Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dorian The Bird Biker


A few weeks ago Roger and I had a lovely chance encounter with a young man who is walking across the country, and whose travels found him on our street. I did a post about it, and mentioned that we had asked Stephen if he had a place to stay for the night, which he did. In the comments on that post, fellow blogger Scott wrote this:

"Here's something you might want to consider (just a thought). A fellow named Dorian Anderson is doing a Big Year (of birding) by bicycling from the East Coast to the West Coast and back. In the process, he's raising money for bird conservation by taking online donations. Dorian is posting about his adventure on a blog called Biking for Birds (bikingforbirds.blogspot.com), and I've been following his exploits since the spring. He often lodges with generous, interesting people along his route to save money, and he's headed your way. Currently, he's in Cannon Beach, Oregon, and is biking down the coast, with the intention of stopping in Arcata. If you'd be interested in hosting him for a night, he'd appreciate it (unless he has already made other arrangements in the area). You can contact Dorian at bikingforbirds@gmail.com if you're interested. Disclaimer: If he turns out to be a serial killer, I absolve myself of any liability!"

Roger and I had a good laugh about the "serial killer" part. We talked about inviting him and agreed we should do it. So, I emailed Dorian and offered him a night in our little house while he is birding in Arcata. A few days went by, and then he responded. Yes. He would like to come and spend the night here. So, he did. He arrived Saturday, September 13.

Dorian is a very serious birder in a way that Roger and I are not. We love looking at birds, photographing them in their natural habitat. We rejoice in finding new birds and being able to identify them. But we've never kept a life list. We've never gone out of our way to see a bird. If we cross paths with a species we've never seen before, we are absolutely thrilled. We let chance be our guide. A truly serious birder gets up at dawn and is out of the house on the search for a Red-breasted Sapsucker, before Roger and I have even had our morning tea and toast. Dorian is a serious birder. He has traveled thousands and thousands of miles on a bicycle in pursuit of species he's never seen before. His photography is gorgeous and his passion is incredible fuel for his adventure. Check out his blog Biking for Birds.

We had a lovely dinner and a wonderful conversation. We're glad we took a chance and let a stranger with a dream spend the night with us. Thanks for the suggestion, Scott! We survived!

18 comments:

  1. Everyone wins (including that aspect of humanity that is serious, thoughtful, and generous).

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  2. He looks like a very nice young man. Glad you all found it congenial. Have you ever seen the movie, The Big Year? We liked it enough to buy it. It's a comedy (Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson) about very serious birding as in a competition. I have gone out of my way to see Elegant Trogons and would go out of my way to see snowy owls. Mostly though I am like you and it's enjoy them whenever I am out but not even care if I know all their names. I love to photograph birds but don't get the spectacular photos of them that some do. They are always though the challenge to get

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  3. What a good idea; adventure through others....LOL

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  4. This makes my heart smile.

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  5. Paul-- We're so glad we were a small part of this big adventure.

    Rain-- We've never seen the movie, but have read about it. I understand the passion for traveling to see a bird. I think if someone told me there was a snowy owl in the area, I'd definitely head over there. Same for an Elegant Trogon. I guess there's a limit to how far I'd go.

    kenju-- You made us laugh out loud. Thank you for that. It's totally true.

    jeanne marie-- Thank you.

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  6. Love this! It's like couchsurfing with benefits! (That doesn't sound right, but I'm leaving it as it because I laughed at myself for writing it.)

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  7. This post makes me feel so warm and happy. How wonderful of you to share your home.

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  8. Totally cracked up at the serial killer part. So glad he wan't and what a neat adventure for the both of you. I was a little sorry that Stephen all ready had a place to stay but glad you were able to accommodate Dorian. Meeting cool strangers is always a win/win.
    I will check his blog.

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  9. NCmountainwoman-- Really glad you liked this. We really pushed ourselves to open our house to people we don't know. We were lucky it turned out so well.

    Arkansas Patti-- Yes, exactly. "Meeting cool strangers is always a win/win." We laughed with Dorian about the serial killer part as well. He said, "Tell them I talked about birds all the time. I never shut up. It made you want to kill yourselves." We really laughed about that as well. His beautiful partner drove up from LA and met him here on Sunday afternoon. They were totally delightful.

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  10. I also thought of the movie The Big Year. It was a pretty good movie. We liked it.

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  11. Hope he found his bird! A red breasted sapsucker drills holes in what has appeared to be a healthy tree in our neighbor's yard, one we can see from our kitchen window and back gardens. I was fascinated watching him for several years - now this scenario is just part of our summer gardens! So glad you had a fun and safe experience.

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  12. Mark P-- This is Dorian's Big Year and he's doing it by bicycling. It's quite a journey.

    Sky-- He found his sapsucker on Monday in Arcata. I checked his blog and found the news! Yeah! I photographed one in Port Townsend many years ago, and I don't think I've seen one since. Now I'm going to have to keep my eyes and ears open for that.

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  13. Robin Andrea and Roger: I saw Dorian Anderson's post about his visit before I saw yours. I hope the experience was rewarding--and I'm glad you survived! I won't send any more waifs your way for a while...promise!

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  14. Scott-- I was hoping you would stop by and see this post! We loved hosting Dorian and meeting his beautiful partner Sonia. Please feel free to send other waifs our way. Thank you so much for the suggestion. It was wonderful.

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  15. Over the years of doing wild bird education programs, I've been hosted by many people that I hadn't met before going there. I was a little nervous at first, but I have met so many nice people. Several have become close friends and have me back often. It's great that ou two became part of his adventure.

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  16. Dave-- This was our first experience hosting someone on a good journey like this. We hope to do it again. My nephew just mentioned to me that he is planning on bicycling across country. I have such confidence now that he will find safe and good hosts all along the way.

    Bill-- Thank you. It really was a delight.

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