Monday, August 11, 2008

the introverted bird watcher leaves his comfort zone

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Originally uploaded by NatureShutterbug
a few posts back while reflecting on my 45th birthday, I said that I had made a birthday resolution. with 350 plus days to go... I accomplished it, well kind of.

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!

OK advantages---

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.


  1. The thunder of Saturday sounds like it was awesome. I'm watching an approaching storm in Denver now...

    After a weekend of extroverting (ironically with a bunch of introverts), I'm enjoying a day of traveling and people watching. I was greatly relieved to find no one I knew from the conference on my flight!

  2. Michelle--- as an introvert let me tell you what we think when we sit in meetings.... "can't these people stop and think at least once before they speak."

  3. Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog. I have read a number of your posts today and like what you write about everyday life and your spiritual journey. I have never gone birding with a group. There don't seem to be any in our area. I don't mind going out alone or with one quiet person :-)

  4. I used to go birding with groups all the time -- that's how I learned. But what a LONG time ago that was!

  5. Ruth-- thanks for coming over this way. I had a hiking buddy years ago who was as good at seeing amphibians and reptiles as I was at seeing birds... we made a good team.

    GG-- It was a nice refresher on Saturday for this rusty birder.

  6. I have never been birdwatching in a group but I can understand your preference for a solitary walk. It's good that you tried the group, though!

  7. How laudible to stretch your borders (or in your case, wings!) Now....give yourself a break and be comfortable with who you truly are meant to be.... In the words of a dear friend of mine, who said to me when I once again lamented about my failure to change an old habit..."When will you come to terms with yourself?!" We all are a work in progress...

  8. Kievas-- I do believe I will not do the group thing very often...

    Giggles--- the goal was to meet new folk, which is why staying for coffee would have been a good thing.


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