Day 343 - Birding, It's a Friends, Family, and Social Affair

Thursday, December 08, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

I've talked about what a lonely year it has been at times--or for quite a majority of the time I spent birding. Well, at least I made it feel that way. Yes, there were a lot of solo chases for birds and a lot of daily treks where I was by myself even if just for an hour or two. BUT, there were a lot of times I shared in the joy of birding with other people. Doing a little rough math I birded with 100 other people so far during 2016. This is a combination of birding with friends, family, helping people find birds, taking part in tours and field trips, sitting at a stakeout looking for a rarity, etc, etc. etc. The number adds up quickly and I was surprised when I actually started writing down names. I probably missed a few, and with a couple weeks left I will hopefully spend a few moments or more with a couple more people.

That number really is something I am excited about. Sharing the love of birds with 100 other people in some way or another in the field. Just thinking about it I have a rush of memories, moments, conversations, car rides, scope views, neck cranes, tree pointing, jokes, stories, and birds. Lots of birds. I previously mentioned the fact that a big year is a really personal endeavor--it's a pretty selfish thing. But birding can be such a community centered happening. Birding can bring people together. Birding has the ability to connect people with little or nothing in common with the exception of birds. It's amazing. And I really like that part of it.

A lot of the birds I saw this year were the result of birding with others. A lot of what I saw was in the company of people--probably close to if not more than 300 species were seen when I was birding with others. I actually stopped and counted while writing this, and of the 355 species seen up till now, I was with others who also saw 315 of the species. There were a couple times I saw birds either before or after I birded with others, but didn't see them in the company of those people. I shared looking at 315 species with other birders. And it was a lot of fun.

I can't imagine birding with 100 people next year--not because I wouldn't want to, but because I was out in the wild so much this year that it put me in contact with people I otherwise probably wouldn't have ended up birding with. If I only go birding 1/2 as much next year as I did in 2016 I will inevitably spend less time, with fewer birders than I did this year. Whether alone or with other people, every experience has really made 2016 a memorable year for me.

New birds today: 0
Year List: 355


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