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Hi! (warning, tldr) (1 Viewer)


New Birder
Hi, new birder here. Maybe a wannabe birder.

As a young man I hunted grouse. Not for decades but when I got my rescue lab, 8 years ago, I found out somebody had trained him to hunt, and he had an unbelievable nose. But was terrified of storms. Or guns. To see for sure I carried my 16 ga out for one of our walks,(Dad has his family farm where he was raised of 160 acres, all overgrown now) and my buddy wouldn't come within 50 yards. Just carrying it. So that was that.

But he would point grouse and woodcock. And I would wait awhile as if getting in position and then say "flush' and he would bound in and a grouse or woodcock would fly out. I'd cheer and clap and he'd bounce around in front of me in paroxysms of joy like dogs do "I did good? Ididgood? IDIDGOOD?"

I'd carry my binos. Once I found the woodcock 4 feet in front of his nose when he slammed to a halt faster than I'd ever seen - and other than some 5 inch high grass there was only a foot tall pine there. Sure enough, bird was in the path behind the tiny pine. It took me awhile to scan up that close in front of my pal but there it was.

But he died, a few months short of 15, was on some heart meds and he didn't make it before we got the dose right I think, but he did have some good final weeks. A year ago. No more stressing the local birds with fake hunts. I prefer to just watch and learn myself, but that dog got a special joy from his wonderful nose, which gave me joy.

And I've been putting on pounds without many hikes. Now working from home to isolate (working from home is awesome, covid, not awesome) I'm really doing too much sitting.

I wanted something easier to carry then the Zenway Prime 8x42 demos I bought 6 years back after reading this forum a lot. Just bought the Kowa 6.5 BD II. Like them, wasn't wowed, but have to admit, comfortable to use. It's in comparison to the cheap Kowa YF II I also just bought for my Dad, in some ways they finish 2nd. But that's another post. (Dad is 90, with tremors, and some macular degeneration. He loves the YF II, he can get some use from binos again. Higher power wasn't working.)

I just get a thrill seeing birds, foxes, rabbits, bears, wolves (twice, in 8 years) , bumblebees, frogs, turtles. Anything. Decided as much as I love it, I should get out and learn much more. I know so little. I can lose weight too. I can get to the back 40 more often and say hello to my friend.

I hope this post fits on a single web page. Sorry about that. Thanks for all the advice. Long time lurker, first time poster. As years go by it seems that watching and learning about the birds gets even more interesting. Thought I'd start doing it, and tracking what I see.

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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Hi John and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.


Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Hi John and welcome to BirdForum. My Lab used to be terrified of thunder as well. And we had to close all the windows and turn up the TV’s when people were setting off fireworks.



Picture Picker
Welcome to Birdforum! I am sure that you will find lots to interest you here and I hope that you enjoy your visits.

Lisa W

Staff member
Hi John, welcome to the forum. I think you will find us a friendly and helpful group.

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