Monday, November 17, 2014

Guandu Nature Park (關渡自然公園) [Taiwan Day 442: Through the Looking Glass - Nov. 16, 2014]


I’m back in Taipei after my exciting trip in Tainan.  I got so tired after visiting many historical places in two days that I needed a place to relax.  I want a place that is so natural that all I have to do is to appreciate its beauty.  Guandu Nature Park!  It was an excellent choice for this kind of travel adventure.  


The gate of Guandu Nature Park



To get to this place, I boarded the MRT to Guandu Station and then walked to the park’s entrance.  The entrance ticket costs only NTD 30.  It was a student ticket and it was very cheap.   Guandu Nature Park has a total land area of 57 hectares and is owned by the Taipei City Government.  However, it is managed by a non-government organization called the Wild Bird Society of Taipei.  The place started as the Guandu Waterbird Refuge and many species of birds can be seen here. 



My 8x40 binoculars

Nature lovers especially birdwatching enthusiast come here to see the wide variety of migratory birds doing a stopover in their flight.  Bringing a pair of binoculars is a must if you want to enjoy this place.  To see the fowls, I bought an 8x40 binoculars which I bought from one of the stores in Guanghua Digital Plaza (光華數位新天地).


The staircase of the bird-watching cabins have footprints of birds as if they have been here and went inside.
 
There is a screen on the window ...

... but you can have moved to the side.


Guandu Nature Park has birdwatching cabins and it was my first time to enter such structure.  It was a bit dark inside and there were many small rectangular windows.  The cabins were built to ensure that the birds don’t get disturbed while watching them.  If they do get disturbed, they will fly away and it will ruin anyone's birdwatching experience. 



I was able to get a nice view of a white bird while looking for food in a shallow river.  It was fun to watch the bird with my binoculars.  My new toy magnified the image eight times and it gave a bright image of the object of my interest.  I also took a lot of photos of myself while using my binoculars.  Haha! It was my part of my publicity materials for this Taiwan Day Adventure.   




The eyepiece/ocular lens of the binoculars in the Nature Center

The target location: a lake

... with birds of course!



I went to the 2nd Floor of the Nature Center and there were more powerful binoculars mounted on a tripod.  I tried one and the image was better.  If I remember correctly, the binoculars there were 12x60 and I can see a cross-hair while viewing.  A bird guidebook was also attached to the tripod. This is to help the viewer identify what kind of bird he or she is watching.







In the novel by Lewis Carroll, Alice went to a fantasy world in ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and on Taiwan Day 442 it was my turn to visit a wonderland.  A wonderland of nature!  To get to the unforgettable world, Alice passed through a mirror while I used a pair of binoculars.  It's basically a pair of glasses that uses a prism that functions as a mirror to pass the image captured by the objective lens to the eyepiece.  The wonderland was in front of my very eyes through the looking glass.

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Guandu Nature Park (關渡自然公園)
Address: No. 55, GuanDu Road, Beitou District, Taipei City, 112
[Google Map]


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