Beth Russell

Positions and Achievements

I got started in birding late in life (I am 41). My uncle, a long-time resident of North Carolina, is a dedicated birder with over 500 species on his life list. During a week-long visit to his home a year ago, he took me birding. My first un-assisted sighting was a plastic owl perched on top of a roof (I was so sure it was real)! I wasn't sure that this hobby was for me, but as I stood by some reeds at a marsh, trying to focus mybinoculars on an egret, a red-shouldered hawk rose from the grasses directly in front of me and perched there for several minutes I was enthralled by this regal and beautiful bird and hopelessly hooked. When I returned home to Pennsylvania, I found myself constantly noticing birds - in the air, on the ground, and perched on wires and trees. It became a problem when I was driving! I bought several field guides and a pair of binoculars and startedvisiting Peace Valley Park/Lake Galena, Tyler State Park and Carpenter's Woods in Philadelphia so I could practice. I also visit Barnegat Light, NJ feequently. I consider myself strictly a novice, but am enjoying the learning experience of recognizing species and adding them to my list.