Posted in Atlantic Canada Birding

on Nelson, and birds as a lifestyle

on Nelson, and birds as a lifestyle Posted on January 18, 2016

Kate Steele is always mentioning birding as a lifestyle. She may not have coined the phrase, but I heard it from her first and I love it.

Recently I figured out that for almost 14 years, Nelson was my lifestyle. I miss him every single day he was the great love of my life and will never be replaced.

Nelson after a bath summer of 2014
Nelson after a bath summer of 2014

The first few days after he was gone I couldn’t even look at other dogs. They seemed like a creature I could never feel for again. Time of course is a wonderful thing in some ways and slowly and surely I’m warming up to the canine world day by day. They are starting to sense it and running up for pets when I’m out in parks and at beaches.

Birding is my recent lifestyle as of just about a year now, and for some of it I was lucky enough to incorporate my old bird dog into it for about 6 months before he passed.

It will not be at least until late summer to early fall that I get another dog and believe me it has crossed my mind that it will be nice to have a young dog to go with me on deep woods adventures birding. A friend told me the other night she believed that Nelson would want me to make a home for a new rescue dog, and not to be without a dog in my home. I am just not ready, but it will come.

Anyway, of birding as a lifestyle I work it into everyday if I am able, if only for 15 minutes.

About a week and a half ago I got a tip there was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet hanging around Brookdale Crescent and even though that is only about 15 minutes from my house I haven’t been able to make a case to get over there in the morning to check it out. Work calls of course, and I try not to drive to far off my destined path to see the birds. Everyone birds differently but this approach works very well for me.

This morning I had a doctor’s appointment in that area so of course I dropped into Brookdale briefly and found the Kinglet as promised (thank you very much Clarence Stevens for the tip) just where it was supposed to be. EBird counts my lifers so I happen to know this was NS Lifer 177 which is nice as 7 is such a cool number and I’ve been hoping for a Ruby-crowned Kinglet for some time now.

As promised those little devils are the fastest moving bird I’ve ever seen so my photos are barely passable but I can ID my little friend from my shots.

Song Sparrows are much more obliging in the photo department, and once I start working on more my actual photography skills I’ll bet they will be a common subject.

Song Sparrow Jan 18, 2016
Song Sparrow Jan 18, 2016

When I woke this morning I knew it would be a birdie day as the Cedar hedge was alive with Goldfinch, and it’s not the case every day so I also made a quick stop on the way home at the shore and the Long-tailed Ducks were flying around like crazy.

The one new camera setting I’ve tried other than Auto is the Sports setting, so tried some flight shots. They are blurry but all things in good time a study of many birds in flight will be required to find the proper camera settings for each one.


I found a wonderful beginner’s photography tutorial a little while ago on YouTube you may want to check out btw:

Photography Tutorial: ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed

And it was a birdie day indeed, because my female Northern Cardinal was in my backyard when I got home and I had not seen her for about a week and a half.

Busy week ahead with work and was sick on the weekend so it was really nice to have a little birdie time handed to me by mother nature today.