An Alaskan Birder in Alabama
- I'm always humbled by the generosity displayed by fellow birders
around the world. In preparation for a recent trip to Alabama (my
first time there), I posted on another yahoo group for the local
Mobile Bay audubon chapter. Well, no more than a day later I get an
email from one of the members offering to take the day off to drive
me around the area and show me their birding hot spots. Obviously, I
take them up on the offer and end up spending a glorious day in the
sun driving around coastal Alabama. My hosts were much more
interested in introducing me to the world of gulf coast birding and
pumping up my life list than setting any records, but we decided to
play by the Big Day rules and see what happened.
When all was said and done we tallied up our list, having identified
69 species in ten hours. Of those, 27 were lifers for me. The only
bird I was hoping to see that failed to turn up was a Black Skimmer.
However, the highlights were many, including:
Little Blue Heron
Just to name a few. The Reddish Egret and Little Blue Herons we saw
were particularly noteworthy, and quite a site to see!
It was such a treat to "discover" all of the secret hot spots known
only to the locals. The hospitality my hosts showed just made my
trip that much more enjoyable, and I definitely intend to return the
favor to other birders whenever possible.
As birders, we're a part of a wonderful community that we should all
be very proud of. I hope it stays that way.
As a side note, I also was able to attend a presentation by Jim
Fitzpatrick, one of only a handful of people who have seen an Ivory-
billed Woodpecker alive. It was a very emotional presentation and
had the audience alternating between laughter, tears and cheers.
Anyway, happy birding to you all!