Stranger 4/100 – Bob
I was out by the Ottawa River near home again on a morning walk, photographing the fall colour. I turned a corner on the shoreline and there was Bob and his bird scope on a tripod. For several days he and some birder colleagues had been tracking the movements of a Western Grebe which was visiting our part of the Ottawa River to feed before continuing its migration. My 70-300mm lens was at home but it wouldn’t have helped – the Western Grebe was about 100 metres from the opposite shoreline of the river. Bob allowed me to look through his scope and I was just able to make it out. However Bob told me that about eight of his colleagues were upstream on the Quebec shore waiting and hoping to get a closer look as it passed by along its preferred feeding route.
We talked for about 15 minutes, periodically scouting the nearby trees for other birds of interest. Bob clarified that he is not so much a bird watcher, but rather a bird lister. Somewhat analagous to the train spotters in the United Kingdom who collect engine numbers, Bob collects a list of birds that he’s seen. Bob is a retired federal government employee who worked in IT with Old Age Security Data. He now dedicates much of his retirement time to birding and compiles reports from local birders and summarizes them in a regular contribution to the Ontbirds archive.
This picture is #4 in my 100 Strangers Project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page.