Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tantalizingly Disappointing

That's how I would describe my walk today. I live in a rural part of North Carolina, surrounded by hundreds (thousands?) of acres of trees. In the evenings I like to take walks, sometimes carrying my binoculars with me so I can stop and watch birds along the way. I set out today intending to count species that I saw along the way.

The good news is that I heard a large number of species; it seemed like the birds were extra lively today. But the problem was I couldn't see them. They always seemed to be hidden behind just the right leaves or to fly away just when I found them. I heard the strong thunks and distinct call of a woodpecker that I didn't recognize (turned out I believe it was a Pileated Woodpecker, which I haven't seen yet). The ever-elusive Northern Bobwhite was out and about in force, and I caught a brief glimpse of what I believe was female Wild Turkey.

It was a great day of almost. I hope there's a little less teasing come tomorrow's walk.

P.S. I have a new pair of binoculars on the way. After I get a chance to give them a workout, I'll share my experience with binocular shopping and my thoughts on the binoculars I chose.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Life and the Newbie Birder

I had planned to use this blog as a journal of sorts about my journey as a birder. However, life seems to have had different plans for this past month. It's been an eventful month for birds around here at my home in Franklin County, North Carolina. We had a pair of Carolina Wrens nest in a hanging basket on our back porch and a pair of Mourning Doves nest in our bushes. I've seen a variety of species in my yard: Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwing, and Eastern Bluebird to name a few. Also, I made my first birding-specific outing to Durant Park in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I was able to see a Belted Kingfisher (simply amazing to watch catching fish) and a Red-shouldered Hawk.

I still plan to discuss my experiences with some of these species in the not-too-distant future, along with other things that may interest other newbie birders like myself, such as field guides, binoculars, and birding books. Maybe I'll even start posting some reviews for these various items; perhaps I can help other fledgling birders wade through the numerous items available to birders. I also have some pictures to post so I can spruce the place up a bit.