Thursday, 29 March 2012

Top 10 Observations From the Past Few Days

1.  Not everyone thinks you're a Peeping Tom, while Birding in residential Neighbourhoods.  The past few days I have been greeted by lots of friendly people just checking to see if I was okay, lost, my car broke down, if I could use a ride, if I was looking for a Bobcat, enquiring as to what bird I was looking for, without once being accused of unsavoury business in their neighbourhood.

2. Those damn birds just won't cooperate and be where I am.

3. Why would you report on E-birds to every E-bird follower on the Internet that there is a Cinnamon Teal in a gated community into which you cannot enter without the permission of a resident?

4. You meet the nicest people while out and about.  Last night I met a gentleman from England, and his son, who was out on his second day ever of birding with his dad.  We talked for about 25 minutes,(dad timed it), and he encouraged me to stay until dusk to hear the Whip-poor-will.

5. Rules are not set in stone.  I had not recorded a Boreal Chickadee earlier in the year, as I had never seen or heard one on my own prior to the day someone pointed out the sound.  However, in the case of the Whip-poor-will, even though I have never seen one, I have heard them call in the past and the call was unmistakable and identifiable.

6.  Always take the advice of a local birder when they tell you where the good spots are.  I stayed until dusk at Weekiwachee Preserve and counted bird number 236 for 2012

7.  Nothin' wrong with those Chicken McBites and a frozen raspberry lemonade as an afternoon snack while sitting in a McDonald's parking lot, using their free Wi-Fi.  After all, nothing in life is free, so might as well give them a bit of business in thanks for their Internet.

8.  You never know what you'll see when out looking for a bird.  A couple of days ago, I spotted no new birds, but had I been doing a Big Butterfly Year, I'd have had a Big Butterfly Day with at least a dozen species.  If I was doing a Big Pair of Shoes on Electrical Wires Year, I'd have counted more than a dozen pair of shoes on wires in the last week.

9. If you don't get the bird you're looking for, sometimes you get a nice alternative bird, as I got great photos yesterday of Mottled Ducks.  I had seen them, but had very far away photos of them in February.

10. Life is good when the worst part of your day was not seeing a Cinnamon Teal, a bird name that sounds more like a nice dessert or, say, a girly cocktail.  Neither of which I would turn down after a long day of bird chasing.

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