We had a great birding outing this morning in the Garden.
Patrick McMillan and Matt Johnson (Patrick's assistant on Expeditions and a keen birder) provided expertise. We were a small group, so were able to see many more birds than I've ever managed to spot in the Garden before, either alone or with other birding groups.
It was more than well worth the contribution to Garden Education programs, too.
There are myriad ways to learn about birds, but digital advances have provided portable field guides with bird songs and calls on an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad. Totally wonderful. I've had CD's and chip-based players, but these portable versions --great!
But, regardless of the digital devices, the best way to learn about birds is to go out with good birders, who point out birds and their field marks and cue you in to their calls and songs -- so, thanks Patrick and Matt!
Birds we saw (and often were able to hear: