Keep A Bird Watching Journal 

If you are serious about enjoying bird watching, then it might be time to start your bird watching journal.  Your bird watching experiences are going to fade with time unless you have documented these experiences.  You want to be able to look back and remember what types of birds you saw, where you enjoyed the experience and with whom.  It’s great to be able to track how many different species of birds you have watched. 

Can you remember your first birding experience?  Do you remember everything about your most recent birding experience?  You may remember when and where you were birding and the people who were with you, but do you remember the rest of the experience.  If you keep a bird watching journal you will be better able to recall your memories of your birding experiences for many years to come. 

You can record your bird watching experiences whether you are watching from your own yard or you are bird watching in some place away from home.  Each sighting brings new experiences regardless of where you are when you see the bird. 

Your bird watching journal should be compact enough that it is not cumbersome and does not take up too much space.  To protect it from inclement weather or spills, etc., the journal should have a case to protect it. Your journal needs to have lots of blank spaces for you to record your experiences. 

Some of the things you want to include when writing in your journal are: 

Where and when you were birding.  Who went on the adventure with you.  If your trip was overnight or longer where did you stay?  Did you enjoy the place?  If you did enjoy the place, include details and helpful hints about the area that may serve as a guide for you or an interested friend if that same area is visited again.   Did you meet people with whom you want to stay in contact?  If so, include contact information for them. 

How was the weather? What about the geography of the area?  What shrubs and flowers did you see?  What birds did you see?  Did you have any unusual experiences, funny mishaps, or did anything special happen?  

Your journal is for your own pleasure.  You don’t need to write in it everyday unless you want to.  It does not matter if you misspell words, cross out information, or use poor grammar.  You want to have your own record of your observations and experiences.  There is no right or wrong way to keep your bird watching journal.  It should be something that works for you and gives you the information you want to be able to recall in the future.  Keeping a journal will allow you to reflect on your memories many years later. 

It is best to record the information in your journal either during your bird watching experience or immediately after birding.  Bird watching is a wonderful way to commune with nature.  When you keep a bird watching journal you can preserve these experiences.