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Those trips you weren't birding


Zoroark
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Posted (edited)

What is a trip that you went on before you were into birding, and now you realize just how many lifers you missed?

 

Soon after joining eBird at the end of 2020, I went through lots of old photos and trip logs to enter historical data, and some of the places I visited definitely makes me wish I had actually paid attention to the specialties of the area, but that was before I took interest in actually watching birds.

The biggest one for me was when I visited Kauai in 2010. While I did get six lifers on the trip that I haven't seen again since, I was more amused by all the invasive chickens than Hawaii's unique (and endangered!) birds. Nearly all of these would've been lifers.

 

Screenshot from 2022-05-26 09-06-20.png

Edited by Zoroark
Replace screenshot with taxonomic order
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I only started birding in 2020 and my only international trip since was to visit our friends to the north which doesn't even leave the ABA area. Before that I did several trips to Asia (Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines) that would've been great if I was a birder for.

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Well, all those trips to southwestern Utah when I was in high school,

along with that swing we made up the west coast and over to Yellowstone,

or the five months the Army sent me to Ft. Sill, OK,

but most of all, the two summer months Uncle Sam let me stay in Ft. Huachuca, southeastern AZ.

 

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I've been birding for pretty much my entire life. My family went to the Bahamas when I was very young, but other than that I've been birding wherever I've gone. The only thing I'm somewhat annoyed about is that I lost some of my paper records from awhile ago, though I know I'm not missing any birds that would be new lifers. 

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9 hours ago, neilpa said:

Before that I did several trips to Asia (Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines) that would've been great if I was a birder for.

I’m in the same boat. In my 20’s, before I was a birder, I traveled to SE Asia (Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam), and another large trip across parts of Europe (Italy, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, and the island of Corsica). Argh…I would have had some great birds, especially on the long boat trip I took up the Mekong in Laos.

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I'd like to redo the cross country trip of my youth. We went on a family vacation back when I was 12 or 13 years old and drove from Toronto to the LA area of California where we spent a week visiting Mom's sister. The we drove up the west coast to the Victoria BC area and spent a week visiting Dad's sister before driving east across Canada and back to Ontario. I was already interested birds back then and remember walking through various parks with the binoculars around my neck, I don't remember the birds I saw though. I don't remember it as being a fun trip, way too much time stuck in the car and our camping stops along the way were more for cheap accommodations than recreational camping. I'd like to do it over again and focus more on the sights/birds along the way, unlike Dad who was more focused on getting the driving part over with as quick as possible so he could visit with his sister. I think it'd be nice to spend more time at the Grand Canyon than the 15 minute rest stop break that Dad allowed for. Oh well, it wasn't a birding trip but it would have been nice if it could have been. Anyone willing to pay for my gas so I can try a do-over trip?

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I somewhat regret not being introduced to birding right after birth. At the ripe age of 1, I missed a great birding opportunity in southern Texas. Other than that, I only really regret not looking for Eurasian Tree Sparrows in St. Louis, Missouri 4 years ago, but not too much as I’m sure I’ll see one in Michigan soon enough. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Birding Boy said:

At the ripe age of 1, I missed a great birding opportunity in southern Texas.

I don't regret trips made before I was potty trained, so I don't worry about England (or anywhere else before I was 14 :classic_ohmy: ).

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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On 5/26/2022 at 9:31 PM, DLecy said:

I’m in the same boat. In my 20’s, before I was a birder

What?!? I figured you'd been birding most your life given your broad expertise. Guess there's hope for a 30-something like myself to get a lot better.

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I travelled quite a bit before ebird and then when I got it I sorta stopped, but I guess thats probably due to the pandemic coming a year later. 

Been to Mexico 6 times, the Bahamas, Belize, Florida several times, California a few times, Alaska, the Yukon, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Vancouver, Vancouver island, and then I also was on a sailing trip around the gulf islands which would have been a good for ocean birds. I also lived in Kelowna for a year, which would have gave me quite a few lifers that I am still missing (looking at you Western Screech-owl)

I was able to add all the birds that I managed to get photos of to incidental checklists, but I’m pretty sure I saw more than 4 species in California 😪

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2 hours ago, neilpa said:

What?!? I figured you'd been birding most your life given your broad expertise. Guess there's hope for a 30-something like myself to get a lot better.

There is definitely hope! I started birding at the ripe old age of 30, and I just turned 40 this year. So, only a decade in. The first 8 years or so I hit it hard, and then a pandemic, a job change, and kid happened and I slowed down. I pretty much have only birded hyper-local and a few pelagics over the past 2 years. I'll ramp up again this summer and already have a trip to Florida and SE Arizona in the works for 2023. Boom!

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Aaron said:

I travelled quite a bit before ebird and then when I got it I sorta stopped, but I guess thats probably due to the pandemic coming a year later. 

