We birders spend a lot of time looking up – but my advice to a new birder would be to look up even more. And it’s so much more worthwhile than in the old days. There are more raptors up there.
I was in the bath a while ago and a shadow of an unseen, but large, bird passed across the window. It could, I thought, only have been a Red Kite, flying that low and being that big. And I had to check but the drenched bathroom floor was worth it for a sight of a gorgeous Red Kite over the back garden. A fairly common sight these days but none the less attractive for all that.
What a lot of raptors you might say! But, not really.
Compared with the raptor numbers (both species and individuals) that can commonly be seen in many parts of Europe we still have a long way to go. These aren’t plagues of raptors – they are recoveries.
So, look up, and enjoy them as a sign of conservation progress.
There’s another aspect of looking up – it means you are holding your head high. And that’s what nature conservationists, particularly the RSPB, can do about their successes over the years.