Saturday, October 10, 2009

Birding - You can do it anywhere!

Thanks to a loan from our friend Paul Baicich, Warren has been reading Joseph Hickey's 1943 classic, A Guide to Birdwatching, which manages to be engaging, informative and quaint (in the good sense of that word) all at once.

He came across this oh-so-true sentence early in the book:

To the ornithologist, no corner of the earth is dull, no season is without its compensations.

One of the things that we like about birding (besides the fact that it's calorie-free, legal and just plain fun), is that you can do it anywhere. Well, just about anywhere. And even if you have just a few spare moments on your hands in some unexpected corner of the planet.

Birdcouple's been on the move a fair bit lately. Warren was up in New York in late September for the annual United Nations meetings, and then he met the Princess at Trenton, N.J., train station, where BC headed for the Appalachian Trail and a lovely, if wet, two-day hike. Then it was back to Annapolis and, unexpectedly, Warren was off to Geneva to cover some high-stakes nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

Yes, he packed his bins and 35-year-old Hamlyn Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe. Yes, he took a lovely 90-minute walk around the shore of Lake Geneva early one morning. Yes, he saw a lot of birds, all common Eurasian species. And yes, there were two lifers: Great-Crested Grebe and Carrion Crow.

Driving to the grocery store, taking the Metro to work, looking out your back window, grabbing a few spare minutes in a far-off city - birding, you can do it anywhere.


John B. said...

At night the Trenton station features a large contingent of roosting crows. The last time I was there, I estimated around 1,000, but it could easily be more. They roost in the trees on either side of the train tracks. You can indeed bird anywhere, even at night.

Grant McCreary said...

So true! That's one (of the many!) great things that I've come to enjoy about birding.

Hickey's book is full of great stuff like that. I keep feeling like I rated that book too low. I need to revisit it...

By the way, thanks for the link!