@Julia -- No one in the actual meeting commented -- it's probably that I don't know this group well enough yet; in previous jobs I've had folks remark. (I've always been an inveterate doodler.) And when I got back to the usual office I had several comments when I shared the various items that I learned in the meeting and the people who *did* know me caught sight of my art.
The birds were entirely from memory. Other than the first one, which I wasn't trying for a specific species, just general types of markers, I thought I'd remembered what the cardinal & junco looked like better than my first bird-from-memory exercise at the beginning of this project.
@Margaret -- I have doodled in the margins of my notes since I was a kid in school, so it's one of the most familiar paper/utensil combos for me! I have actually kept a lot of my notes from high school, college, and grad school simply for the art. I remember learning about what doodles are supposed to "mean" in a HS-level psych class -- after we'd all done sample doodles, of course -- things like squares meaning regimented thought, triangles meaning sex, that sort of thing. I read all this, and then looked down at my intricate and detailed dragon drawing that I had done and was at a complete loss. :-)
I do find that I prefer ball point pens to the gel pens when it comes to doodling, but the reverse for writing. Gel pens tend to have a very even, consistent flow of ink which makes for great, smooth writing but doesn't allow for shading very easily. Ball points you can really vary the amount of ink you get on the page and the texture of the image as a result.