Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Review: Going Wild, by Robert Winkler

I chose this book entirely by happenstance. It happened that I went into a cheap book store while on a recent trip to the passport office in Whitby, Ontario. While browsing the nature/outdoor books, I saw this book, Going Wild, for sale for the princely sum of $7.99 (Canadian). The photos of the large binoculars and hawk on the front of the book sold me on this being a book about birding that I just might like reading.

Are those 12x50s? Might as well just use a scope.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bobo-links for March 7, 2014


The other day I went to spot on the Delaware River to see what sorts of ducks and other waterfowl I could see within my home county. It was disappointing, not because of the lack of ducks, but because it was useless with on my binoculars. When I'm at work or when I am volunteering I have access to a spotting scope to see the distant ducks, and most times when I am birding I don't need a scope, but this was one of those times where it was very obvious to me that I was at a disadvantage without a scope. Heck, even the local high school birder kid has a scope he goes around with. But I have to remind myself of something that the good people in Cape May told me (to paraphrase): "good optics doesn't mean they are a good birder, it just means they have money."

I, however, do not have money (I do have kids....there is a relationship between those), so I just have to dream about scopes for now. Luckily there are lots of good resources for those who want to dream or even buy scopes:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Medium Birder

Within the blog description we call ourselves "casual birders", but that isn't quite right. Sure, we don't have the time or ability to go out and birding all the time, but we are not just casual. Trust me, I run into casual birders all the time and, while there is nothing wrong with being casual, the term "casual birder" seems to imply someone who doesn't quite have that obsession with birding. It isn't an insult to be called a casual birder, but I don't think Paul and I are really casual.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Paul's Texas Trip Part 6 (Tour of King's Ranch)

After a morning full of exotic south Texas birds, I really didn't think I would see anymore as we were headed for the historic King's Ranch. We had decided to take a tour around the ranch partly because we thought the kids would have fun and partly because we wanted to see a real Texas longhorn.

We arrived at the visitor center a bit early and were killing time until the 2:30 start of our tour. There was a short promotional video (heavy on the 'promotion') about King's Ranch and there was an area where the kids could play. While they practiced their roping skills, I poked around the garden surrounding the visitor center. They had some feeders which were attracting hoards of House Sparrows and some American Goldfinches; perhaps there was another bird in the mix? This was, when I noticed a hummingbird landing on a tree near the hummingbird feeders and cacti in bloom. After a short crisis involving my middle sized boy and a hill of sleepy fire ants, I was able to focus on the bird and realized it was a Buff-Bellied Hummingbird.