.
And all my thanks goes to mas Azat, ‘the one who start it all’. He is the one who invited me to a birdwatching trip 4 years ago. I met him in a biology olimpiade at Atma Jaya University where he took care of Kutilang Birdwatching Club’s stand. 2 weeks later, he invited me to Jogja BirdWalk, a monthly birdwatching event from Jogja Birdwatcher Community in Sukomoyo Village, Kulonprogo–and i couldn’t say no. He paid me the trip, and brought me back to my home at the middle of night. Without him, i will never know where, why and how to start birding.
Many thanks also for my best teacher ever, Berniardus ‘Maswa’ Setyawan, who taught me many thing about bird identification in my early stage of birdwatching. We spent our day at Alas Tekek, a very beautiful place on nothern slope of Mt Merapi, watching for the legendarious Javan Hawk Eagle’s nest with many birds around, and he taught me many things about it. I learned many many things from him.
Many thanks also for several other birdwatcher who i considered as the best friend ever: Bintang R. Randa as my best partner and hardest rival at one time, Boas and Khaleb who taught me many things and protested me every time i make a fault, Mas Imam who always give me spirit and knowledge, Jens Ole Byskov for his generousity at our trip around Java’s important bird area, Pak Ige, Mas Ady, Mas Iwan Londo, Mbak Noni, Mbak Sitta, Mbak Alifi, Mas Jarot, Tata, Antok, Mas Asman, Pak Bas, Wayne Hsu and many other friends that i can’t write their name one by one.
I would like to say thanks for everyone who made the last 4 years to be the best time i have ever had. This will not happen without you, guys!
So for the next week, i will write many things about my 4th year adventure in this magical world of birdwatching. I will write about my funny story, my best birding day, my most favourite birding spot, my best lifer, and some other things that remind me everything that i got and i did for the last 4 years. I hope you guys can enjoy my post, and i hope i will never stop birdwatching for this year, next year, and forever! Can’t wait for the next lifer! 😀
“See it closer, and you’ll understand”
4 years, 338 lifers and still going on..