Easing Back Into Birding

In late November, my life changed when my spouse of 53 years was diagnosed with lymphoma and I lost all interest in birding and many other activities. As I chronicle here, we have had months of tension and relief, sadness and happiness, and just plain stress. It has been a turbulent journey and we are only halfway done with chemo but yesterday, I did a little birding and it felt good. I think it will be part of my therapy as we head into the spring.

We are home for a few days and our daughter Jennifer was here to help out and be her wonderful caring presence. She suggested to me that after some errands, I go off and do some birding while she tended the fort. So I did.

I checked several local spots up by the local airport with little success but then, driving a loop where we sometimes see winter visitors, I saw a dozen birds up ahead in the road. “Siskins, Starlings, Snow Buntings?” I wondered as I stopped and watched them through the windshield. Then I saw dozens in the trees as well and could see the crests of waxwings.

After some jockeying to get closer, it became clear that there were 50-100 Bohemian Waxwings. They put on quite a show as I tried to hook up my iPhone digiscoping gear after a four month layoff. Here is a documentation photo:

A few of the many Bohemian Waxwings seen on my first real outing of 2016.

A few of the many Bohemian Waxwings seen on my first real outing of 2016.

I won’t have the time for a lot of serious birding for many months but just to integrate some local stops will be a healthy outlet. Plus, when we are home, watching the birds at our feeders is quite therapeutic. I look forward to spring when I can take Mary on some of our local back roads to see the spring arrivals. The hints of yellow in our visiting American Goldfinches give us hope.  Good birding.


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2 Responses to Easing Back Into Birding

  1. Judith Davis says:

    I’m so happy you did this. It is great therapy. Love the Bohemian Waxwings. I’ve never seen one.

  2. Ginny Alfano says:

    I’m so glad that you were able to get out and do a little birding. What a great bird to see on your first day out in 2016!! They are so beautiful and not easy to find. I joined Mary’s Caring Bridge page way back when you started it. Even though I don’t know either one of you, I felt I did from following your blog. I’m so happy that she’s home for a few days, Dick. Home is such a restorative place to be for both the body and soul. Take care of yourself, and it’s so good to see you back :).

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