Of course, my first step was to buy the camera. I’ve been reviewing the different models for some time so this wasn’t as challenging as I thought it might be. The most difficult part was looking at the cash register as the salesman rang up my purchases -- Nikon D3100 digital camera, two lenses (18-55mm and 55-200 mm), two filters so the expensive lenses won’t get damaged, two memory cards and a sturdy camera bag to protect all of this costly equipment. Yikes! I spent the remainder of the afternoon reading through manuals, figuring out settings and ensuring the components of my new equipment were correctly attached. Unfortunately, it was dark long before the battery was fully charged. So, my first bird will have to wait until tomorrow ... but I’ll be ready for it.
There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.