Posted by Jane N on

Hello everyone, I just returned from a trip to one of my favorite birding spots, Plum Island. Here it is December 13th and we have no snow and the temperatures are topping 50! Come on now when is that ever likely to happen again? I just had to get out on the trails in search of some birds, so I headed out by myself for a day of birding. A couple of weekends ago Beth & I were birding on the island, she had just purchased a new spotting scope and wanted to practice using it. And it does take practice to set it up and focus on your subject. Ah first step Beth is to point the scope at what you want to look at, not your chest. LOL

So I was inspired by Beth to bring along my scope. I have not used it in ages, I usually only bring my binoculars. The only downside to carrying around a scope is that you become a magnet for other birders. They assume you must be a good birder and spotting something really good when they see you with your scope. I was a bit rusty but soon got the hang of it again and shared my scope with other birders so they could see some interesting birds up close. There were no sightings of the Snowy Owl, the rock stars on the island today were a flock of Razorbills and a Peregrine Falcon.

I would never have spotted those Razorbills if I had not used my scope. I was scanning the ocean off lot #7 with my binoculars and could just make out some blackish birds bobbing in the swells. But with my spotting scope, I could zoom right in and see every detail and make a perfect ID! Of course, I still had to “confer and confirm” my sighting with another birder there on the viewing platform that also had a scope. There were many water foul on the island, American Widgeons, Northern Pintails, Green Winged Teal, Blue Winged Teal and others. The scope brought them all up close and personal.

As I was driving off the island it occurred to me that I had just spent a few hours enjoying nature and had not once thought of the black cloud that has been hanging over my head recently. I feel more centered now. I know that I am sadly not the only parent facing the same uncertainty of a child serving our country. It is a fear that can be very all consuming. But I am my father's daughter! I will weather this storm. I like to think of all of you as my rain gear to help protect me from the storm, thank you. I am not afraid of rain! I will take the steps needed to protect my family. My mantra is “circle the wagons & raise the force shield”.

Happy Birding, Jane

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