Space Coast festival
Bill Thompson III gave an entertaining and hilarious keynote speech tonight, melding the perils and pitfalls of birding with the admonition that "whatever you do, don't become a birdwatcher." BT3 shared trade secrets about birding as well as tidbits about his "sad little life," as he jokingly put it.
Among his many notable quotables:
* Many folks say that all you need to become a birdwatcher is a binocular and a field guide. That's wrong. You need tons of items, including multiple feeders of various types because "birds are picky, the little jerks."
* While modeling a binocular harness and extolling its virtues over those of a neck strap, BT3 referred to the harness as a "man-sierre" and pointed out that it lifts and separates.
* Birdwatchers also need to keep their optics clean, and optics reps in the exhibit hall might share cleaning supplies "if you blush becomingly." BT3 displayed a cleaning cloth and said, "These are pieces of Jeff Bouton's Scooby Doo pajamas. He's sleeping without them so we can use clean binoculars."
* BT3 suggested using all the senses while birdwatching, including taste, and said, "I've I.D.ed a bird by taste." He related an incident involving a pastry that dripped icing onto his field coat, a singing-male survey on a mountain, a colleague's observation of the pastry icing, and BT3's decision to swipe his finger in the icing, put it in his mouth and proclaim: Red-eyed Vireo. (I obviously can't do this proper justice. It's one of those had-to-be-there moments.)
If you have a chance to attend a presentation by BT3, then do it. Trust me.