Tuesday, 14 January 2014

I resolve to have fun bird watching

Since work is un-fun most of the time (interesting, yes.  challenging, yes.  rewarding, yes.  fun - not often), then it stands to reason that by introducing more fun into life, one achieves an appropriate balance of goofy grins vs furrowed brows.

There are a few hobbies - some new, some old - which I resolve to foster this year.  I will be rolling out these fun-filled resolutions each day until the weekend.  

Today, please meet the first hobby, a new hobby: bird watching!

When I was in high school I had a cheeky boyfriend who liked to tease me because I was pretty straight-laced (still am.)  He was a bit of a daredevil; he was a pioneer snowboarder,  he liked to ride his bike off little cliffs etc.  He used to say that my last name translated to "stamp collector" on account of my more tame hobbies.  For the record, I've never collected stamps in my life.  There was a time when I collected ball bearings (I had such a great collection!  So many sizes & colours!), but never stamps.  In fact, I've never really thought of my hobbies as tame… until now.  

I'm sure there are some extreme birders out there, but I'm not one of them.   Since Finley was born I walk a lot.  And while we are walking in the forest, I like to look at all the life around me and I've often wanted to know more about the birds I see.  Knowing that I wanted to start up this hobby, my brother got me a bird book for Christmas: "Birds of Southwestern British Columbia."

My birding partner in crime

So far I have identified two new species while walking along the dyke:

The Common Merganser

The Varied Thrush (I've only seen the male so far)

But there's no denying that the main attraction around here these days is the Bald Eagle.  They come here in droves to feed upon the spawning salmon.  We are, in fact, the Bald Eagle Capital of the World, having counted a record high 3769 in 1994.  This year's count was 1617, a high number which makes sense given it was a big (and stinky) salmon run this year.

About a month ago I counted 40 while out on a walk.  They are everywhere and they are so magnificent to watch.  Sometimes they are perched in trees or on the shore of the river within about 15 ft of where you might be standing.  The juveniles appear enormous on account of their thick plumage.

iPhone shot of an eagle, who was a lot closer than he looks.  I said I was going to look at birds, but no one said anything about developing my wildlife photography skills!

Geez Mom, turn this car around so I can check out those two in the tree! 


  1. Did not remember you had a ball bearing collection!