Monday, April 30, 2012

New Birds and a Question

2012 April 28

I have been very excited since we arrived here in New Mexico. I love watching for and being able to identify birds as I see them, especially new ones that I've not seen before.  When we were staying at Big Lagoon State Park in Florida, the Ranger had "Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America", which I coveted. While visiting White Sands National Monument, I saw that same guide n their book store. Raymond encouraged me to get it, even though I was hesitant to spend the $25. I am so glad I did! Especially since the only other field guide I own is "The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds" Eastern Region. It's a great beginner's guide, but since it's dedicated to the area east of the 100th meridian, I really did need to supplement.

Since arriving in New Mexico, I have added several new to me birds that weren't available to I.D. with my Audubon guide. Of course, while in Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, my Audubon Guide was consistently helpful. And even when we entered New Mexico, it provided answers, until I saw my first Scott's Warbler in Roswell. So my purchase in White Sands was timely.

Some of the new to me birds I've seen since being on the road include: Scott's Oriole, White Fronted Dove, White Winged Dove, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Black-billed Magpie, Pinon Jay, Le Conte's Thrasher, Gambel's Quail, Chichuahuan Raven, and a Black-chinned Hummingbird. 

The new field guide and all the possibilities provided by this road trip have led me to discover that not only is my current camera inadequate, but so are my binoculars! While one tenet of this trip involved down-sizing, and letting go of stuff, I find myself wanting to acquire things at this point. Specifically, new binoculars and maybe a new camera. Does this seem counter to the tenets of traveling light, owning less and being nomads? 

That's my dilemma as we head out to Chama, New Mexico to do our laundry. If you have any thoughts, please share them. I really do need input on this.


  1. We have both replaced our binoculars. . .and have added bigger lenses to our photography collection of cameras. . .along with a professional style tripod in anticipation of getting some awesome shots in Rocky Mountain National Park this summer. . .

    You have completely changed your lifestyle. ..things that were important and a necessity in your S&B no longer matter. . .different things are important now. . .so I say. . .if your viewing and photography equipment is inadequate. . .it needs to be replaced. . .get rid of the old stuff. . .sell it on EBay. . .and then it's not adding to the collection. . .

    I love birdwatching, and have gotten some awesome shots with our new lens. . .enjoy!


  2. Janice, what binocs did you get? The ones we have are more appropriate for viewing sporting events, that tracking birds in the tops of trees :) As for cameras, I was entertaining the purchase of a DSLR, but have since decided that I am not that serious a photographer, so I my just get a long lens, digital point & shot. I've found one I like with a 30X optical zoom, which may work. Plus it's 16 mp, which is a nice jump from the 4mp, I'm using :)