Friday, November 11, 2011

What I've learned at the OAS. So far.

I've been a member of the Ocmulgee Audubon Society for about a year.  Only.  And what I've learned so far would have taken me three years or more otherwise.
  1. The cliché "more eyes are better" is so true.  When we go out birding as a group, we see more birds.  Period. We get the grounds (or the trees and sky) covered much better.  May I add, more ears are better?
  2. Experience matters.  The experience of the members of the group definitely helps learn more.  We run into birds ID issues when we go out birding alone, sometimes.  That's true for me.  With a group, we get our "ah ha" moments and finally identify that mystery bird we've been hearing. 
  3. Equipment counts.  When you're not with a group, it will never occur to you that there is something terribly wrong with your cheap binoculars.  (You're laughing?) With a group, you wonder why some folks can see more details than you.  And you know you have good eyesight! You guessed right.  Better equipments matter. 
  4. Birding is not just about birds.  We all get interested in other aspects of nature while we're out in the outdoors.  From the wildflowers, trees, butterflies, even the different clouds in the sky, we find it all, not just interesting, but also fascinating.  Well, this is not a diversion from birding.  It's part of the experience.  When other members of the group show interest and knowledge in varied areas, I knew it's all connected.
  5. To see more birds, you have to go where they are.  When you see people going from the coastal areas to the mountains, and they are the more experienced folks around, you know that's how you see more birds.  Get out of your surroundings and go where different birds are.  Sure, we all already thought of that, but that feeling gets reinforced when we join a group of other birders.
  6. Last but not least, birders are nice people.  And "birds of the same feather flock together".  So, you end up with a bunch of nice people.  People are willing to share.  This is not like fishermen who are afraid to tell you where the better fishing spots are.  There is no competition.  And yes, when you connect to the beauties of nature, you tend to project it outwards. 
I'm sure our experiences are unique.  Maybe you want to share your experience and comment on this post.  If you find this post quite elementary, that's a good indication that you have something to contribute. 

Maybe you are a member of the OAS but never get a chance to benefit from the wealth of experience around.  Why don't you come around sometimes?

Don't forget to comment and share your experience. 

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