• Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      1. Tell us about your sit spot experience! Upload and share your corresponding journal page if you’d like to. If you went more than once, did you notice changes or new things on later visits? 2. What kinds of observations come more easily to you, and which are a little more "outside of the box" for you?
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    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
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    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      It's still winter in the area of my home location on February 19, 2024. Its also Family Day, a holiday. The sun is shinning no clouds in the sky. The wind is from the North at km/hr. The temperature is -6.4C. I am viewing from the Studio, looking S/SE. The Sunlight feels warm, and reflects off the snow, blinding white. The snow is melting off the roof, slow drips on the deck below. The water is melting and moving to the downspouts, while pouring  our the down converters. Looking at the bird feeders, the Junco comes by, then the chickadee's flittering back and forth. I was out earlier feeling the warmth of the Sunshine, the odd breeze blown, chilly, but good. The buds on the trees are sill tightly bound . though earlier this last week, the sap was running in the maples. The sap water was overpouring the pores and creating sap sickles. Nature is awesome.  Just finished my last bird count for the backyard bird count 2024.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I was at a Florida state park, and found a place to sit along the river.  It was hrd for me to just sit and experience rather than "doing" something.  I was much more tuned into sounds than I have been when actively working on journaling.  When I'm actually journaling , it's my sense of sight that I'm using more.  ITried to tune into other senses like smell and touch but these were harder.
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Today, I sat by the water's edge of Seymore Pond in Brewster, MA. I have a home here, so I often sit on my deck in the summer, record the conditions, and write in my journal. But I haven't done it in February on a 30-degree day. I brought my chair down to the beach for a more immersive experience. Today, there is a forlorn mood because everything is a muted grey at various scales. Even the scrub pines' green needles have a grey feel because of the light snow falling and the solid grey sky. Now that I’m back in the house and up above the water at the treen line, the needles are a brighter green, but nothing is vibrant.  The dead trees are coated on the north side with snow from Tuesday’s storm. It is a strange, almost perfect stripe up the sides of the trunks. Despite the lifeless feel, I could see several buffleheads swimming on the opposite side of the pond, and my Merlin app recorded various songbirds, from Cardinals to Carolina wrens. It also caught the song of a common loon. I did spot the female cardinal, but I didn’t see any of the other birds from my spot. Even though it felt forlorn, it also felt peaceful. Before I left, a mallard couple swam nearby, but as soon as they spotted me, they lifted off and flapped away. I folded my chair and walked back up to the house, chilled but satisfied.
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm enjoying that each lesson has a different intention and theme and each layer on one another. The process is gentle and fun. Its helped me move away from self criticism and enjoy learning.
    • Deb
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      For February it's very unusual for Minnesota to be snowless!  The birds must be finding seeds and berries elsewhere because we are not going through our bird seed very fast.  Enjoyed sitting still for 40 minutes watching and observing. Very meditative. IMG_0052
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I couldn't go anywhere but wanted to do a lesson.  I observed sounds and drew an aging Poinsettia from the holidays that is hanging on. It was a great experience, can't wait to do it out with a bit more nature t0 take in, tomorrow perhaps.PXL_20240212_203926953
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
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    • Pamela
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      There were contractors working out back, but I found a corner of my patio to sit in the sunny/cool mid-day. It's usually pretty noisy on weekends, and yet, no mowers. The contrast of living in the woods, but in a development is unique, and I noticed the ranges of sounds, including birds. I used a deck upright and some patio blocks to frame my sketch, which was fun. The late afternoons also include waterfowl settling in near the water nearby. I'm going to enjoy noting both seasons and time of day in this sit spot.
    • Becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      On this rainy day, instead of a sit spot, I found a photo I took of a memorble landscape in Samburu National Park, in 2022. Looking carefully at the photo, I was taken back to this beautiful day and reawakened my senses to the "awe" I felt at the magnificant scenery and incredible nature, existing wild and free. Samburu National Park Africa Rebecca Laboy Samburu National Park Africa Landscape 290822 RLaboy 1
      • Pamela
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Becky. This is so nice-- I can really see your unique painterly eye in play!
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I sat at a window overlooking our backyard and our bird feeder setup.  I always enjoy seeing our bird visitors, but it was even nicer to devote 30+ minutes watching their ebbs and flows and all the variety.  That was mixed in with several squirrels still trying to figure out how to get to the good bird food.  The experience allowed me to focus on unique patterns/shapes of the birds/squirrels as well as identifying colors (such as the pink feet of a mourning dove).  I enjoyed the challenge of quick sketching also before the animal moved - and realistic postures they exhibitIMG_8950IMG_8949
    • lorna
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      do hard to draw anything sitting outside after a snowstorm, so I sat in my living room, watching out the window and doing a few sketches, and made notationsIMG_0466
    • Breanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have certainly found that drawing the same image multiple times helps me remember the lessons we're learning and how to execute them. It also has the benefit of showing me how much improvement can be made in just an hour which helps keep me wanting to continue my learning and not get discouraged. If the first bird was the only one I drew, I definitely would move forward thinking I couldn't do any better, when clearly I can! IMG20240114180514
    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      IMG_1681It was only 29 degrees, overcast and breezy  and I wasn't up for sitting outside.  Instead I opened a window and sat and observed my backyard.  I saw several different animal tracks in the snow on my patio - squirrel, bunny and raccoon.  Further back are deer tracks.  I watched cardinals and chickadees fly back and forth over the yard, from feeders to the shelter of the arborvitae and a cherry tree.  I watched a cardinal try to cozy up next to two chicadees, but every time he sidled up next to them they flew to a different branch!  I watched a squirrel burrow his face in the snow, possibly looking for a stored nut.  Aside from some distant crows cawing and a "Hooting" bird in the distant trees across the field  in my backyard, it was incredibly quiet.  No traffic noise or sounds of industry.  It was quite a blissful respite.  Glad for the time to sit and observe!  This will be a. new experience for me.  I am often (pretty much daily) in the woods - but I am on the move hiking and always looking to pick up my pace.  It'll be quite a different vibe to add in a sit spot on the trail!  I am looking forward to this new adventure.
