About 251 Birds

By admin • • 17 Mar 2012

Hi there!  I’m afraid you’ve happened upon a very self-indulgent adventure that serves mostly selfish purposes.  How unlucky for you!  251 Birds is a project that combines three of my favorite things: nature, photography, and my home state of Vermont.  It was conceived as a means of getting outdoors, becoming a better field naturalist (and birder, specifically), progressing as a photographer, and visiting every corner of a place with which I have long been obsessed.  You’ve by now noticed that these things are all about me?  Sorry about that!

Hopefully, however, I’ll make some interesting or beautiful images and visit some forgotten or hidden places that are of general interest.  The goal of this project is to bird each of Vermont’s 251 towns (and 4 gores) and take photos along the way of the landscapes, flora, fauna, and fungi that I find there.

There are some great resources to help me plan my travels.  The Vermont 251 Club is a fascinating organization that challenges members to visit each town in Vermont. They maintain a useful website that I’ll be using to track my progress. Frankly, I believe I’ve already visited 248 of the towns and three of the gores (and birded many of them), but I’ve decided to start fresh.

On the birding side, I’ll be tracking my sitings with eBird, an ever-expanding citizen science tool that has revolutionized how and why people track their bird observations. Between the time I started this project and when I decided to start a blog about it I’d birded in 31 towns.  At about town #28 I acquired a Canon 400mm f/5.6 L lens, which made shooting birds practical and also made me realize how much I had to learn about wildlife photography.  I’ll periodically post about those 31 towns, and I’m sure there will be plenty of posts that are unrelated to the 251 project.  Everyone is surely interested in another photo of a black-capped chickadee on my feeder! Anyway, if you have a moment, feel free to check out my general photography site (www.scriberule.org).

I hope you enjoy what you find here, and thanks for visiting!

Joshua Phillips

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