As most of you know, it's not easy being a birder when the majority of average folks cannot understand what would posses someone to spend hours in front of a pond looking at a duck. Oh sure, ducks are pretty and all, but the average Joe takes a look, admires it's beauty for a second and moves on to their destination. Not a birder of course. The birder's heart skips a beat as they fumble for their binoculars for a closer look. If it's a rare duck, it is even better and out comes the field guide, notebook and maybe a camera for evidence of the find.
Monday morning at the office is the worst. The first thing everyone asks when you arrive there is what did you do this weekend. Most people will talk about Jr's soccer practice, their bargain buys at the mall or a new record in speed walking, not so for the birder. The birder has a smile on their face as they tell everyone they went looking for Woodcocks on Saturday night. The coworkers look at the birder with a look of confusion and slight embarrassment as they have no idea what a Woodcock is. The birder realizes the confusion and tries to explain the bird and how it peents at night to attract female admirers. Halfway through the sentence, the birder sees the co-workers cheeks blush a shade of crimson and they give up and tell them to forget it as they run into their office grateful for solitude.
So, with all of that said, it was nice to meet up with people who like to bird and don't think of you as a freak. The best thing about it was the fact that many of these people have decades of birding behind them and can teach the new birder a lot of new things they would not have learned easily on their own.
Our last stop was to Wachusett Reservoir to see if we could see the Bald Eagle's nest.
Last but certainly not least is the Common Loon. Looking at this gorgeous creature dive for fish reminds you that there is nothing common about a bird as handsome as this one. While this is not a life bird for me, I never put it on my bird list until now. I faintly remember this bird when I was a small child visiting my grandmother's cottage on a lake in New Hampshire. Every morning we would run out to play and swim and I could hear them on the lake and my grandmother would loudly exclaim here come the loons again! I asked my cousin why they were called loons and she told me in an authoritative manner that it was because they were loony whenever they entered the lake. I would sit there for many long periods of a time watching them land in search of lunacy. The funny thing was I never saw it, all I saw was beauty. Perhaps I was a birder even back then but it took me 30 years to recognize it.
It was a great experience and one I can't wait for again. There are a lot of trips planned in the upcoming weeks and I am hoping to make some of them. These trips are open to the public and if you are from around the Central Mass area, I encourage you to join in on the fun. You will meet a lot of nice people and see a lot of new birds!!