    • Raegan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Ive always had a sit spot wherever I have moved (i read about it in a book), but this time, it was even more captivating and exiting in the forest. The birds chatted in the trees as the squirrels leaped through the leaflitter. A rabbit even decided to show! Though i still wait for the arrival of my new notebook the experience of the natural world still is a cherished part of my day.
    • alegria
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      WhatsApp Image 2023-11-10 at 2.55.22 PM This place is just outside of my property, everyday when a go out I can see the green iguanas feeding in the mangroves.  It is the first time a draw it, so I had to pay attention on some details I never saw before. The spot looks always the same, even the iguanas they don't really move a lot, what is different everyday are the birds, different kind of herons and egrets come and go. Many small birds were singing and passed flying.
    • Katherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      IMG_3866 I went to my local nature reserve and enjoyed sitting and observing from a boardwalk overlook of a swamp. The most interesting thing that I got out of this exercise was the incredible range of sounds that I heard as I sketched—birds, insects, and one mysterious splashing sound that I never got to the bottom of. It really helped me be more present in the moment and get out of my head for a few minutes!
    • Camille
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      My "sit spot" was in my backyard, at the edge of the stone patio. This is my first drawing from this spot - in fact, it is my first "sit spot" drawing! It was very cloudy and started to drizzle lightly, but I stayed put. Focusing on the plants was easy for me. I noticed that my intense concentration on writing and drawing (something that I have never done before outside of elementary school) blocked out some of the surrounding sounds: like the birds. From time to time, I stopped to listen and heard a blue jay and red-bellied woodpecker. But what other birds did I miss? Screenshot 2023-08-10 at 12.52.34 PM
    • Anita
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      My sit spot is more of a stand spot, as there isn't great views from the bench.  My place is a pollinator garden where I work, and for a few days I went and looked around when there weren't any other people out there to see just what was going on.  I came upon several sweat bees working away gathering pollen on some Coreopsis.  After a few days of gathering notes about them, taking photos, trying to measure them with a little ruler, and observing their behavior, I created a journal page about them.  I'm going to have to go back and write in the conditions and weather, since I forgot to put that in.  Every time I observed them out there it was around 12 p.m. EST and sunny. Nature Journaling and Field Sketching - Sit Spot Assignment
    • Penelope
      Participant
      Chirps: 38
      1. I have been sit-spotting for about three years, but every time its a transformative experience. Mainly calming, but also excellent for rediscovering human survival techniques. 2. Observations of birds are most natural, because I've been a birder for a long time. Observations of plants require a little more attention, for their detail is usually smaller and less noticeable then most birds. Journal1
    • Amber
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      IMG_0387It was a warm and sunny afternoon at one of my favorite parks in the area. I found a nice bench to sit. One challenge I found was to keep from getting up to get closer looks at things. There was a lot of activity and I found that over time I was able to pick up more on each individual thing, and one notable observation was the change in wind.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      It was a warm sunny afternoon in my backyard. I noticed the heat, a slight breeze swaying branches and leafs. The water fall in my pond, was making some splashy noises that made me imagine to feel cooler.  There was some bird activity and singing, and some other wildlife activity.  I decided to focus on light and dark16823518155524622174969202250985 patterns on two different trees, a cypress  and a banana tree, and tried to sketch in the cardinal that landed in the cypress tree while I was drawing it.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      Very cool! I feel like I usually take my time when I walk in the woods, even do some birdwatching, but this was completely different. I closed my eyes and listened, felt the breeze, heard the leaves rustle, heard the birds, near and far. The act of taking notes, however, is what really put me in the moment. Spring has just arrived in New England, and I cannot wait to get out there and find another sit spot - or revisit the same one!Fenton Meadow sit spot. April 10, 2023 copy
      • Pamela
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        I'm loving your shapes-- the bird's head and the twisty tree. You've reminded me of a twisty vine out back that I think I will now visit :-)
    • Razgirl
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      786D9172-9A66-494A-9BA9-B22435BE20B6April  2, 2023 4:55 PM the weather is sunny and 88° I just arrived at my sitting spot, facing the marsh and Trout Creek. It is the dry season, and all the water has dried up and the beds are now dried mud. There is a slight warm breeze, and I can hear the sound of wind in the Sabal Palms. As I was walking to my spot all the birds that were gathered on the dried marsh all flew away, in a great formation. There were Great Egrets, Black Vultures, Snowy Egrets, AmericanWhite Pelicans, and Wood Storks forging around until they noticed my presence. I hear the cry of a Red Shouldered Hawk above me and a small orange butterfly is flittering by me. The sun is to my left, and the rays are filtering through the Sabal Palms and Slash Pines. I can feel the warmth of the sun on my arm, and on the side of my face. The warm balmy breeze is soothing. I notice blue skies with white puffy clouds are in the distance. Life is good 😊