Agency and Birdwatching in COVID-19

I bought a new camera as part of my COVID Coping Strategy and discoverd birds. Little did I know I would accumulate thousands of bird photos. Now Terry has posted a new challenge to prompt me to curate my bird photos. Her challenge is feed the birds but I widened the scope. I tried to pick the photos of more unusual birds and birds you can’t see very well without a Zoom lens. I use an app to identify birds but identification is open to other suggestions. Details on the apps are on my Birding page. Apparently birding is linked to Happiness and since walking is the new pathway to mental health I should be at least be coping with Quarentine. So  walking + photgraphy+ birding is a good coping strategy. I have especally enjoyed the Facebook birding and photgraphy pages, especially Bird Fanatics of Vancouver Island, because they give me some interesting places to visit.

Now that it is snowing, it a good time for photo curating. The first group of photos are backyard birds often spotted near bird feeders and the other group is water birds, since I live on the east coast of Vancouver Island. All the birds have been photographed over the past 6 months in the vicinity of Courtenay BC. I feel pretty smart because I can now identify so many birds. Lest you think this was a trivial undertaking.. here are a few of my learnings!

  • How to operate my new Canon Powershot SX70 HS
  • How to use the bird apps and report sightings 
  • How to identify the birds.
  • How to post captions on WordPress.
  • Where the birding hot spots are.
  • How to do # sundaystills.  
  • chat with other birders on my walks.

Why is it so important to have new learnings?

One of the challenges my friends have been having recently is what I call “hitting the wall” but other labels are boredom and Covid Fatigue.  I recently listened to a documentary on the radio about Boredom, and one of my key take-aways was the lack of agency we all have during quarentine.  That is.. we lack the ability to make things happen.  Some people have been able to find a niche that gives them some feeling of agency or accomplisment:  blogging, writing, art, weaving,  home repairs, decorating, walking, virtual travelling: the Conquerer Challenge, reading, book clubs, language learning,  on-line yoga, e-cycling, grandparenting, online courses, cooking, photography, kayaking, zooming and #Sundaystills.   What has been your project?  

Backyard Birds

Water and Shore birds.

22 thoughts on “Agency and Birdwatching in COVID-19

  1. Hello Ann. I am coming to your blog through a comment you left on Pat’s Retirement Transition blog. What a pleasant surprise to see all of these lovely bird photos. It sounds like a delightful hobby, especially during COVID. Thanks for sharing it with us.



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  3. Beautiful shots! I hope you will join us for Bird Weekly and share your wonderful new hobby! You certainly have a great eye. The Plover/Sandpiper photo is definitely a plover. Plovers have thicker shorter bills whereas the Sandpiper have thinner longer bills. They look like non-breeding Black-bellied Plovers. 🙂

    I have been a birder for 10 years. The birds were mine and my hubby’s saving grace during the lockdown last year and continue to be so during the pandemic. The wildlife refuges never closed here in Florida so we were able to social distance ourselves from humans while getting up close and personal with the birds.

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  5. Hi Ann, your photos are lovely and labeled beautifully. They would make a great bird reference. I interviewed Lisa at Our Eyes Open last week on organizing our photos. The post comes out on Friday. Please feel free to leave any tips you have because it looks like you are super organized. I seldom feel bored because there are plenty of places to walk or hike and take pictures. I seldom take my big camera, though. Maybe today I will, just to be different. Bird pictures are much easier with a long telephoto lens. 🙂 Have a wonderful week. 🙂


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  7. Hi, Ann – Both your photography and your bird identification skills, are very impressive. I couldn’t agree more about the challenges of COVID-Fatigue, lack of agency and hitting the wall. Thank you for sharing strategies that can help ease this. Your examples are very effective!


  8. I have greatly enjoyed seeing all of your photos, Ann. Like you say, Vancouver Island has many birding hotspots. I rarely see a Kingfisher up close. Amazing captures. The widgeon feather detail is amazing.


  9. I’m so happy you joined the gang at Sunday Stills, welcome! You are so right about coping with covid quarantines, walking, photography, and birding are what keep us sane these days. Your bird images are spectacular and you can ID them! My Sunday Stills page is updated monthly with themes for each month. Still working on March, but next week the theme is “things that are white.” Lisa at Our Eyes Open does a weekly bird challenge and her theme is white birds next week also. Yes, I planned mine around hers!

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  10. Pingback: Agency and Birdwatching in COVID-19 — -

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