For those of you who joined our field trip last Saturday, Aug 12, at Santee Lakes, I hope you will remember one attendee, Faith Barton.
When I introduced her on the field trip, I mentioned that she had recently been honored by the National Audubon Society’s 2023 Photography Awards. Faith had earlier sent me a link that shows the top 100 contest winners and their wonderful photos. She had 3 winners!
Faith Barton’s photos are #15, #30, & #42. Checkout https://www.audubon.org/news/2023-audubon-photography-awards-top-100?ms=digital-web_nas_apa100_curtain_20230600
I became aware of Faith last February, when the San Diego Union Tribune published a fantastic birding article that she had written. I would like to include a link to the article, but the newspaper blocks it.
Later on, in the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy’s March newsletter, Riverscape, Faith submitted another article that is shown here:
“Oohs and aahs” during Introduction to Birding” By Faith Barton
One weekend in early February, I had the privilege of leading a troop of Girl Scouts on an “Introduction to Birding” outing down the River Path at the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar. As we headed toward the San Dieguito boardwalk trail, I glanced up to watch a pair of adult ospreys perched atop a tall telephone pole. I checked on the scouts behind me and looked back at the raptors just in time to notice that the male had departed from its perch, followed by a watery splash. I smiled as several ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ sounded behind me as we watched the massive osprey emerge from the water with a large flounder and bring his catch back up to the telephone pole. When I asked the girls what the highlight of their trip was, they readily said the osprey.
At the end of the outing, one of the scouts’ moms asked how I became passionate about birds. My response was, “I did a little bit of birding every day, starting in my backyard.”
That is my best advice for anyone interested in learning about the avian world. Observing bird behavior, unique sounds, and interactions within the ecosystem fosters a greater appreciation for the biodiversity all around us. That way, we can preserve the world that we are so blessed with for our children and the generations that follow.
Faith Barton is a 14-year-old birder and avid wildlife photographer. She leads Early Birds, a monthly birding group from Jamul Community Church. See Faith’s photography on Instagram @thebirdsofpraise.
Faith lives in Jamul. She attends the Liberty University Online Academy. Over the last six months, I have sent her our field trip schedules and the PAS website link. I hope she will continue to join us on our weekly Saturday morning field trips!