My New Book


First Birds and Beers Recap

I have to admit, I went into Birds and Beers last night with a little nervousness. I put up a notice on the blog and on the Minnesota listervs and I got a lot of emails from people saying that they want to come, but were either out of town or lived too far away. I wondered if anyone would show up?

But show up they did, and we had about 12 people! Merlin’s Rest had promoted it, so some of their regulars also stopped by to see what it was all about. I didn’t have much a of a theme planned, my ultimate goal was for people to connect, maybe learn about new places to watch birds, get bird questions answered, or even find a new bird watching partner.

I was really excited that the banders from Lowry Nature Center in Carver Park showed up–they offer banding that is open to the public every third Saturday of the month–as a matter of fact, they will be banding this Saturday. They’re fun and knowledgeable guys. Frequent commenter on this blog, HellZiggy came with her hubby. He is not a birder, so Non Birding Bill even had someone to talk to. There were so many other people who showed up, and I fear I will not remember the names: I remember Pat, Bob, Katherine…I’ll have to start assigning bird names–that I can remember.

It was a fun and easy going night, John Dingley the general manager, offered a peregrine falcon poster as a prize, local author Bill Watkins read about a wren being the king of the birds from one his books and we gave that away, and I gave away copies of the new Great River Birding Trail and Minnesota River Valley Birding Trail.

I’m going to do this again, probably the next one will be at Merlin’s Rest, and as I travel, I will try and organize them on the road. I think Rochester, MN would be good–and Duluth, perhaps even at bird festivals. I also think I might have a theme night. I’m kicking around having people bring their favorite bird related book to the next one.

I had something else going on yesterday too–it was my birthday. When I had scheduled Birds and Beers with Dingley, we pretty much scheduled it as, “Hey, let’s do it two weeks from Tuesday.” NBB later pointed out, “That’s your birthday.” We didn’t really have anything planned, and what better way for me to spend my birthday than with birders? When I told the group last night, Mark said, “What a wonderful way of having a surprise birthday party, turning the tables and surprising all your guests!”

NBB and I had a little party right before we left for Birds and Beers, and I am now happy to report that I am completely Bent! He got me the one book I am missing from my Arthur Cleveland Bent series, and I finally have a complete set! Whoot. He also had a gift specially crafted for me…

A custom made Birdwatcher Crayon Set. There are four colors: sepia, chestnut, brown, and beaver. I’m not sure how I feel about having a crayon called beaver, I never realized that was its own color.

23 comments to First Birds and Beers Recap

  • Patrick Belardo

    Hey chick, I’m glad it all worked out for you. It looks like you had a good time. Happy Birthday!

  • Patrick Belardo

    Also, I love NBB’s expression in that pic. What a great gift!

  • Anonymous

    Well, whatdya know? I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, and I enjoy it very much. You’ve turned me on to Julie Z’s and BT3′s blogs also, so thank you!I grew up in Duluth and mom used to pick me up from junior high school on autumn afternoons and we’d go up to, what was then, Hawk Point. I love Minnesota and miss it a lot. Anyway, after reading that it was your birthday yesterday…I feel compelled to reply, because it was my birthday too! The Birds and Beers get togethers sound so fun….would love to participate, but alas, am just too far away (California).
    Just wanted to say “Hi” and thanks for fun, bird talk.

  • Anonymous

    Happy birthday!

    Hey, maybe you can get one of these meetings going the next time you’re in Indianapolis!

  • Kitt

    Happy birdday!

  • birdchick

    Non Birding Bill does have a smug little grin, doesn’t he?

    Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I’ve never really brought up my birthday before, I feel weird about it because I am TERRIBLE at remembering other people’s birthdays, so I really don’t expect anyone to remember mine.

    Thanks, Brooke for the note. Did you know that you and I also share a birthday with David Hasslehoff?

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday !!!

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday! Really enjoy reading all your interesting blog entries! Kathy

  • bluesaffron

    Happy Birthday to you! Sounds like you had a wonderful time last evening.

    What an original gift, the Crayolas. I love getting a new pack of pencils and crayons.

