Failed Birding Expeditions

The non birder may wonder, why do we do it? What could possibly make a sane human being arise before sunrise, and go out after sunset in search of a bird?! This question might seem harder to answer in light of how many times a birding expedition ends in failure. In short, why do we do it?

There are many possible answers, but in my case the response is simple … seeing the beauty in the world around me. Finding my sought after bird is only a bonus. For instance, today …

  1. Before sunrise I left my home in search of a red-throated loon. These birds migrate through our area having left their northern sub-Arctic home. I walked over four miles out Park Point to the Superior Entry of the Twin Ports Harbor
  2. After sunset I drove down to Duluth’s port terminal. My goal was to spot a snowy owl.

In each instance, I had information that indicated my target birds had been recently seen in my birding areas. However, I was a failed birder. Neither bird made an appearance for me. Before you think the outings were a failure, see my photos for today’s post. Beauty was all around me, just not my desired specific birds

A Superior Sunrise (ocean going freighter anchored out in Lake Superior)


A Superior Night (ocean going freighter unloading at the Port Terminal)


A Snow Bunting (a different Arctic bird posed for me this morning)

One thought on “Failed Birding Expeditions

  1. I agree. If you can go out with the attitude that you are just going to enjoy being outside (and hopefully seeing ANY birds), then any unusual birds you see are just a bonus! Of course, I’m not the most competitive birder out there. But I think getting too caught up in the checklists and the numbers has the potential to take the fun out of it.

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