ďWhoís a lifer?Ē the Audubon Society member piloting the boat asked our group. We had just observed a Lesser Black Backed Gull which apparently is not frequently sighted. So this fellow was asking who in our group was seeing this bird for the first time in their life.
I was a lifer for almost every bird we sighted at Carlyle Lake during our Field Birding Class. Interestingly most of our group of birders kept track of what they had seen. It was a bit like a treasure hunt of bird sightings. Which got me thinking about that phrase- a lifer, how it could be applied to firsts of many different things? That first birding field trip was a lifer and now that I have done it I have the opportunity to evaluate the experience. Did I absolutely love it? Canít wait to go again? Hate it? Learn something? How did I feel about the birding field trip?
I enjoyed the birding field trip but it was way too long. We started at 7am and finished around 4pm on a Saturday. I could do this in small doses but nope, all day long, standing around spying on birds with binoculars. No, it just didnít hook me. Now letís say it was a group of runners with binoculars stuffed into backpacks stopping along the way, and then maybe I would go out for a birding run. However you wonít find me rushing to join the Audubon Society. And there you have it; the fun thing about first time experiences is you try something new. Sometimes you love it and itís a positive life changing experience while other times eh, it isnít something you want to pursue deeply. I now look at birds differently, I learned to see different characteristics and have a great appreciation for our feathered friends and this small taste of birding was enough for me. I am ready to try something new; I am ready to sample another lifer experience. How about you what is it youíve never done? Letís try something new. Whoís a lifer?