My husband, Harry, took a birding class when he was attending Plymouth State University in the late 70s. A birding class, I recall snickering…That sounds like a silly (and easy) class for a liberal arts college to offer students.
Harry would tell you that the birding class was NOT easy. He ended up spending many hours listening to cassette tape recordings of bird songs and calls and memorizing all the sounds. He had to learn field identification as well as the lifestyles and ecology of our local birds. He spent many hours in the field – sitting, waiting, listening, looking – at the crack of dawn, in heat and humidity, damp and cold temperatures, with bugs swarming around him so thick you could cut through them with a knife. He loved it.
Years later and Harry is still an avid birder. He will sit on our deck with binoculars and field guide in hand watching and listening to the birds. I call him the bird whisperer because he can mimic a number of bird calls and “talk” to the birds. It’s fun to watch him carry on a back-and-forth “conversation,” drawing a bird in closer and closer to our home.
If you’re interested in learning about Waterville Valley’s birds, plan to join Rey Center staff on Friday mornings throughout the summer for Valley Bird Walks. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Curious George Cottage (7 Noon Peak Road), return by 9:30 a.m. No experience is necessary. Bring along binoculars and a bird field guide if you have them. There’s no charge for Rey Center members, and $3 for non-members.
If you’re interested in learning what other birders are seeing in New Hampshire, go to The Birding Lists Digest at sialia.com. Audrey Eisenhauer, executive director of the Margret & H.A. Rey Center, is a contributer. She recently posted on sialia.com, “Spotted 3 white-winged crossbills this morning next to the Curious George Cottage in Waterville Valley. Also spotted two solitary sandpipers on the edge of Waterville Valley¹s Corcoran Pond.”