So....a new place to "bird" as well as to be a "birdy"...and hopefully the two will go together. This new place is the Egg Harbor Township Reserve and is located on Zion Road with the cross street of Schoolhouse Avenue in Egg Harbor Township. I would say it is close to a 1 1/2 miles in terms of walking time around this man-made lake. From what I understand, this lake was created by some 'interesting' contractor as they wanted fill dirt for Egg Harbor High School. Before they found out about this contractor, this entire hole was already dug and emptied of dirt.
So...what to do, oh what to do? Well Egg Harbor Township had a great idea and that was to turn this 'hole' into a man made lake and refuge area where water foul could congregate and hold service, as well as migrating birds of all types could use the area around the lake. In addition, next door is an arboretum, which quite frankly is floundering but still, the guts of it are in place. Also, is a Monarch Butterfly nesting area, which will be something to take a look at as this coming year evolves into Monarch nesting territory. Lots to do here as a birder, so figure out a way to get here and see what is around.
It is 'new'.....there is a bike path around and about and walkers use the trail, but so do birders. Give it a try.
I was here just today....cold and blustery and with my gloves with only the tips showing, I managed to see a few wintery type birds we find here. This might be a good place to find crossbills due to the abundance of pine trees and of course the large lake. I will have to research this more though.
As I walked around this lake and froze....a thought occurred to me as my thoughts usually do, they just pop in my head. I have been birding for many years and my count here in the US is in the mid to upper 500's while my international 'tick' is much much larger. But, when I bird, I am not always the first birder to 'name that bird'. I know the bird and can name it, and many times can hear the sound and ID it but my 'processing' time is not as quick as others. Why is that? Being an educator all of my life, I am aware of processing time as many days I would see young kids who would 'have it up in the head' but not be able to have it 'flow out of their mouth' .That my dearies is simply due to processing time.
All of us process information and data differently, be they visuals or words or sounds or smells etc...data is data, right? And some data we process more quickly than others. All of us have our own unique blend of processing skills. As I bird, I process....but not maybe as fast as others who process the same view of a bird. We are looking at the same thing, right? A bird...up there in a tree. Some people will never be able to develop skills to process the bird via sound, silhouette, habitat, mannerisms etc...All of that 'data' goes into play when processing or ID'ing a bird. While some may never get it, others pick up on it real quickly and are usually the first to spurt it out. That is a Blue-barred wing pigeon, or well...whatever. So next time you are out birding, notice those who process quickly.
Then, notice those who process slowly. They take in the same data...hear the sound, know the habitat and mannerisms of birds but just don't blurt out the information in time to be the first one. But the knowledge is there, right? Additionally it might also depend on familiarity with the land. Those who have been birding the same relative patch for ions, will know what is out there in the first place so part of the processing has is already in place.
Others....well...others no matter how hard a person might try to tutor them are just not 'naturalistic' and will never be able to process all the data, it is simply too much. Akin to a musician, where many instruments might be playing at once and beats, a true musician can pick up on sounds that others can not. Or, like a culinary expert who can grab a taste of any dish and be able to tell you the ingredients. So you see, a naturalist is just the same. The ingredients or beats are the habitats, the mannerisms, the sounds, the silhouettes, the colors etc of that particular bird. If you are a birder, you have that ability to pick up on those ingredients but the processing time itself might be fast or slow. It makes no difference.
Just some thoughts......