Happy Birthday!

This little blog is one year old today! Since I began keeping count, I’ve tallied 134 species of birds, mostly in my upstate field and forest habitat. Montezuma NWR was my only real field trip, and viewing conditions there were far from optimal. We do have to take Will back to Cornell in the fall, though… migration time… And I’d like to visit some coastal areas in the next year. Shore birds, especially the little peeps, have always been a challenge, and I’ve lost whatever skill I used to have ID’ing them.

Taking my birding bag with me everywhere is an ingrained habit now. Now to work on remembering the camera! I missed getting photos of amazing cloud formations yesterday — a supercell thunderstorm to the east. I’m getting better at ‘birding every bird’ — that’s how I saw the Rough-legged Hawk last week. My method of writing a phonetic version of a birdcall in the field, then replaying it from several sources, is working well.

The tools of birdwatching are simple, really. Reference books and websites, adequate optics (though I do want my scope repaired), a community of others who share my interest — that’s really all I need. My eyesight is pretty good, especially for motion-detecting, and my hearing is still adequate at least for the noisier birds. I’m a lot more patient than I was as a younger birder, and more willing to do the hard work. What I don’t have is the ability to travel freely — ah, for the days of two incomes, no kids!

Resolutions: keep on keepin’ on. Post more often. Reach out to the natural world for the strength it gives me. Observe. Report. Love.

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