A couple of years ago, I wrote a post on the hazards of getting addicted to birding. You will enjoy this post more if you click here to read it first. I think you will enjoy both.
Since then, I still have not kicked the habit. In fact, it may have gotten worse. I bore my friends with information when I spot a new bird. I carry three bird guides in the car and Ann keeps her daily journal there, too. My cameras are always at the ready, carefully stowed in the back seat, because I am also a fanatic about photographing every bird I can.
We drive through local parks, down isolated highways, crawl through weeds, with my camera on my back, always looking at trees, power lines, and utility poles. We spot a stray leaf on a dead tree, and exclaim, “There’s a bird!”, then take a closer look with our binoculars, only to be disappointed.
I think my phone number must be on some peoples’ speed dial, because I get calls informing me that there is an unusual bird somewhere. We jump in the car and head off, with our hearts pounding, wondering what will we get to see. Will it be a rare bird, or just an ordinary sparrow. The fun is in the hunt.
For the shot of the Ruddy Ground Dove, I got a call from a friend of mine. It had been seen at nearby Dove Creek. For some reason, it had joined a bunch of Inca Doves and running with them.
We were invited to my dear friend Shannon’s place near Houston. It was a bonanza of birds there. I saw my first Pileated Woodpecker and White-tailed Hawk there. Also photographed some birds that I could never see around here in San Angelo, Texas, such as the White Ibis.
Our friends, the Johnsons, called us a couple of years ago about a Brown Pelican at the water treatment ponds down at Eldorado, Texas, about 40 miles south of here.. It is normally indigenous to the Texas gulf coast, but got off course and ended up there. We were on the way to eat dinner, if I remember correctly, but we turned the car around and headed south.
As I said, birding can be hazardous to your health. I am looking for a bumper sticker that says, “I Brake for Birds”. I also stop in the middle of highways, make U-turns, and drive across open pastures.
For all of that, my life list is climbing. Not very fast, as I have only been addicted for four years, but it is up to 261, if you are interested.
As for a cure for my addiction? My doctor said to “take two pictures and call me in the morning”.