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For those who need proof…

October 22, 2010

Just in case there are some readers out there who need material proof that I am indeed a Somewhat Birder and that I do indeed go out into the field and partake in this unexpectedly fascinating hobby:

Here I am in Algonquin park last Saturday looking for….probably a Boreal Chickadee that I never actually ended up seeing. The pose is one I strike often: I have a “naked-eye bird sighting” and then try to capture the bird with my binoculars. Some days are better than others. Often, by the time I’ve positioned my binoculars, the bird has flown away. Sometimes I catch it in flight. Sometimes all I see are leaves. Sometimes I mistake pine cones for birds. But every once in a while, I actually see what I’m told is “sitting right in front of me” and those are the moments worth all the waiting, all the not-seeing and all the extra sightings one never really asks for but learns to enjoy anyhow.

I got glasses in grade 9, and I remember wearing them for the first time. I tripped and nearly broke my ankle on the way home from the optometrist’s because I couldn’t stop looking at the trees all around me. It felt like I was seeing every single leaf in 3-D for the first time — the most stunning sensory overload I had ever experienced. I guess I knew that trees were there all along, but hadn’t expected them to be so alive! I remember that moment often when I’m out birding, staring up at trees through my binoculars, hoping to catch a glimpse of some evasive bird or other, and suddenly being thrown off guard by the texture and intricate design of leaves or branches.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2010 9:15 pm

    I had to smile at the words “material proof”–you’ve hit on what should be, and isn’t yet, one of the great controversies in 21st-century birding!

  2. November 10, 2010 11:17 pm

    Hey, that could be anyone standing there with her arm blocking her face!

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