When I am birding on a trail I take my time. The rest of my family will be half a mile up the trail from me because I've just located a mixed flock and am pishing my brains out. I lose track of how long I've been staring into the trees, especially when there is a Townsend's Solitaire staring back at me.
|I tried to get a picture of a MacGillivray's Warbler (lifer for me), |
but this is the result when being hurried along by my family.
It's difficult to bird in secret when in the company of non-birders, so we have developed a list of tips for birding with non-birders.
1. Use your keen observation skills to find a cute, non-bird, creature to distract the group while you find more interesting animals (e.g. birds).Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel- the perfect distraction while I go find an American Dipper.
2. Make the group want to go to a birding destination by enticing them with mind-blowing scenery.
Little do they know, a Townsend's Solitaire is lurking in those shrubs.
3. Just Keep Truckin'
When everyone else stops to look at a tree or at a mountain that the whole group has seen a hundred times already, just keep hiking. This gives you a good buffer zone so if you locate a mixed flock or find a good bird, you have time to get a good look in before the group catches up.
4. Use Guilt.
This one is sort of mean, but if you're looking at a bird and a non-birder comes over to tell you to keep moving, act all exasperated and pretend that they just scared off some cool bird.
Example: "Hey! Let's keep it moving!" "Ahh! No! You just scared off a ________! Ugh!"
This usually makes the non-birder feel bad and let you keep birdin'.