    It’s about time they came up with an official crayon for the National Animal of Canada too. Now we won’t have to colour them purple or pink or turquoise anymore!

  • Sam

    Way to go NBB-fabulous fabulous gift.

  • archi ann

    well cool – glad you had a great birthday! birthday wishes from the motley crue here too!
    carri ann
    aka archi’s mum

  • Anonymous

    Happy birthday. I wasn’t able to attend last night – looks like I missed a good time. I will try to attend the next one.

    No better way to spend a birthday than with birders. In fact, I spent my 40th (years ago) on a Christmas bird count, which got me really starting in birding again.

    Love the idea of custom color crayon boxes – and of course you can color all the lbj’s with only four colors.

  • Jacci

    Happy Birthday….you look so much younger than 33…it can’t be so!
    NBB is definately a keeper!!

    Jacci in S.P. ME

  • Lynne

    Happy Birthday Sharon!! I couldn’t make it last night either but will be watching for the next one.

  • Jacci

    OMG!! I’d never heard of Mr.Bent and so I clicked on your link (Thanks) and then made my way to one of my favs, the Common Loon. Well after reading just the first paragraph, I must have these books!! I absolutely love how he writes, it feels like a conversation with the student at his knee able to listen forever. Wow, I can’t wait to get to the library Or my favorite bookstore.
    Once again, I thank you for info that will broaden my world of little brown birds….gawd, I love ‘em!

    Jacci in S.P. ME

  • Anonymous

    Bent’s series has been out of the bookstores for many years, unless they are used book stores. However there are very good resources for finding used books on the web. For more recent and popular works I like, but for something more esoteric like Bent’s Life Histories I suggest For the best search results put in the LEAST information possible that will match your book. So get the titles, put Bent for the author (not the whole name) and one or two words from the title (gulls), and go for it!

    One warning about using addall, what it does is search multiple sources and compile the results. Since the same bookstore can participate in multiple on-line markets, the SAME COPY can appear multiple times – like two instances at $6.48 are pretty certain to be one copy.

    Have fun!

    Roy Harvey
    Beacon Falls, CT

  • Dea

    So sweet! you know you are well loved when someone gives you a gift that is so reflective of your personal quirks, that they’ve had to spend a lot of time noticing.

    Little Brown Jobs, indeed!


  • KatDoc

    I would have loved to have been there for Birds and Beer; sounds like it was a big success. Too far to drive from SW Ohio. And Happy Belated Birthday! Hope you had time to do your nails – the polish was a bit chipped in the last post. (Teasing!)

    I always wanted the box of 64 Crayolas with the built-in sharpener. It always seemed like the height of extravagance. But, a custom box of Crayolas with just the colors of sparrows – perfection. How ever did NBB think of anything so unique?



  • teageeare

    Hippo Birdie two Ewe, Birdchick! I’m just a few days behind you! (and a few years ahead of you!)

    Birds and Beers sounds like a good idea. Maybe we can get up to MN someday and join you.

  • carisa

    Wishing a very Happy (though belated) Birthday!
    And thank you, as always, for the wonderfully informative and fun blog!

  • RuthieJ

    Birds & Beers in Rochester?? That would be great! Whistle Binkies on the Lake would be an excellent location and we could watch birds from the patio. Pick a date and I’ll help round up the birders for you.

  • Jacci which links from the site has loads of his books for sale. They’re used of course though some I looked at were in primo shape and cost was (I thought) affordable. Now I’m always worried about buying on-line….it’s a stubborn age thing…so I’ll check out some of the more environmentally friendly stores in the area. Wish me luck.

    I’ve been trying to read about a different bird every few days and have my 2 favs the Bald Eagle & Common Loon under my belt. I just love it….Thanks again Birdchick.

    Jacci in S.P. ME

  • Jennifer

    Hi Sharon – I live in Georgia and am new to birding but found your website a few months ago and check it every day now – I love it. I come to MN for work every now and then so hopefully I can coordinate a trip with your next Birds and Beers event. Or if you are ever in Georgia and want to plan an event let me know. I have met some very experienced birders here who have been nice enough to let me tag along with them every now and then, and who are a lot of fun and may want to join in also.