Caution- Birding can be addictive……


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.

Lewis' Woodpecker Very rare here.  Got a phone call, hurried to find the bird.  It was gone the next day.

Lewis’ Woodpecker
Very rare here. Got a phone call, hurried to find the bird. Found it in local park.  It was gone the next day.

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.

Acorn Woodpecker 320 miles away for this shot.

Acorn Woodpecker
320 miles away for this shot.

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.

Ruddy Ground Dove Very rare here, drove only 20 miles after getting a phone call about it.

Ruddy Ground Dove
Very rare here, drove only 20 miles after getting a phone call about it.

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.

Hermit Thrush This is the first one I ever saw at Eldorado, Texas.

Hermit Thrush
This is the first one I ever saw at Eldorado, Texas.

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.

White-faced Ibises - 400 miles away near Houston, Texas

White Ibises – 400 miles away near Houston, Texas.  Nearly fell in the creek there.

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.

Brown Pelican rare to local area.

Brown Pelican
rare to local area.

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”.

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30 thoughts on “Caution- Birding can be addictive……

  1. 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.

  2. 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..

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?)

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