I used to think of myself as a pretty-good birder but lately I am feeling like maybe I am not so good when it comes to birding. In the last few months, I have gotten electronically hooked in to a few of the local birding groups and I am finding that I am a rank amateur when compared to some of the birders out there. I get tons of messages telling me all about where the rare birds are today and sometimes I go chasing after them to no avail. I have found quite a few new places to bird but I am not finding the target birds. I scan the trees and scope the wetlands and search the woods only to be just a little disappointed and frustrated when I do not find the bird or birds that everyone is writing about and taking spectacular photographs of. But I say “only a little disappointed” because you cannot really beat a morning or afternoon walking in the woods checking out what nature does provide. And I do generally see some birds, if not the specific target birds, and sometimes I see a bird I have not seen before. So what if I do not see the bird everyone else is seeing and what if I see only the birds everyone else overlooks because they have seen them a hundred times or more??? It is still wonderful to see any birds and to get a good walk in the woods and find that there are still many wonderful things on this earth to see and enjoy. And, I don’t suppose it was ever a competition anyway…..at least not for me.