Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In Search Of Internet Birding Shows

I recently discovered the wonders of connecting my laptop to my tv with am HDMI cable. Any video or show that I find on the Internet can be played back on my big screen flatscreen television instead of  having to watching it on a 17" laptop screen. I've had fun finding old movies and forgotten 70's television shows like Circle Of  Fear.

 The other day I started googling to see if I could find any birding shows. Below are some links to some interesting programs I've found: 

Below are links to 3 short video clips by Jason Kessler from 2012. I had seen the first one but never seen the other two. They creatively blend truth and humor to make for very entertaining videos.

1) Sh*t Birders Say
2) Sh*t Non-Birders Say
3) Sh*t Birders Say To Each Other

4) Cornell has a program called Inside Birding hosted by Chris Wood and Jessie Barry. They show great video close-ups of birds while the hosts share useful tips about birding.  
5) Nikon has Birding Adventures TV. I'm looking forward to checking out some these episodes.
6) Here's one called Twitchers .

Please let me know about any other interesting Internet birding videos or programs that you are aware of. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Snow Puddle Path Leading To Spring

It's been quite some time that I've been able to see what kind of bird activity their is at my favorite local patch. I thought that the snow might have melted enough that I might enjoy a walk through the meadows if I wore my waterproof boots. It turned out to be more of a struggle than I had bargained for. With each step, I sunk into a foot of snow followed by another 6 inches of water. I found this to be an annoying waste of energy. By the end of the walk it was the energy channeled from my aggravation that propelled me to the finish line.
I was encouraged by some of the birds I saw which was a preview of good things to come. I was welcomed by a lone Killdeer as I first entered the fields. I also saw 4  Great Blue Herons flying out from the direction of the local rookery. 
There were several Ring-necked Ducks, 18 Wood Ducks, and  Hooded Mergansers, and Common Mergansers gathered in an area where the ice had melted on the river but I made so much noise crunching through the snow that they were long gone by the time I got close to them.
A week later (this weekend) much of the snow has melted making it easier to get around. I was able to sneak up a little closer to those mergansers and the sun finally busted out from behind the clouds.
One Red-winged Blackbird announcing that Spring is on its way.
As the snow melts, little ponds are forming in the woods at the edge of the meadows where ducks like this  Wood Duck can hang out. I know the calendar says that Spring has arrived. It doesn't feel like Spring just yet but it's getting there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

5 Reasons I appreciate Cold, Miserable Winters

The month of February had record-setting temperatures and several feet of snow to go along with it. That kind of weather can affect your mood and force you to change your routine. You have no choice but to adapt to the situation. Although this may all sound bleak, I'm a believer that positive things can happen when you have to overcome challenges and struggles. 

Here are 5 reasons why I appreciate cold, miserable winters:

1) It forces me to put my usual birding routines aside and to think outside of the box: Lousy weather is what led me to a recent visit to a Butterfly Conservatory

2) Not matter how cold it is, I know that there will be Bald Eagles tending to their nests.

3) It's a great time to appreciate a good book or explore the Internet in more detail: If the weather is nice you won't catch me at home reading a book. If I'm stuck in the house I can read for hours and that includes getting more good information on subjects like birding or camping while daydreaming about nicer days to come. 

4) Taking a little break from birding might be a good thing: I'm not saying that I gave up birding altogether in February but my birding obsession was cooled off a little bit. It's always good to have a little balance in your life but I am definitely building up an appetite to get back into birding full swing once the weather improves.

5) A lousy winter makes you appreciate spring even more:
Even those who believe in counting their blessings can't help but take things for granted once in a while. It's part of human nature. If it was perfect weather 365 days a year I know that I wouldn't appreciate Spring as much as I do after a long, harsh winter.