On February 29, 2020, I put together a formal life list by downloading the ABA list and marking dates and locations in Excel, just going off past photos. I was really excited to start going out birding more that year to build my life list. Well, that didn't happen, and I even turned down a trip during the summer. It wasn't until a bunch of events in November led me to actually join eBird and go through all my photos again.

Edited by Zoroark
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

I'm still working on identifying birds from photos from my year-long trip to Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, The Phillipines, India, Bhutan, Oman, Morocco, Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Oh, but not South Carolina!  Just not good enough for Ol' QQ, I guess!  Defamation lawyers for https://hammockcoastsc.com/birdwatching/ will be in touch.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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I found a first county record in my pre-birding days, with photos to prove. At this point I was a very low-key backyard birdwatcher who couldn't tell a House Finch from a House Sparrow, but somehow I recognized this bird for what it was. I think I must have seen it in a old field guide or something and thought it looked really cool.  

https://ebird.org/checklist/S103936656

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  • 2 weeks later...

Several months spent in Colombia and Peru from the Amazon to 16k ft and everywhere in between. Also several trips to the coast/mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. I've watched birds my whole life as far back as I can remember and have dozens of handwritten lists from in my early teens but wasn't doing it as much at the time. When I was traveling in my early 20's it wasn't the purpose of the trip and I didn't have ebird or the like nor a field guide of the region with me. I did take a fair number of pictures of birds when I had the chance so I am slowly going back through them to see what I have.

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On 5/31/2022 at 7:00 AM, Quiscalus quiscula said:

I'm still working on identifying birds from photos from my year-long trip to Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, The Phillipines, India, Bhutan, Oman, Morocco, Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Sounds like quite the trip! What was the purpose of such a big adventure? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/12/2022 at 4:53 PM, SirVive said:

Sounds like quite the trip! What was the purpose of such a big adventure? 

Sorry for the late reply, I've been extremely busy lately.

Both my parents love to travel, and they wanted to bring my two siblings and I on a round-the-world trip before my oldest sibling went off to college. We started out in August 2019, and had quite an adventure being almost stuck in Morocco as the pandemic got underway in March 2020. We finally got home in July 2020. Certainly, we had a lot of adventures on the trip- too many to recount them all here!

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3 hours ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

 Certainly, we had a lot of adventures on the trip- too many to recount them all here!

No doubt.  My sister just barely arrived in the town in Colombia where I have been several times to stay with friends who live there when the lock down started. I think she got to get out for a couple of days at the beginning of her planned month long stay and then got stuck inside the house for the rest of the time plus some. One person per household one day per week was allowed out to grocery shop for an hour or two and even then she got harassed. They finally had to be evacuated by a special Colombian military aircraft and it was a riot - complete with being lined up on the tarmac while guys in full body hazmat suits fumigated them head to foot with a powered backpack sprayer containing who knows what that I'm sure was worse for you than covid.   😬  I still don't think she's manged to get her luggage she wasn't allowed to bring.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/24/2022 at 11:04 PM, SirVive said:

No doubt.  My sister just barely arrived in the town in Colombia where I have been several times to stay with friends who live there when the lock down started. I think she got to get out for a couple of days at the beginning of her planned month long stay and then got stuck inside the house for the rest of the time plus some. One person per household one day per week was allowed out to grocery shop for an hour or two and even then she got harassed. They finally had to be evacuated by a special Colombian military aircraft and it was a riot - complete with being lined up on the tarmac while guys in full body hazmat suits fumigated them head to foot with a powered backpack sprayer containing who knows what that I'm sure was worse for you than covid.   😬  I still don't think she's manged to get her luggage she wasn't allowed to bring.

Ugh, that is positively horrifying. Just sickening.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/25/2022 at 12:04 AM, SirVive said:

No doubt.  My sister just barely arrived in the town in Colombia where I have been several times to stay with friends who live there when the lock down started. I think she got to get out for a couple of days at the beginning of her planned month long stay and then got stuck inside the house for the rest of the time plus some. One person per household one day per week was allowed out to grocery shop for an hour or two and even then she got harassed. They finally had to be evacuated by a special Colombian military aircraft and it was a riot - complete with being lined up on the tarmac while guys in full body hazmat suits fumigated them head to foot with a powered backpack sprayer containing who knows what that I'm sure was worse for you than covid.   😬  I still don't think she's manged to get her luggage she wasn't allowed to bring.

Yeah, we were literally on the last plane out of Morocco before the airspace was locked down, and only because Germany was evacuating citizens.

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10 minutes ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

Yeah, we were literally on the last plane out of Morocco before the airspace was locked down, and only because Germany was evacuating citizens.

Haven’t seen you on in a while! 

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