Fiction logo

The birdwatcher

by SondJam 5 months ago in Short Story
Report Story

story

Since spring, the rain in Jiangnan has become more frequent, and Huang Huigang's heart is also wet and cold. It is the time for the birds to make their nests, and Huigang is worried that the continuous rain will drench the birds' new homes and affect their reproduction.

Huigang is a teacher at Beijiao Central Primary School in Jiangyin City, teaching language and physical education, and also acting as the chief counselor of the Young Pioneers. Huigang's business ability is well known, and the school girls' basketball team he coached won the city championship, and the school squadron he created won the title of "advanced collective" issued by the central committee of the league. But what made Huigang "out of the loop" was his hobby. Huigang likes photography, and his photography has a constant theme, that is, a thousand kinds of birds.

Huigang's hometown is in Beijiao, which is located in the eastern township of Jiangyin and is a vast watery country. There is a lot of water, the environment is naturally good, a good environment, a variety of birds will be more up. Huigang's hometown of Huangjia Wei surrounded by water, only a small bridge to communicate with the outside world, in front of his house is a river, behind the house is a proliferation of bamboo forest. Huigang saw the most as a child, is the river waterfowl and bamboo forest chattering birds. Huigang said that when the cuckoo bird called, his childhood came back.

In the 1980s, Huigang graduated from teacher training and took the podium of Beijiao Central Primary School. When Huigang was not teaching, he would follow the sound of birds on the campus and use his camera to take pictures of them. In his eyes, these birds are noble and extraordinary, and each of them is a lovely spirit.

Decades have passed, and Huigang's "bird watching business" has taken off. The computer stores the results of his recent years: unusual gray starlings, swallows, herons, rare white ridge plume, brown-backed Burrower, spotted dog, endangered black-winged long-legged sandpiper, water pheasant, etc., a wide range of birds, all occupy a place in his lens. Huigang said that there are hundreds of species of native birds in Beijiao, and there are at least 60 to 70 species of birds that he has left "jade photos" by his hands. In order to help these birds leave a beautiful and characteristic image, Huigang has suffered a lot. All the fields, foothills and water, where the birds go, Huigang's footprints to where. He said, bird photography can not only equipment theory, an ordinary camera, a telephoto lens, a tripod, a set of camouflage clothing, plus a love of birds, know birds, pity birds of the heart, is sufficient.

There is a camphor forest at the foot of Fragrant Hill, tall and sturdy, staggered branches, looking at a lush. Once Huigang looking for birds through this place, see the camphor forest perched with large and small herons, some white, some gray, or in the canopy over the low flying, or jumping in the camphor branches, flash exhibition, like a wisp of cloud in the dance. Huigang found a piece of high ground, pick up the camera a sweep, he regretted that the photos out too "water", lack of meaning and impact.

After returning home, Huigang found a few boards of moderate width and cut them into dozens of pedals, each about one crusher long. A few days later, Huigang picked up his camera, carrying a bag full of pedals, and came to the camphor forest again. He found one of the highest camphor trees and started from its lower half, fixing a pedal to the tree every 10 centimeters or so, fixing one, then stepping on one, and then fixing another to the side of the tree. Pedals staggered upward, finally reached the highest fork of the camphor tree. Huigang breathed a sigh of relief and sat on his buttocks, the movement of herons around the tree, as far as the eye could see. Since occupying the high point of the camphor forest and turning himself into a heron, he took photos of herons with different postures and a kind of indescribable charm.

After all, 80 kilograms of people, every time climbing trees, Huigang always feel back pain, not to mention the unexpected things that happen. Once following a pair of egrets, from courtship nesting to hatching and brooding, Huigang was concentrating on it, when suddenly "snap", a large snake fell from the sky, he was scared. After this, Huigang spent money to build a bird-watching tower in the camphor forest. Bird watching tower with metal scaffolding, more than 10 meters high, weighing thousands of pounds, the highest level of the tower is a two-square-meter platform, far above the top of the trees, surrounded by a dense black net, each side of the net are open two small holes, used to place the camera lens, the lens below the home of herons. After the bird-watching tower was built, Huigang would climb up to the top platform between 5 and 8 in the morning and between 4 and 7 in the evening, and stay there for a few hours with his waist down. After that, with nearly zero distance shooting, the herons under Huigang's lens now have a different style, and the picture of two parents taking turns to nurture their offspring is especially touching.

