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Your Birding Anniversary

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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 10:24   #1
Euan Buchan
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Your Birding Anniversary

This Friday I will be celebrating 16 years as a birder, how do I know that? I still have my first notebook and my first ever record was on the 16th February 2002 at The Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, it became my first local patch. To celebrate I will return to the place I cant wait. Can you remember your Birding anniversary?
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 16:06   #2
Jeff hopkins
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Mine is hard to say precisely. I went on a couple of mammal viewing trips in Africa and Nepal that involved some birdwatching and got me somewhat interested in birds. I do count the birds on those trips on my lifelist (and I've re-seen many of them since). But I count my true becoming a birder as when I came home from the Nepal trip and started figuring out what birds I'd seen in N. America.

That puts my semi-official anniversary as late May / Early June 1998. So, coming up on 20 years.
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 16:11   #3
Andrew Whitehouse
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I don't have a precise date on which I took up birding but I started doing it fairly concertedly around April 1978.

So almost my 40th anniversary then. Blimey.

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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 17:06   #4
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21st March 1981.....recorded every bird I see on every day since. Sad or what??
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 17:09   #5
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My first vivid memory of bird sighting is a Kingfisher flying over a river in summer 1998 when I was a kid. After that I was more into insects (and still am) and started to watch birds and make lists of seen species with more concentrated effort only from 2005. So 13 years and still going :)
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Old Tuesday 13th February 2018, 17:39   #6
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Sometime in September of 2003 for me, might be able to track down the exact date, it was the first Saturday mist netting and birding field trip as part of an undergraduate ornithology course. I've been hooked ever since!
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 05:03   #7
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Originally Posted by birdboybowley View Post
21st March 1981.....recorded every bird I see on every day since. Sad or what??
Not at all. Thats great! I couldn't do that. My "excuse" is lazyness...

My birding started little by little already before school, but keeping the record of observations I started 10 years ago. So maybe it's mine 10th anniversary.
Last lifer: Bar-tailed Godwit #416, WP ticks: 305, Finnish ticks: 246 (Quail), Eco ticks: 18x (Common Scoter) , Yard tics (alltime): 85 (Greater White-fronted Goose)
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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 12:28   #8
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The first dated record on my life-list is on 19 April 2011. I have later added 115 species that I know for sure I had seen before that date - mainly very common birds and a few birds in foreign countries that appear on old photographs and/or mentioned in my diary.

However, I consider the start of my birding hobby to be end of 2010 where the aftermath of a backpack trip to Malaysia set it all off. I had bought my first (cheapish) binoculars just before that trip and enjoyed watching nature so much that back home I started googling to see if there were any nice reserves near where I live. I still wasn't seriously identifying birds and stuff, just enjoying them. I found a wonderful reserve and there I met a serious birder who helped me identifying some birds that day and advised me on a good fieldguide. Within a few months I was keeping a list and birding has been a quite important part of my life ever since.

Side note: see what happens when a birder takes a few minutes to help/ inform a rather clueless but interested guy about the birds around them! I'll never forget this when bypassers ask me a question.

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Old Wednesday 14th February 2018, 16:09   #9
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I reckon early December 1984 was the first time I used bins for birding and then wrote it down. Blackleach reservoir which was and probably still is a bleak place to start a birding life being the first memorable place. Lots of Tufted duck and Pochard in good numbers and a terribly stringed Scaup.I had a knackered old pair of bins my Dad found during a house demolition, which I shared with my brother for a while.
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 06:55   #10
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I joined the Manchester University Bird Club in freshers week. Their pitch was better than anyone else's: yeah, we do look at birds, but basically we get out of the city and go for a good walk then go to the pub!

This turned out to be a completely accurate description, on one occasion we went looking for Parrot Crossbills near Ladybower Res in Derbyshire and on failing, had a huge snowball fight in the woods instead.

Notwithstanding which, by the following spring I had my first notebook in which to record trips and ticks: daily lists didn't come till much later, when I took up with the present Mrs Dixon (is this a coincidence?)

Anyway, April 1982 is the anniversary of note-taking but there are dated records prior to that.

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Old Friday 16th February 2018, 09:17   #11
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I've always been interested in nature generally, birding came a bit later but I still remember seeing a lot of common birds for the first time as I wanderd through my local woods aged 9-10, a standout was my first male, Blackcap. I of course, come from a generation when most of us were 'nesters' so most bird encounters came during this, thankfully, now out of fashion past time.

A very old memory of my intrerest in wildlife, comes form the age of 5-6 when my Dad was wall papering. He gave me a piece of surplus wallpaper to keep me happy and I proceeded to illustrate on the plain side, every marine animal I could think of. I also still have my very first animal encyclopaedia from age 11.

In terms of going out with 'bins', I was a latecomer but I was born with an interest in nature.


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Old Friday 16th February 2018, 11:56   #12
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June 1958. Great Spotted Woodpecker at nest in woods at the end of my road near Manchester.

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Old Saturday 17th February 2018, 11:48   #13
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I started writing down my notes on 15 April 1984, but I had always been watching birds: I saw 150 species before I started keeping notes (this is the number remaining after getting rid of all the string, haha).

A Great Crested Grebe pointed out by my father when I was four is my first birding memory.
The first bird I found that my parents didn't know was a Redstart (May 1978 when I was almost 7). They had given me an old bird guide as soon as I could read: my interests have always been clear and luckily I was encouraged.
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Old Saturday 17th February 2018, 17:11   #14
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Much the same. The first dated list that I can find is 28th December 1983 but I'd been watching birds in the garden and carrying bins before that as well as taking photos. Photos of my first Waxwings in my grandparents' backgarden in Harlow in December 1982 as well as my first Twite in Summer 1983 at Lochboisdale, Western Isles are attached.

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Old Saturday 17th February 2018, 17:47   #15
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June 8, 1989. My dad gave me a pair of binoculars for my birthday. I added 51 life birds to my list that month!
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