Birding Trip Of A Young Birder

Mikka stumbled awkwardly up the rocky mountainside, too excited to maintain her footing and often tripping and grazing her knees into the ground. After Mikka’s third encounter with the loose red Georgia clay, her mother called to her to slow down, followed by the typical parental, “We’ll be there soon”.

Soon could not come fast enough for Mikka. Mikka was introduced to the joys of birding only weeks ago, when her grandparents brought her to the Georgia mountains where there was a bluebird trail established by a local birding organization. Mikka spent the day with only her grandpa’s cell phone for pictures, which proved to be incapable of capturing any details. Today, Mikka was geared with all of the recommended tools for proper bird identification: binoculars, her mother’s camera, a journal, and an enthusiasm for birding.

Jenny Stophe had learned about the existence of a private bluebird trail while helping her daughter compile a list of bird facts pertaining to local birds. Mikka was clearly a young birder in the making, and her excitement and fascination was becoming contagious.

The thrill was quite palpable in her face as she could barely manage her excitement as her binoculars kept dangling around her neck and if they are from, one of the best brands, then you can judge the marvelous view that she would have seen.

Mikka was now almost at the crest of the mountain. Up ahead, the trees broke open, revealing clear blue skies, uninterrupted by any man-made structures. Mikka kept running ahead, scurrying up the large flat rocks that were taking the place of dirt and grass. The hiking trail was gone now, but they had reached their destination. More than two dozen bluebird houses were positioned in the clearing, and Mikka squeaked in excitement. Birds were flying in the sky above, as well as flapping their wings as they positioned themselves by the openings to their homes.

“This is so cool!” Mikka exclaimed, almost unable to contain herself. Grabbing the binoculars from her mother’s bag, Mikka began adjusting the focus as her wide smiled stretched to the corners of her young face. Caught in the joys of birding, Mikka was in awe as she grinned and spun about in the sun’s rays, watching through the lenses as the birds above chased each other, soaring effortlessly and gliding through the perfect skies. Jenny could not resist the photographic moment her daughter was presenting her, and pulled out her camera for a picture.

The next few hours passed quickly and quietly. Mikka ate her picnic lunch, chewing slowly on her sandwich, and then trying to crunch her chips as quietly as possible. Mikka felt so much love in her heart for the birds she was surrounded by that she feared any loud or quick movement would end her perfect birding afternoon. She sat cross legged on a blanket, taking notes of the bluebirds she was seeing, as her mother snapped endless photos.

As Mikka later descended the mountain with her mother, she was consumed with her thoughts. Mikka felt she could see each bird behind her eyes, as if the royal blue of the male eastern bluebird was forever imprinted in, along with the chunky bodies of the mountain bluebirds that had travelled to visit. Mikka’s mother wrapped an arm around her shoulders and asked, “How’s my young birder?”. Mikka smiled and looked up at her mother. Jenny’s shoulders were tanned, and her hair was tied back and up high. Mikka answered, laughing, “How’s my old birder?”



Julia Arostegi lives in California USA. She took Developmental Communication at the University of California and finished her studies in 2012. She is currently the managing director of California Magazine. She is also a blogger, content enthusiast and a photographer.