I started birdwatching from canoe at age 11, and haven't stopped. I'm not really a "lister" but love the beauty, variety, and lives of birds about us. Since coming back to the Northwest have studied reptiles, amphib and insects, although am a novice at all. I have had an interest in turtles my entire life, having made temporary "pets" of Eastern painted and Spotted turtles as a youngster in NY state. Presently have 2 turtles and a tortoise, one snake. All pet store varieties although in the summer we have some temporary residents of other types. (mostly bugs and snakes these days).
This very morning we had a pair of river otters fishing in front of our place and a group of mergansers and goldeneyes too. (with a Bald Eagle fly-by hoping for a snack) Otters are not a normal resident here, usually prefer the River (5 or so miles north) but really cool to see.