Now how did this happen? Am I on my way to becoming a "Twitcher"? What's a chaser you ask? Well the answer to that is in an older post entitled "What Kind of Birder are You?"
"Twitcher’s they say are passionate birders actively seeking to add more and more birds to their life lists, and they may travel extensively when rare or unusual birds are reported. The Twitchers I have been in contact with often keep more than one checklist. They may keep seasonal lists, state lists and county lists etc., etc. Now I did try this but I just can’t keep up with them. Not me not at this time in my life. Now while I do enjoy finding new birds I don’t go out of my way nor do I travel great distances to see a rare bird, although I did travel to WA to go birding OK so it wasn't all for the birding............ If I am going to be in the area or if it is some where I can get to easily I might try for it."
Well guess I am safe for now as I still don't keep all those lists though it does cross my mind occasionally. OK, so maybe this started when I went to Gainesville to see the large flock of Sandhill Cranes there. Now the Sandhills were already on my life list, so I was not chasing to add to my list, I just wanted to see this extremely large gathering of them. (It was an amazing site!) Although two whooping cranes had been seen amongst the Sandhills, so that would certainly add to my list, and there was that sparrow that everyone was hoping to see and add to their list. But the Sandhills were the main reason for my going anything else would be icing on the cake or perhaps I should say feathers in my nest. Oh and I did get to see the 2 Whooping Cranes but not the sparrow though I did add a couple of other sparrows to my list. And in my defense I wasn't really chasing birds I was on a birding vacation. Birding Vacations don't count as chasing. Right?
I did go chase once prior to this but it was actually in the town I lived in so does that really count. I got lucky and only had to try once and got to see it on the first time. And it was so worth the time spent to see this rare visitor, but, had not done it again until this year and something must have got loose inside me as I have been chasing one bird after the other all year so far.
First was the Pelagic Birding trip. Birding on the ocean.....hummmmmmmmm as if there weren't enough birds on land. Oh well, some birds don't ever come ashore although some seem to be driven inland when the weather is bad out over the ocean. I added several birds on that trip. Well that was more of a birding trip,,,,,,,,,,,wouldn't you say? So I wasn't really chasing was I? 11 lifers added
Then came the Masked Duck at Viera Wetlands. Yup, I got that one, and yes I went specifically for that bird although I did combine it with a trip to Merritt Island. But the main purpose of the trip was to chase down this one bird and add it to my list. Heck I even got a bonus and Ruddy Duck. Two for the price of one. Yahoo! This was in January. 2 lifers added
Next was the Harlequin Duck at Sebastian Inlet. There was also a Purple Sandpiper. Now I got the Duck but missed out on the Sandpiper. Although I missed the Purple Sandpiper. I did get a Common Merganser and some great looks at a Willet which I had only see from a distance and through binoculars previously. So that was a bonus. Plus I got to meet & talk to a couple of fellow birders. That's always a treat. 2 more lifers added
The following Saturday found me traveling across the state to get a look at the Shiny cowbirds and looks is all I got. Silly birds just didn't want to be photographed. Every time I tried all the birds feeding on the ground picked up and flew away all at the same time leaving only the Mourning Doves on the ground. Well that's OK I got to see them and got to add them to my life list. 1 lifer added
On Sunday I was once again heading north. This time to Green Cay wetlands in Delray in hot pursuit of the Black-throated Gray Warbler, this time I was not successful. This one guy from NJ said he spotted it about a half hour after I got tired of walking around looking for it and went in and walked the boardwalk. When I came out all the little Pine Warblers the Black-throated Gray had been seen with were there but I could not find the one warbler I was looking for. I did find 2 Black & White Warblers but not the Black-throated Gray............. zero lifers added
So what happened, when did I turn into a chaser? Can Twitching be far behind??
This week I am not going anywhere.................I am not going to chase after any birds................This weekend I will rest, take my car into the shop for its checkup, and do a little housework. Then maybe next weekend I might go birding just birding not chasing ..................unless............................smile. Yup I'm a chaser. 16 lifers in 2 months, hey, not too shabby.........huh?
I just got word that the Purple Sandpiper was spotted today along with a Marbled Godwit, the Harlequin Duck and a Snowy Plover. Guess I need to go back to Sebastian. Oh well the housework will be there when I get back. Here I go again.....hehehe