While the bird-watching tower was built in the middle of the camphor forest, the bird-watching pavilion was built at the water's edge of the lotus root pond. Lotus root pond is a pond in the northeast of the old street of Chiban, the area is not small, about 120 acres, the pond is planted with patches of lotus roots, the pond side reeds are confused, reeds swaying. Every spring, the vast lotus root pond not only attracts a large number of native birds such as magpies, turtledoves, white-headed wrens and black water fowl, but also becomes a "refueling station" for many migratory birds such as ruddy ducks, bobwhites and water pheasants. They feed and rest here, replenishing their nutrition and saving their energy for the long journey.

The bird-watching pavilion was built by Chiban Village. A group of people from the village committee, infected by the beneficiary just, invested 150,000 yuan to build such a more than 10 meters high, an area of more than 30 square meters of double bird-watching pavilion at the root of the pond. The bird-watching pavilion integrates bird-watching, science popularization and environmental education, beautifies the environment and enhances the level of local new rural construction. Over the years, under the initiative of Huigang, the school has established the Junior Academy of Science, starting from bird study and environmental education, integrating bird love and care into the pioneer team activity system, carrying out ecological education and creating a green campus. Students follow Huigang to watch and photograph birds and listen to the heartbeat of nature. They also take to the streets on holidays to promote bird knowledge, popularize wildlife protection laws and regulations, and become little angels who love and protect birds.

Every year in the spring, Huigang will say goodbye to the car, open the battery car, in order not to disturb the quiet life of birds. The day was clear, Huigang took the "Academy of Sciences" to the lotus root pond, where they want to conduct a new round of bird surveys - now the lotus root pond has become the "Academy of Sciences" off-campus practice The base. The students were either holding cameras or binoculars, some looking at the water, some climbing up to watch. The environment in my hometown is getting better and better, and there are more and more birds in the northern tributaries. This year, there are more birds in the lotus root pond than in previous years, and there are more than 100 blackwater chickens, so it is a paradise for blackwater chickens.

When I was at home, I got a call from Huigang saying that there was a flock of black-winged long-legged sandpipers visiting the pond in the morning and counted 14 of them. The long-legged sandpiper is a migratory bird with a black back and white belly, long red feet and a tall body. Huigang said on the phone that long-legged sandpipers usually only stay at the "gas station" for a few hours, so we went there quickly.

So we hit the road with our friend. When we arrived at the root pond, the long-footed snipe had not yet departed, so Huigang told us to slow down, saying that the long-footed snipe were timid and not to disturb them. We stopped about 10 meters from the pond, raised our binoculars and watched carefully. We saw the long-legged sandpipers in a pagoda-shaped line, wading with their feet in the water, looking down for food, then raising their heads and pacing slowly in the water, as if they were a beautiful set of pentameters. We greedily admired, Huigang was on the side of the shutter kept pressing. After about ten minutes, the lead snipe suddenly shrugged its shoulders and stamped out a splash in the water with its two feet, followed by two black arcs that flashed by, and before we knew it, the snipe chirped and flew up into the blue sky. The other long-legged sandpipers followed suit and flew high on their wings.

We stood in awe at the edge of the pond, watching the long-legged sandpipers return. At first, the long-legged sandpipers did not fly very fast, and only hovered over the pond. They flapped their wings frequently and stretched their feet straight back, writing a beautiful poem in the air with their smooth posture; slowly, the long-legged sandpiper accelerated its flight, flying higher and higher, farther and farther away, and soon faded out of our sight, turning into a string of tiny dots that melted into the blue and gradually faded away at the end of the world.

Short Story

About the author

SondJam

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.