I'd love to keep this group active in discussions and news in the area. I'm still a bit new, so I'm still searching for good news outlets that would be relevant to us here. So I'll start with this: where all do you travel to report? How far away from home? Some of the reporters I've worked with travel all over the place -- it's interesting to see all the different places and cases that get worked on!

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I am a birdwatcher, and a lot of times, I will accept far away assignments for a chance to see an unusual bird spotted in a particular area.  I will mapquest the eBird location of the birds and get directions from my job.  If I get out of the job in time, ie, still daylight left, I'll travel to see the bird.  I pack my binoculars in my trunk just for this.  I live in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, and one week, I took a job in Thibodaux, so I could go to Lockport to spot a white tailed kite.  The next day, I took a job in Baton Rouge, and I drove through New Roads, to Morganza, to find dickcissels and bobolinks.  No luck on the bobolinks, but many dickcissels!  I put a lot of miles on my car those two days, and took two expert witnesses, one of which called for expedite while I was in the Morganza Spillway.  It was a tiring, but memorable week, and just solidified my reasons for staying a freelance court reporter rather than take an officialship.  Yep, I'll be working until the day I die, no retirement plan for me, but at least I'll have enjoyed the beauty of nature that surrounds me while doing this job.

That's so cool! It's great to have a hobby that you can really take advantage of the fact that you travel for work. Are these birds that are specific to Louisiana/the South? How long have you been birdwatching?


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