[Tweeters] Thoughts about birding (kind of long)

Gene Bullock bullockg at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 14 17:30:20 PST 2005

[Tweeters] Trumpeter Swan at JBPRe: Thoughts on birding.
I've been to the birding festivals in Harlingen and McAllen. I've been on birding caravans all over Mexico and Belize. I've been to many of the country's famous birding sites during the most popular birding seasons. All I can say is there are lots of different reasons to bird and lots of different birding styles. Unfortunatley, serious anlytical and "social" birding styles don't mix. My wife birds becaause she enjoys the company of people who share her love of birds. She doesn't care a whit about amassing technical knowlege or showing off her skills, although she's actually pretty good. I wouldn't mind showing off a little, but my vision is so impaired I'll never be a competitor, so I go simply to enjoy. Many birders complain about groups and crowds. I have found that the more pairs of eyes the more birds I get to see, because I can't see them well on my own. I've also found that during big fallouts at places like Pt . Pelee, High Island and Mt. Auburn Cemetary in Cambridge, the birds soon get so accustomed to people they are less furtive and easier to see. What's more, as soon as someone spots an exceptional bird the word quickly spreads. As a result, more of us get to see it. I have staked out birds and sent runners to bring others to see it. My greatest pleasure is sharing great scope views with bystanders. I quit listing when I reached the point where it became too expensive to add to my list. After 650 or so you have all the easy ones. After that you have to fly to Barrows or Nome or hire a local guide. Nice if you can afford it, but no longer my objective. I enjoy sharing the experience. I enjoy seeing beginners get excited about seeing their first Harlequin or Wood Duck. I have no quarrel with those who prefer to be by themselves, but that isn't why I bird. To me, it's not as much fun to dance by myself.
Gene Bullock
Poulsbo WA
bullockg at earthlink.net

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