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Posts posted by stitch58

  1. 8 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

    How Funny. Great Swamp NWR was the first place I remember birding. It was 10 minutes from where I used to live, and that’s the first time I remember looking for birds away from my backyard. I was just a little later than you. I was there 9 years ago or so. 

    It’s a excellent place to get started. I live over by The Meadowlands so I’m not to far away. I still go by on a fairly regular basis. Thankfully they thought better of the idea of turning it into an international airport years ago!!

  2. I had always been somewhat interested in birds & nature in general but didn't "officially" become a birder until one day about 12 years ago. I was hiking in the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey. There was a bird blind along the trail & I decided to go in to check it out. There was another guy inside who had a camera with a giant lens setup on a tripod looking at something. I looked in the same general direction but couldn't see what was catching his interest so I asked him what he was looking at so intently. He looked up & motioned me over to come look through his camera. So I took a look & at first I still couldn't make anything out other then a bunch of reeds. A breeze kicked up though & I realized there was a large heron-like bird there with it's beak pointing straight up that was moving back & forth with the reeds. With the vertical stripes on the front & it "blowing" in the breeze it was almost perfectly camouflaged.  I had no idea what kind of bird it was so I asked the other guy who told me it was an American Bittern & told me to look again because it was getting ready to call. Sure enough a few seconds later it was making this prehistoric sounding  onka-chonk sound. I looked for a few more minutes then thanked the other guy & told him how cool that was. We chatted for a couple more minutes then I left. From that point on though  I was hooked & "officially" became a birder & American Bittern became the first bird I put on my new life list. It's odd too that I just noticed this thread today since I got real good looks at Bittern earlier today. It's still one of my favorite birds!


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