Lonely Defined

What does it mean to be a lonely birder? The answer is a bit different than you might expect.

I started birding as an escape from certain aspects of my senior year of high school. I’m an introvert by nature, and birding offered me a pleasant and quiet way to enjoy nature and process my life at the time. Once I started college and then grad school, and then work life, I was with people all the time. Family, professors, class mates, students, work mates…

For me being alone while birding is the default. I don’t mind outing with others. I had a fabulous time at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. But my “birding core” is birding alone. It’s part spiritual retreat, part personal quest.

The side effect of this is that there are things you can see and behaviors you observe that you just might miss in a comparatively noisy group. I have some stories along those lines for future posts.

I’m a lonely birder. Sometimes that does make me a bit sad, but if I might take Gotye’s lyrics a bit out of context, “you can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness.” Sweet melancholy, I think the romantics called it.

What do you mean, the one without the Gannet? They’ve all got the Gannet!

My new birding friend, Laura Erickson took some fabulous photographs while on the pelagic birding field trip at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival last week. Here’s her blog page for her Northern Gannet photographs. Here’s a teaser… follow the link above for the blog post (and the rest of her blog is fabulous).

image

Photograph is © 2013 Laura Erickson.

What do you mean, the one without the Gannet? They’ve all got the Gannet!

You have to start somewhere

In this case, I need to restart. As a birder, it’s been a growing source of consternation that I’ve not been able to get back to any regular semblance of birding. I used this year’s Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival to kick things off and get a fresh start. I’ll kick off this blog (whose permanence is yet to be established) with my preliminary bird count (species) this year:

96 so far. I can enumerate them later.

Cheers, big ears.

(I originally miscounted 88)