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Pledge to Fledge, your chance to fledge a new birdwatcher!

It's Pledge to Fledge time of year again, a great initiative to encourage new potential birdwatchers to find out for themselves what our wonderful birdwatching past-time is all about! The idea is simple, great fun and best of all, FREE!

Pledge to Fledge China 5

People like you and us who already get so much pleasure from watching birds share our passion with others who maybe haven't tried it before. It could be taking out a group from work on a guided birdwatching walk, or it could be inviting a few friends round to sit down with a cup of tea, a garden birdfeeder and a pair of binoculars. But whatever you choose, all it involves is showing birds to other people and letting the birds do all the work of amazing and astounding by just being birds! If we can make other people aware of the wonderful birds that are all around them just waiting to be watched and enjoyed, there's a chance they'll want to see more, and hey presto, a new birdwatcher has been fledged!

The 'official' Pledge to Fledge weekend is 26th to 28th April but people all over the world have already started their fledging activities. We're really inspired by this story from Philip He in Western China and we're sure you will be too. We'll be running our own Pledge to Fledge morning in North Wales on Sunday 21st April at RSPB Conwy but in the meantime, do read all about this brilliant event in China. We know it'll put a smile on your face, and hopefully encourage you to get fledging! So, over to China.....

Pledge to Fledge China 1

This is Philip He, Western China Ambassdor of Pledge to Fledge and the founder of from Western China. First please allow me here to express my thanks to my teacher Keith Barns. It's him who has guided me into this wonderful world and made me realize the beauty of fledge. Compared with lots of western countries, the birding is still at the budding stage. So we choose to launch our first a Pledge to Fledge Program among the primary school students. We choose a class from the Primary School Affiliated with Sichuan University. Once we decided the date, we talked this to the head teacher of a class who passed this information to the parents. Lot of people got interested. They started buying binoculars for this day and making preparations, mostly out of couriosity. At 8:45 when I first appeared at the meeting points with my spotscope, I was very surprised to see 20 students and 20 plus parents.That is totally beyond my expectation. I only expected 6-7 student coming. They were already there waiting for me.

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Considering the fact that we have so many people about 40 participants, I decided to start from the river side and then walk through Sichuan Unvieristy Campus to see some easy birds.

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After briefing about birding and the rules, we started birding. At the beginning, they got too much excited and just made too much noise. But gradually, when they saw the first bird, Little Egret but could not answer my questions. They became more serious and started observing more closely. Lots of the students got really absorbed after the second bird and could explain more about what they saw. Especially when we saw a Little Grebe fishing in the Lotus Ponds of Sichuan University. They got so excited, when they saw the Little Grebe keeps dipping into the pond to find food. It takes much longer for all of them to see a bird through my only spot scop.

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To make sure they get enough time to see a bird, I always try to find a bird in distance.But the birds are very cooperative. The Crested Myna, Spotted Dove, Eurasian Hoopoe, White-browed Laughingthrush, and Chinese Black Bird.

Crested Myna

Crested Myna, a pretty cool bird!

They seems to understand my difficult situation in satisfying about 40 people for a good view of those birds from my spot scope, they stay in the place long enough or just hop to nearby place where I can easily refind them from my scope. After this 3-hour birding in Sichuan Univeristy Campus, every body are very happy.They told me that they really enjoyed the birding. The photos were taken by Lily during the birding.

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So go on, get fledging and who knows how much fun you could have sharing birds with others!


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