We all find our path to birding in different ways…ours was through deer! Yes, deer! Ed and I were avid gardeners in Atlanta. On our 1-acre yard, we had extensive perennial gardens and were featured on Atlanta area garden tours. And then, when they cleared some land on a little mountain behind our neighborhood, deer came to our garden and that was the end of that! Shortly thereafter, a friend asked me to come on an Audubon walk and the rest is history. After talking to the walk leader about binoculars, I went from the walk to Wild Birds Unlimited, bought my first pair of real birding binoculars (Eagle Optics Ranger, 8X42, approx. $325) and never looked back. And soon after that, Ed began to tag along with me with his point and shoot camera. Soon he was hooked on bird photography, and graduated to bigger cameras and lenses. 10 years ago, we bought our villa at Seabrook and began our quest of shorebirds and seabirds.
I’m now an obsessed and avid birder, and Ed loves his creative photography hobby. We “chase and shoot” everywhere we travel, trying to add to our life bird lists. Every destination is new again, because now we are looking for and photographing birds. We have done bird tours or hired day guides on many trips, including Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Dubai, Greece, Italy, and Poland, as well as many states throughout the US. A good source for a day bird guide anywhere in the world is BirdingPal.org. Many times when we travel and bird we are out at dawn and back at dusk, often reliving the best birds and photographs of the day over a glass of wine! For the US, I have 478 life birds and Ed has 412 “life photo” birds. I have yet to tally up our worldwide birds, a work in progress.
Ed and I met at Penn State. We moved often during Ed’s 2 years in the Marines and 30 year IBM career, finally settling in Atlanta. We have a son and daughter and four grandchildren. Ed launched a second career in sales training and consulting, which created the path to our many worldwide adventures together. It seems we are always packing a suitcase, moving between residences in Atlanta and Seabrook, visiting family, and traveling to bird and shoot photos. Some of our favorite spots in the Low Country are Bear Island and Donnelley WMAs in the Ace Basin, Caw Caw County Park and Magnolia Plantation. You can often find us at North Beach, me with binoculars and a spotting scope, Ed with the long lens camera. Stop by and say hi, and talk birds and photography with us!
You can view Ed’s bird photos on his Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edkon/. There are Albums for Seabrook Island, birds by various species categories, and for many of the birding trips we’ve taken.
Article Submitted by Aija Konrad
Photographs by Ed Konrad