I vividly remember when I fell in love with birds and birding. It was winter of 1982/1983 when I pointed a set of binoculars at a couple of Blue Tits in the top of a Willow Tree near my home in Waddinxveen, The Netherlands. Those binocs I purchased in April 1982 from money that I saved from my weekend job. I bought them just because I thought it would be interesting to have them around. I was right! I had obviously seen Blue Tits and other birds before, but after admiring the details and sheer beauty of these bright blue birds on that winter day, I was sold. Hook, line and sinker. From that moment on I tried hard to see every bird in my surroundings with my binocs and learn everything about them. That knowledge took flight in Feb 1984 when a local newspaper made me aware of a nature walk organized by a birding club a few towns over. That nature walk was an eye opener and I instantly got involved with that birding group. That fine group of birders took me everywhere in the Netherlands and I learned so much from them! Every vacation after that was for the birds. Both in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe.
10 years after this we moved to Alberta, Canada and after another 10 years in the Canadian prairies, we moved again, this time to Central Florida. So now after about yet another 16 years of preparation and numerous trips in the US and Canada, the time has come to do a Big Year!
I'm excited! Dec 31 2020