Thursday 7 July 2011


After some thought I've decided to discontinue my website, but not the blog. It was a fun run with the site and I definitely learned a lot and it helped me focus on improving my bird photography. I certainly have a lot of room for improvement for my photography and I will needless to say continue to learn. I've been thinking of discontinuing it for a while and now is a good time to stop because I'm going to be asked for more money soon - my subscription is ending.

If you want to see images of any species of birds there's many many many sites out there where you can view them and study them. The sites that really stand out for me though are the ones that at least offer some articles/lessons on the birds themselves. There seems to be far too many sites out there with a bunch of photos and no words on helping people out with identification, improving photography, trip reports (I think those are fun!) etc...
And, admittedly, my site fell into that criteria for the most part despite my efforts to not let that happen. But that's alright, I'm still young and I have many years ahead of me to study birds (and other wildlife) and maybe when I'm old and wise I'll put together a website again to do what I think a lot of sites lack.

Anyway, I found that having a blog has been fun, so I'll keep at it and I'll continue to show my photographs there (it's free too - which goes well with being a student - especially since I won't have another job for two years - which is crazy for me because I've had a full time job at least part of the year for the last 8 years!!) 
I know a lot of bird watchers (especially the slightly more aged ones ;) ) aren't too keen on "the proliferation of personal sites and blogs" and I see their argument. But I find blogs to be fun and useful, particularly if they have a 'local' focus, whether that be Toronto or all of Ontario or all of Canada. They help new birders figure out which species they can expect to see and where to go, amongst other benefits...
In fact for my upcoming 4 month trip to Denmark I have been entirely relying on blog archives to figure out which birds I can expect and where/when to find them around my area!

Also, when coming/going to a new city/province/country it's good to know that I can follow someone's blog for the area and try to learn about the birds that can be seen around there and help me learn about them more quickly. When I go to Denmark in less than 2 months I expect to become a 'newbie' again starting from the beginning. At first glance that may seem a little frustrating, but I'm excited for many reasons!:

-new birds to learn about and study
-the opportunity to study birds that may be rarities somewhere else (i.e. Newfoundland!) helping me find those birds when I'm back there... 
-new habitats to explore, new people to meet
-more new birds for my life list (duh)!

I've also been thinking about the whole 'listing' thing that birders are obsessed with (me included). It's certainly fun especially because it's a way of keeping score helping create that competitive atmosphere. It's also good because it makes you get out and explore new areas.
But on the other hand, you end up ignoring the common species or ignoring sub-species or ignoring difficult to understand plumages. Something I plan on focusing a lot more attention on over the next while... and the rest of my life.

Well, enough rambling for me now. Back to birding and enjoying the summer. 

This post ended up being a lot longer than expected.

These Willets were at the tip of Point Pelee in May:

For some reason no other photographers were around nor any birders which I found very odd because they are a rare-uncommon bird for Ontario - so why wasn't anyone interested!? Especially since some of them were walking up very close to me while playing with smelt...