Recently, all the local buzz in the birding community was a Eurasian Wigeon seen at Fernald Nature Preserve. Since this would have been a life bird, I decided to "chase" it. Since I got off work early one day, I decided to make the one hour plus drive to try to get a look at the bird.
I made good time, getting to the spot at about 1pm. Other birders had informed me upon my arrival that the bird had not been seen that entire day up to the point that I have arrived. I scoped the ducks that were present only to find an odd drake wigeon that I could not ID. I thought that it could of been the Eurasian, however others had no comment at the time on the bird. One birder insisted that the odd bird was THE bird. I had mentally debated that the bird must be a hybrid. As the bird was far off, no conclusion was ever reached.
As I stayed at the location hoping for the Eurasian to show, more birders began to arrive and set up their scopes. As I was observing the people, I just felt out of place. It then became evident to me that I am not a chaser of birds. I am the type of birder that likes to go out and have that full experience rather then concentrate on one bird. Sure, I will go see a good bird that is close, but I prefer to just go out and watch birds. If I get lucky, good. If not, so be it.
Many birders are into keeping numbers and lists. As I look back, I can't even recall what my official life list stands at. There are some good birds being seen just to the north of me, however I am in the minority as one that has declined to get the urge to chase them. I don't have lots of fancy photography equipment or a fancy scope. Maybe I am not a "serious" birder.
Birding is about having fun, and I prefer a different style. You most likely won't see magazine quality pictures of rare birds from me. That being said, I am looking forward to see what spring migration has in store. Last fall had been very good to me, having seen two lifers within ten minutes from the house!
I have already had found my first Eastern Phoebes of the year. I don't know if they are birds that had over wintered or new arrivals. I suspect that they had overwintered, given the mild winter to date.