Wednesday, October 31, 2012

7 Reasons Why Birders Should Try Using A Bus

Taking a public bus is not the most convenient way for a birder to get to a birding destination but I believe it's worth the effort. Here is a list of 10 reasons why birders should use a bus:
 1) Taking a bus is cheap-Current bus fares in Connecticut are  about $1.50 each way. That includes free transfers. It costs me more than that to back my truck out of the driveway.
2) fewer choices = less stress:  When you take a bus your choices are limited to places along the bus route. I find this makes things easier. We already have too many choices these days ( cable tv channels, ipod, restaurants, cell phones etc.).  This photo was taken at Wadsworth Park in Middletown which is conveniently located near a bus route.
3) Birders can set a positive example to others by taking the bus: Riding a bus is an environmentally friendly way to go. Not all birders are environmentalists but I'm sure most birders care about the environment so why not set a positive example?
4) Once the bus drops you off you are committed to your chosen location: I know that many birders including myself can get impatient at times. You might be at one spot for a half an hour and then decide to drive to a different location to seek birds. If you've been dropped off by a bus then it doesn't work that way. You are committed to birding where the bus left you. I think that can be a good thing because it helps keep you focused. 
5) Using the bus let's you try places that you might not otherwise bother with: With gas prices so high I find myself only driving to birding spots that are close to a sure thing. Driving around aimlessly looking for new birding spots is a waste of gas. There are new places along bus routes that present interesting birding opportunities and you need not worry about wasting fuel.
I spotted this Pine Siskin during one of my recent bus excursions

6) It's relaxing to have someone drive you around: I get tired of driving so it's nice to have someone else drive. It also allows you to study the bus route for other potential birding opportunities along the route.

7) Using the bus for birding doesn't seem to be very popular: I haven't heard much about people using city buses for every day birding. It's sort of fun to do something that hasn't caught on yet.

It takes a little effort and planning to make use of public transportation but it can be a fun and rewarding experience!

Here is a helpful link for: Connecticut Public Bus Routes  from the Department Of Transportation.


Sarah said...

Excellent post! I take the buses in my city to most of the places that I need to go, and I was rewarded for it when I found a Black-crowned Night-heron in the middle of downtown! Buses are a great form of transportation and I hope more birders start using them in the future!

Larry said...

Sarah-Great sighting to have in the middle of downtown! If more people took advantage of the bus then they might increase the number of buses and extend bus routes to more areas.

Unknown said...

As usual your post is unique, clever & a good idea!

Larry said...

Cindi-thanks-I can only do so many posts of what birds I saw and where so I try to come at it in different ways.

Chris said...

Hi Larry. You forgot to mention that this depends on the location where the bus goes. It's not gonna be useful over here as they are only going to the city, where birdwatching is very limited, but they are trying to extend it. So maybe in the near future ;-)

Larry said...

Chris-At first glance the bus routes over here don't seem to be to pass though mostly urban areas too but I've found that the urban buses go past some okay birding spots on there way from one urban spot to another. Even urban areas can be good if you can find an oasis of bird habitat here and there.

steadyjohn said...

Larry, of course you are correct; we have far too many stress inducing choices.I don't own an automobile but my truck driving job often takes me near interesting places where birds can be observed. Here in Middletown I do use the bus for appointments and errands around town. However, I do resent MAT's admonition that I "Have a Nice Day". (a cliche I try strenuously to avoid) I would like to make up my own mind about that! LOL

Larry said...

steadyjohn-unfortunately, I see a lot of good bird areas when I'm driving to work but don't have time to stop.Thanks for the comment John-and have a nice day!