February 17th kicked off the Great Backyard Bird Count that occurs all over the world. Usually, I try to squeeze in as much as I could to fit this time to catch a few flying friends around usually a hectic schedule. This year, I decided to flip this schedule, and fit everything around watching and learning as much as I could, expanding my knowledge of birds in general.
I attended the Audubon preparatory webinar, and began to collect resources to reassure my foray into this event would be the best it could be. Binoculars out, feeders full, I paid closer attention and made many attempts to catch as many 15 minutes episodes as I could to add to the Audubon bird count.
What I discovered was three fold. I began to understand the calls I was hearing thanks to the Merlin app, as I walked just around my neighborhood, and also in identifying. If I kept at it each day, my knowledge and memory of a call also increased, so I resolved to be in more in tune every day of the year. Second, I had no idea the variety of birds visiting my yard surrounding the house, and imagined what I would discover at varying times of the year. Third, I found I slowed my breathing, and had the equivalent of Yoga or meditation, I was able to slow my breathing, increase my concentration, and slow the rapid lists and to-do’s that surrounded me every day, and I found yet another avenue to ease into a morning, easy into an evening, and get more ease instead of the feeling of get this done, get that done, get everything done – and ultimately, being more in tune with what was happening above me rather than around me alone. `
Taking part in a Seabirds and Seals Cruise boosted the species I would see as well: Take a look :
Amazing views and amazing experiences and despite the bitter cold from the Delaware Bay to the Ocean, amazing to see where the source of many shorebirds come from further out, and seeing the mass number of seals that were beyond what individuals see on the coastline.
All of the above aspects are aspects that can enhance anyone’s life, and do not have to be solely about environmentalism, but simply being more in tune with the world in general around us. Being a huge aspect of what the Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy cares about, finding ways to be more in tune to details that many take for granted around us, changes each of us in the process.