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”.
What a great blog with wonderful photos! I enjoy bird watching too but mostly from my back yard. I found your blog via Babs Blue Heron nomination. Congratulations!
Thanks, Coastal. (that sounds better than crone). Glad you came over to check me out. Nice to hear from another birder type. Hope you will visit again. 🙂
But can any of us take just two? I’m afraid that when there are birds involved it is far more likely to be two hundred. Or two times two hundred. Or two times two times two hundred. Or, can somebody hand me another memory card? Good blog entry, Bob.
Yes, I know. I keep over-dosing. LOL 🙂
Me too. Y’all stay safe up there and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Yep..bird watching is addictive..I love the Brown Pelican …he looks like is doing a dance..birds really quite entertaining..they are one of my favorite subjects to paint..Be sure you and Ann take your meds..two photos a day LOL..
I have to pass on my meds today. Freezing rain and drizzle. But I will survive. 🙂
Oh you are a funny guy. I know you and Ann have great fun as you “fly” here and there checking out the latest sightings. Glad this is so contagious and if a cure is ever found, just do not tell me! Thanks for posting these photos – the woodpeckers are so colorful and I will look at a flock of dove differently now! hugs
Thanks for you ‘insightful’ comment, Beth. 🙂
I will survive sounds like a song title! haha..no birding here today..about 3″ of wet sloppy snow..good day for painting…
Lost touch with yours and many blogs over last year but glad to be back!
Glad to see you back.
Great post, Bob. Love it – take two photos and cal me in the morning!
I thought you’s like that. 🙂
You thought right. 🙂
Those are very nice shots of the woodpeckers., really show the detail and subtleties.Ah yes, considering choice of addictions, this is my pick-gets us outdoors, talking with others, even total strangers.And when I picked up a new zoom lens I had birding in mind. It helps to have a willing partner. Enjoy!
I agree, Jane. Thanks for commenting.
Love those woodpeckers! I’ve never seen those two before. If you find a bumper sticker let me know. I could use one too.
I’ll keep that in mind,Dina. 🙂
Maybe my favorite post of yours so far 🙂 I greatly admire your dedication. I amazed no one has honked me for braking for birds yet!
You might check eBird as well, to get rare bird alerts, or submit your own. I’ve just started checking it out.
Thanks, Jason. It was a fun post. Can you give me the link to that rare bird alert? Hope you can make it to San Angelo soon. it would be a blast!
eBird – http://ebird.org/content/ebird
Here is the help page on alerts:
You do need to create an account, but then you can subscribe to regional alerts. I just added one for Travis county. Here is a great intro:
Is there a 12-step program for our malady? But of course, I wouldn’t want to be cured. Love your Hermit Thrush. Your Acorn Woodpecker is my favorite from today’s photos!
I am afraid I have a terminal case. 🙂 I love the Acorn Woodpecker. They look like little clowns. There are a lot of them in far southwest Texas.
wow what a cool post, I drive across pastures, just be careful you don’t get stuck, lol, falling in water is okay it is allowed as long as your camara doens’t accompany you, that would be illegal. love the doctor joke.
Many thanks for your insightful comment, Roberta.-)
I am so sorry that you are not well. It must be an awful affliction. I understand that there is no known cure and that it is highly contagious. My thoughts are with you. Just hang in there my friend and make the most of it.
Thanks, Dave. I found that if I bite my lip, I can stand the pain. 🙂
I’m glad you’re addicted, Bob, otherwise we wouldn’t get to see your lovely pics and read your jokes (ahem!) 😀 Seriously, I love seeing what you have found every time you publish a new post! Colin brakes for birds too, but I don’t think he’d go hungry by making a detour to see one! 320 miles is a long way to go to see a woodpecker – but that is admittedly a great pic! 😀 (Keep taking your doctor’s advice – are you your own doctor, by any chance?)
Thanks so much, Jo. I absolutely love reading your comments. You seem to appreciate my strange sense of humor. And, yes, I do “self-medicate” myself. 🙂