Monday, August 11, 2008
the introverted bird watcher leaves his comfort zone
I never understood why folk would bird watch in a group. I have had some birding buddies over the years, but I would hazard that 90% of my birding time has been solitary. I have known of a birding group for ten years. My resolution.... be brave... join a group.
Sunday I heard thunder for what seemed to be 8 straight hours so it was a grand thing that the group met on Saturday, which was the coolest morn we have seen in a long time. One wrong turn and a need to fuel up the car got me to the Peace Valley Nature Center over by Doylestown, just on time--- I didn't need to do small talk!
1. these folk know their birds by sight and call.
2. these folk are friendly
The list of birds seen while not huge, was decent, but let me say that it was the blue-gray gnatcatcher (photo found at flickr) that made my day. My general lack of birding means it has been years since I have seen some common birds and this would be an example. They are a bit bluer, but are kind of like a miniature mockingbird.
but this is what lingers for the day...
1. a group of children showed up with their moms and the leader of the walk adapted. He lowered the legs on his spotting scope and called the children to see amazing closeups of kingbirds , herons, ducks.... The man was truly sad that the local bald eagles were missing for the day. His willingness to welcome the children come along will create love of birds. We need more of this kind of action, and I am also glad that none got between his kind actions and the children.... I am sure this is ringing bells out there.
2. I chickened out of the coffee hour after the walk... OK, so the birthday resolution may not yet be fulfilled for the goal was to meet people and who knows maybe make a friend or two. I did chat a bit as we walked, but maybe next time I will get there a moment early and stay for some conversation afterwards since birding is not really a talking event in my eyes, even if you are part of a group.