This one word that has endless possibilities and adventures. Exploring some new destination. Visiting friends and families in far off places where we normally don’t go. Sleepless nights as the departure date approaches as your suitcase stands at the ready. Studying maps and setting your GPS with all the proper way points pre-programed, has become part of our normal pre-vacation process. Loading up on all the appropriate snacks prior to that long drive has become a time honored tradition families practice without giving it a second thought. Wouldn’t we all love a nice long vacation right about now? Well I am.
However my pre-vacation check list has a few more items that’s not normally found on other, non-birders lists.
- Appropriate number of field guides
- Spotting scope
- Camera with additional batteries and charger
- Extra SD cards
- I-Pod with charger (bird calls)
- Lens cleaning stuff
- Samsung tablet with charger (for recording species seen on e-Bird)
- Birding suitcase (yes, I have one specifically for my optics, books and stuff)
This upcoming road trip/vacation will be 2 weeks in length, which hasn’t happened for a long time. It will be a combination of visiting family and friends, intermixed with leisure/ bird watching.
We’ll be starting out with a long drive to Mississippi to visit my southern side of the family. Mostly to visit my last living aunt and uncle who are both 96 years old. She is my Mother’s oldest sister, and she looks so much like her when she was alive. One of the most gentlest souls you’d ever want to meet.
Then it’s onto Destin Florida where Kathy and myself will spend a few days before traveling to Panama City to visit one of Kathy’s favorite cousins. It’s here in these 2 cities where I’m concentrating my birding efforts.
From Florida it’s off to Hilton Head South Carolina where we’ll be staying with a friend of Kathy who she worked with, who’s now retired. It’s here where I’ll contact my Hilton Head birding friend Rich for a few days of some outstanding birding along the Atlantic coast.
Our last stop will be Asheville North Carolina where we”ll act like real tourists and visit Biltmore House.
The Florida leg of this vacation will prove to be the most difficult as far as birding is concerned. You see I’ve not been to these 2 cities before and knowing where to go birding has caused me to reach out for help through Audubon websites. Our length of stays will also be rather short, which doesn’t help in familiarizing yourself with the lay of the land. Hilton Head is a different subject altogether. having been there twice already I know where to find the birds in the short time there.
Life birds I feel will next to impossible, unless I happen upon a Snowy Plover while in Destin. Most of the Florida specialties are more in the southern/central part of the state, or migration hasn’t brought them this far south. This is yet another frustrating aspect of being a birder.
I will be updating my blog as my birding adventures take shape. Alas I’m still without a means to transfer my photos onto my tablet so I can share my pictures with my readers. This will be remedied before the end of the year as I’ve found the right piece of electronics that will help me do this.
So on the 26th, we’re off. More to come, so stay tuned.