I think we all know that no matter how difficult the circumstances are there is always a silver lining somewhere.
With the world gone mad I started to focus my attention to birding sites near home. I got to be more thorough in my immediate surroundings. My lists for Bangkok and Chonburi i.e. grew substantially. I did manage a couple of longer trips when restrictions were let up a little.
That made me grateful for the things that sometimes have grown too familiar.
Then something inside of me told me to turn my focus towards butterflies. I have seen almost 900 species of the birds in Thailand, photographed almost 800 and recorded the sounds of many hundreds. Meaning that newness is harder to come about. But butterflies I know next to nothing about except that they are very attractive in an artistic way. I have from time to time taken the odd image but was intimidated by the lack of knowledge on my own part and simply brushed it aside as too much of a mountain to climb also having felt that the birds were challenging enough.
Then I got my hands on a monumental Butterfly Guide of Thailand of about 1000 pages. I looked at it but again was massively intimidated. Ha! So, it set for the shelf for a year collecting dust.
Well, the pure beauty and variety of the butterflies started to grow on me and I started to set aside time for the butterflies after a couple of hours birding in the early morning. Butts like to be active a little later when the sun is out and it is warmer.
Along with that I discovered www.norththailandbirding.com to be a wealth of information and with the generous help of Dave Sergeant I started to grow a collection of images. Mind you, identifying these things is almost a nightmare at times. I would say at my stage considerably more difficult than birds.
So, at this point, I am very happy that I have been able to focus more on the butterflies, to expand my repertoire and versatility.
I like keeping lists but I also enjoy the sheer beauty and intricacy of the patterns on the butterflies. Also reading up on the biology and life stages of butterflies is simply fascinating. A great site is found here
So, all this to say, I am still very much interested in birds and always will be but for the time being the butterflies offer a lot more in terms of newness. Once the borders are opening up and it is possible to travel again things will need to be readjusted but I know the butterflies will have much more of an interest for me no matter where I go from now on.
Learning about something new and complex like butterflies is a bit like learning a new language. You simple can only learn one word at a time!