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Old Monday 19th January 2004, 20:42   #14
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NE Indiana, USA
Posts: 2,961
Pattianne, I enjoy both kinds of birding, alone and in a group.

There's advantages to both. When I'm by myself, I can just wander anywhere I want to, stay as long as I like, and so forth. In a group, I don't always have that freedom, but that's offset by the distinct advantage of having more eyes and ears to winkle out something that doesn't want to show!

I go with our local Audubon group a few times each spring and fall and enjoy them thoroughly -- it's a really nice bunch of people (tends to be the same ones, mostly) and there's a lot of fun along the way -- traditional stops (ALWAYS the McD's along I-80/90 when birding Cedar Swamp in Steuben County), traditional jokes (on each fall's crane trip, we drive through a wide spot on the road named Parr. Now with the widespread use of two-way radios, the puns flow from vehicle to vehicle, and get worse the further we go ["My, you're being awfully PARR-ticular about this!" etc.])

Some of my favorite birding times have been with a small group of friends -- there's 4 of us and all of us are fairly serious birders. We rent a cabin in the woods at a state park about 40 minutes north of the city twice a year and bird our little hearts out for an entire weekend (and eat and drink and play games and eat and . . .). We've now added a winter 'tradition' of doing a CBC at a NWR in south-central Indiana on New Year's Day. And we have soooooooooo much fun!

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
--Langston Hughes
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