This is an alternative guide to birdwatching for those of you in your golden years or the infirm or maybe you’re just lazy or just don’t like to walk. With a few tips you can enjoy birding as much as anyone.
A friendly couple from New York spent a few weeks in California after birding across the USA in the Spring. They made my acquaintance as I sat in my director’s chair, sharing my spotting scopes and talking with the visitors who came to Morro Rock. The woman, Sue, asked if I knew of some good birding spots.
I replied, “Yes, but I think this is one of the best right here in that little willow thicket just 20 yards in front of you.”
I pulled another chair from my car and invited her to bird. In the following days we became fast friends. The little thicket had new and different birds every day.
“Birding by lawn chair became a recognized sport in Morro Bay. After all, it is a retirement center.”
I’m sure neither Sue nor I invented it, but now she is the East Coast promotor and distributor. Most people miss a lot because they can’t stay in one place more than a short time.
Here are some hints:
I use a straight back director’s chair with folding table. I find a small collapsable cooler with ice pack works well for food and drink. I’m not going to go through the obvious things you need for birding, books, binoculars, sunscreen, etc. The point here is to find the spots where birders are going, through the internet, daily postings, word of mouth, etc.
A bird that was there yesterday might not be there today.
How many times have you heard, “You just missed them. A whole flock of them.”?
Most birders keep moving to try to see more and more species. Some can put in as much as 200 miles a day in searching. What I’m getting at is if you stay in the same spot long enough, you will see the birds of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Happy trails, Bob
Suggestions and comments from an expert, Sue Boardman:
“My favorite birding chair has a high back so that I can lean back to see the warblers without getting warbler neck or hold steady when the peregrines are passing food overhead. Bob’s side table is a great plus as a place for my coffee cup.
While I am still able to crash around in the woods, I almost never see anything that way because I am too busy trying to keep from tripping over an errant root, or worse yet my own feet.
Another great delight in lawn chair birding is exactly what happened in Morro Bay, you make connections with the people who really know something and like most birders, they are happy to share. We really hit a winner…. a great spot, easy birding additions to our life lists and new friends. It doesn’t get any better than that!” ~Sue Boardman