Keri Marie McDonnell / KeriBirder
I have been birding in one way or another for all of my life. I vividly remember my very first “serious” bird sighting – when I began recording my observations – as a young teen when I saw a Little Blue Heron at Scarborough Marsh, Maine.
Through my teen years, I summered in Ocean Park, Maine and continued to bird Scarborough Marsh quite frequently with two of my mentors, Genevieve Webb and Edith Stephenson. I assisted with Nature Camps in Ocean Park, founded the Ocean Park Bird Club in 1976, and co-produced “Birds of Ocean Park” with the help of many others. Ms. Webb and I actually got a Maine RBA with a sighting of a Sandhill Crane in Maine. That was pretty cool.
During this time, I also began birding in my home state of Massachusetts, most notably the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and its surrounds, Marblehead and Newburyport. I was boots-on-the-ground in 1975 when the Ross Gull flew in, but was not lucky enough to view it. But… I got a Tufted Duck that year! And saw my first and still only Snowy Owl.
In my twenties, having moved to New York, I began birding Long Island in earnest. My favorite spot was Montauk Point and the neighboring Oyster Pond, where I saw many species, including an Avocet. I also made the fall migration at Cape May, New Jersey. All through this period, from my teens, I kept a copious notebook detailing species and numbers, where observed, notes on behavior, etc… sadly, it is all gone, lost in moves.
This past year, 2019, I decided to embrace birding once again, likely due to visiting a dear friend on Long Island and our doing some birding together, chasing after Harriers in Calverton. Now in Ohio, I am actively re-engaging what apparently is my greatest passion, and trying to reclaim my past in the process. 2020 holds great promise for me, as it will see me attend the “Biggest Week” for the very first time, and also the Presque Isle Festival. I am looking forward to the challenge of having dozens of warbler species thrown at me and having to discern quickly!
My birding was begun by and is dedicated to my late grandmother, Agnes D. MacDonald.
Equipment: Zeiss Victory Harpia 95 Spotting Scope; Zeiss Victory SF 10×42 Binoculars; Nikon P950 Digital Camera
Member: The American Birding Association, The Association of Field Ornithologists, The Kirtland Bird Club, The National Audubon Society, The Ohio Ornithological Society
Supporter: The Black Swamp Bird Observatory, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Beta Tester: eBird version 2.0