The thing is to be attentively present.
To sit and wait is as important as to move.
Patience is as valuable as industry.
What is to be known is always there.
When it reveals itself to you, or when you come upon it, it is by chance.
The only condition is your being there and being watchful.
The Long-Legged House *
Let me start by saying that I’m a beginning birder. I know, I know. Every birder I chat with says, “I’ve been at this for 40 years, and I’m a beginner!” Really, though, I’m a beginner. I began documenting the birds I see each day on March 28, 2013 and began photographing birds in June. I expected to learn about birds. I didn’t realize just how much the birds would teach me. Now it’s time to chronicle this journey. Come. Join me. I’d love some company on my adventure.
I believe I need to update this page. It’s now the beginning of December, 2013. I’ve been on this journey for eight months. I am so totally hooked it’s ridiculous. Every Saturday and Sunday, I get up even EARLIER than on work days in order to trek to a wildlife refuge or park to learn more about birds. In the summer, I fell in love with Indigo Buntings, Yellow-Breasted Chats, and Tanagers (Scarlet and Summer). This fall, I fell in love with the Warblers – even the ‘Confusing Fall Warblers’. Right now, I’m trying to learn all the ducks and waterfowl that migrate to the Chesapeake Bay region. I recently passed 150 birds on my life list. The adventure continues. Thanks to those who have joined me here, and I look forward to ‘meeting’ many more like-minded adventurers.
Hmm… it’s now June, 2014. I’m still crazily passionate about birding. My life list is at 209, my list for 2014 is at 182. Recently, I bought a 150-500mm zoom lens, and I’m learning to use that lens to get better close-up shots of the birds. Plus, I’m slowly learning to I.D. the birds by ear. While I keep my ‘lists’, I don’t want that to drive my birding. I want to learn about the birds in the context of their habitat. So I’m also learning a lot about the trees and other plants, about the animals and insets, and about the various ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic area. And of course, I’m learning so much about myself in the process. The adventure continues!
Ok, so now I’m a bird junkie. It’s September, 2014. In the last year, I’ve traveled on a moment’s notice to see any number of birds. Some of these forays were successful – the Snowy Owl at Havre de Grace, the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron at Sligo Creek, the juvenile White Ibis at Wooten’s Landing. On others I missed the targeted bird – a Sandhill Crane in southern Pennsylvania, the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher at Fort Smallwood – but still had a grand adventure. There is no more enjoyable way to spend the day than to get up before dawn and spend the entire day traipsing along in the great outdoors looking for birds.
* I want to thank babsje for using this quote in her blog. I loved it so much that I ‘borrowed’ it for mine! See her post at: