Posted in Atlantic Canada Birding

I have a long way to go before I earn a new camera – and the end of FB for this little bird nerd

I have a long way to go before I earn a new camera – and the end of FB for this little bird nerd Posted on December 28, 2015

I finally quit Facebook altogether.  I was only hanging on to it to communicate with birders (I unfriended everyone 2 years ago but kept the account for communication) but personally I find FB to be antisocial, not social.  And I have very little patience for people who don’t even know one another squabbling about things that upset me online so have finally rid myself of it in the name of my sanity.  If I stayed on one more day I was going to start to hate birding.  Although many people love FB, I do not and I gotta be me.  Anyway, in case you wonder where I went there you have it.  Mark Zuckerberg created that thing for a different type of personality than mine, clearly.

Anyway, I will continue to meet birders (and yes call me a hypocrite if you like as  I met a few through FB…LOL), go to NSBS meetings in person, and watch and study birds.  If we have met or communicated about birds in the past and you want to plan a cool Nova Scotia birdie daytrip or a quick jaunt around the birdie hood please do not hesitate to reach out.  It is my goal to continue to learn from people in the field and share any knowledge I have as well.  We have a lot of cool birders here in this province – and a lot of cool birds.

A few weeks ago I went with 3 other wonderful nature lovers on a day trip to CSI (Cape Sable Island) to see if we could find the Mountain Bluebirds who have been hanging around.  None of us on that trip were particularly twitchy people so we were prepared not to find anything.  We were however treated to a biscuit coloured juvenile Glaucous Gull and a Dovekie in addition to our lovely little Bluebirds.  Mark Dennis volunteered as our tour guide for the day and was the perfect host to the area and made our day extra special.
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csi-mark-paul-mimi-diane-dec-14 019


In the Spring I’d like to get a few carloads of people together and do it again!  Who’s in?

And a few weeks before the CSI trip Tony and Angie Millard were kind enough to take me to Sober Island (just past Sheet Harbour) for the day which was a definite highlight of my first year in birding.  PS – great spot on that Veery Tony!

I learned a lot from Marian Kemp while she was in Nova Scotia too.  So I guess I have a natural affinity for British birders  🙂

Marian Kemp on the High Head Trail - Prospect, NS
Marian Kemp on the High Head Trail – Prospect, NS

Today is December 28th.  Looks like I will end 2015 with 175 Nova Scotia lifers.  This is respectable for a first year although honestly I had hoped for 200.

But more than ticking off numbers, bird behavior is what interests me and bird study.  I sure have a long way to go before I earn a new camera by my standards.  Taking nice photos is always a bonus when birding.  There are not many birders who do not think so.  Not too many years ago we had to shoot the birds with a gun to make a proper ID.  Now we can shoot them with a camera.  Aside from the ID abilities that a camera provides, who doesn’t love a great photo?

Back to learning though I have many years ahead of me to learn about the birds.  There is so much to know.  Molt for example.  Sigh…

As well my sweet little Canon PowerShot SX50 HS “bridge” camera has a plethora of wonderful manual settings and I have not mastered one.  I heard a little rumor that the NSBS might be doing a photography workshop in the New Year which would be wonderful!  As well at some point I could in fact just go spend a few days practicing on everyday birds and subjects.

When I have mastered what I believe to be an acceptable personal amount of knowledge of both my camera and our local birds, I will look at investing in a DSLR.  I’m in no rush just enjoying the ride.

My latest birdie puzzle was to distinguish the female Gadwalls from the female Mallards.  Sounds easy perhaps but look at them and see what you think for yourself.
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female Mallard
female Mallard

Things like this will keep me busy for some time to come I would imagine, and they are not even rare birds.

I have a tremendous thirst for knowledge regarding the birds and their behavior it seems.  Had I spent my earlier years more wisely (that’s a book not a blog post) perhaps I would be an ornithologist now, alas I’m a just a poor sales rep who loves nature.  Although some think I am rich to have the freedom not to work 9-5 and travel to such wonderful places.  I know I certainly do.

Education and conservancy are definitely on my mind for the future.  But for this winter I will focus on reading the 4 bird books I’ve chosen to get prepared for spring.

Because as much as I enjoy reading and winter birding (my winter list sits at 58 today), let’s be honest – we are all dreaming of warblers aren’t we.

Iceland Gulls on a Stormy seawatch with David Currie and a gang of birders - Dec. 16, 2015
Iceland Gulls photographed by me on a stormy seawatch with a gang of birders at Hartlen Point (led by David Currie) – Dec. 16, 2015

PS – if you want to get outside this winter and learn about some winter birds and their habitat the NSBS has several great field trips coming up:

Fleece is sexy right?

Happy Birding and Happy New Year all the best for 2016  and please enjoy the birds however you love best!