“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Seneca, Roman dramatist, philosopher, & politician (5 BC – 65 AD)
In birding, like any sport, reward is largely dependent upon effort. With birds appearing anywhere at anytime, one must always be ready for action. Here are a few ways to stay prepared!
- BINOCULARS Always have a pair of binoculars on hand. My advice is to keep a spare pair in a convenient location. Mine can be found in my glove compartment, trunk, or purse. These days, I even leave an old pair in my husband’s car, just in case.
- FIELD GUIDE Modern technology makes this one way too easy. While I do leave a field guide in my car at all times, I have all of the latest birding apps conveniently downloaded on both my iPad, computer and phone – and one of them is always with me! With good, detailed notes and/or drawings, you can always refer to a field guide later on, too.
- CLOTHING The urge to bird can strike at any moment. I never want the fact that I am not dressed appropriately to prevent me from doing what I love. For this reason, I always leave a dark sweatshirt, an old pair of pants, and some comfortable shoes in the trunk of my car. My husband always chuckles when we find ourselves in this situation and I whip out a change of clothes for him, too!
- CAMERA/DIGISCOPE While it may not always be practical/desirable to carry a larger, expensive piece of equipment with you, it is usually worth having something – anything! In other words, remember to take whatever type of “glass” soothes your soul and makes sense at the time.
I have also come up with a system to ensure that I am not put in the battery-less situation anymore (total novice mistake!). I now carry at least two batteries and a car charger at all times. The same goes for memory cards. Keep several readily available, and your birding days will stay stress-free!
Be prepared. And remember: Don’t Let Life Fly By!™
Danielle & Michelle