I bought a pair of lightweight binoculars last year, and it has been thrilling for me to discover how beautiful birds are when I can see them in the detail the binoculars provide. I bought a pair for one of my daughters for her birthday, and I am happy to have her as a birding buddy! This first week of the new year, I downloaded the Merlin app and had fun with it, and I ended up going on a birding walk almost every day and identifying some birds. I feel like a "bird nerd," now, and I am happy with that! I have been happy to discover so many different kinds of ducks - favorite of the week - Hooded Merganser. I also never knew how pretty sparrows are. I enjoyed spotting them in the scrubby, brush areas . Two other new birds for me to discover this week were the Spotted Towhee and Townsend's Solitaire.