The group blog WWAM BAM just published my latest post, The Rural Zhejiang Bird-Watching Club: Finding Unlikely Avian Wonders in My Husband’s Village. Here’s an excerpt:
Years ago, when my husband Jun and I spent some transitional months living in his family’s home in rural Zhejiang province, I once joked that we had inadvertently formed a bird-watching club in the process.
We hadn’t intended to turn a gaze to our avian friends in the vicinity during our transition. But every day when we ventured out for a late afternoon walk through the fields and woodlands in the village, sightings of birds became one of the most delightful surprises during that time, one that introduced me to biodiversity I had never noticed before in previous visits.
A walk beside the meandering stream that cut through the village yielded a most magnificent sighting – the dipper. My heart leapt with excitement the moment I fixed upon that bird, because I knew exactly how special it was. Dippers, which live among fast-moving streams, can “fly” underwater, but are also equally adept when winging through the air. In the US, I had only encountered this bird a few precious times during hikes in national parks out west, cherishing every glimpse like a rare stone on the trail. But here we were, only a 10-minute walk from the door of Jun’s family home, watching a dipper flit along the stream. I felt as if I had just won some kind of bird-watching lottery. Even better, we had the opportunity to see it bobbing up and down while perched on rocks, as if performing a brief but amusing dance for anyone who cared to look.
As I began to turn my eyes toward the avian life around us, I found myself continually rewarded with incredible views, including those of bird varieties I rarely had the opportunity to spot back in Ohio, USA, where I had grown up.
Head on over to WWAM BAM to read the full post. And if you like it, share it!
P.S.: The bird in the featured image is a dipper!