The adventures of a usually solitary birder, walking the line between introversion and extroversion, in the places and spaces of central Florida and beyond. The blog is for birders and non-birders alike. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ll try to answer any questions you have. By the same token, if you see something amiss or want to add anything, comments are open!
There is a difference between being lonely and being alone. Being lonely implies an emptiness and longing – something missing and perhaps hoped for. Being alone means having to rely on yourself and having no one nearby to either help or hinder. I see “alone-ness” as a neutral position, whereas “loneliness” is normally something to avoid altogether.
So why “Lonely Birder”? For a couple of reasons. One, “Alone Birder” sounds a bit odd. Secondly, I’ve learned a lot about myself in my birding excursions. I’ve learned that I am an introvert. That means interacting with people for any extended period of time uses up mental and physical energy for me. It’s not that I dislike people (well, we can get into that, regarding notions of conservation and environmental impacts, later), but I use my “alone” time to recharge and reset, particularly after interacting with people. But I also love to share my love of birds and the natural world, and the excitement I feel. This creates a conflict and a slight sadness: I am unable to fully share my experiences with others because I need that time to myself, in a sense.
I can best express this feeling as a loneliness. I do bird with others from time to time – close friends, festival trips, etc., but my default is always to come back to nature by myself, happy to recharge and refresh, but wistfully wishing I could share it all.
Perhaps this blog bridges the gap, and I hope you find it fun, helpful and above all, honest.
Christopher, Lonely Birder
You may notice that since 2015 I’ve been birding a bit more with companions, and that role as a birding mentor is important to me. This is a direct result of this blog, and I am managing well with them singly or in small groups. But inevitably, I have to have that recharge time by myself to keep going.