New Birder Experience – Lifer Numero Uno

A recent trip to Horicon Marsh NWR was the beginning of The New Birder Experience. What was the first official bird to land on Stacia’s Life List?

The weather was practically perfect: warm, breezy and clear. The birds were active and showy offering me, as teacher, a much easier time to point out birds. We took our time to really enjoy each new bird, a generally good practice with newer birders. The temptation to rattle off every singing bird, every airborne feathery creature was there, but we weren’t on a big day. This was purely for fun and I wanted to not overwhelm.

Horicon Marsh is completely loaded with birds year round and we were not disappointed. Lifer #1 was no other than a Great Egret (a bird we saw plenty of throughout the day but did not photograph). We traveled along the main dike road for the wide open views and one of the most fun sightings were all the young American Coots.

These photos were taken by Stacia with our 100-400mm Canon lens
American Coot

American Coot Young

American Coot Young

American Coot Young

Unbelievably, within a few minutes of driving on the dike road we were treated with a flyby American Bittern, a great bird for a first time out! We saw a Black-crowned Night-heron, American White Pelicans, and just a nice sampling of large marsh birds. We had a fantastic time and plan on many more birding trips!!

Over 80 Tree Swallows in one tree
Tree of Tree Swallows

A rare photo of Birdfreak birding since he usually has the camera

9 thoughts on “New Birder Experience – Lifer Numero Uno

  1. Ecesis – glad you enjoyed and great to see another new birder! Our ranks are growing constantly and the more birders, the more bird conservationists!!

  2. Beautiful images, and a great list to usher in what will inevitably be “listmania.” 😉

    I hope the sightings were duly archived in eBird?

  3. Wow, a bittern. Here in NL they are extremely rare to see. Most impressive start of a life list. Well done Stacia (and Eddie 😉 )

  4. Thanks everyone! We’ll try to get out as often as possible to find more birds. One of the cool things for me (Birdfreak) is the feeling of everything being new again… and relearning what makes each bird unique. It is fun!!

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