We had a pair of old binoculars; a freebie gift from somewhere. They were more trouble and hindrance than help, so I gave up on them pretty quickly. I enjoyed the birds, but stopped trying to identify them, for the most part, because I couldn't get a close enough look to identify anything more than size and general color.
When Brett and I were in Mendocino in November, there were a pair of binoculars in our room. The morning before we left, we walked down to the bench sitting at the edge of the bluff overlooking the ocean. I grabbed the binoculars on our way out the door. We traded them back and forth, looking at the waves breaking over the rocks and the rip tides colliding. I noticed a bird flying overhead. It was some kind of raptor and I pointed the binoculars in its direction. It was an epiphany for me -- the bird was clear, with its colors and markings visible. I was enthralled and amazed. I had no idea that a decent pair of binoculars could be so helpful.
Back home, I researched binoculars for birding. I found a pair with excellent reviews and highly rated by the Audubon Society. Brett said he would get them for me for Christmas.
Sure enough, Christmas morning there were binoculars for me under the tree. We celebrated Christmas with Kyle and Camille on Wednesday and, after opening the binoculars, I promptly ordered a bird journal so I can write down the birds I identify. This morning, as I was mucking, I heard Canada geese flying overhead. I thought to myelf; "Aha! My first entry."
Then, I came back inside and tried to identify the birds in the pictures that Steve took when he and Heather were visiting. (He took the photos in this post)