Sunday, November 21, 2010
Even I Don't believe What I Did the Past 48 Hrs
It is Sunday afternoon about 6 PM and I am back in the Boston area getting ready to fly home again. But you say, "I thought he was in Denver". I was there for all of 7 hours yesterday. I was on my flight to Denver yesterday morning at 6:20, landed at 11, and was watching the bird (top 2 photos) at noon with a group of local birders (bottom photo). The bird was not close, so I could not get my own pics and instead have downloaded the small photos above taken by Glenn Walbek, the birder who found the gull. It was great to see this bird because the only other Ross' gull I ever saw was back in 1975 in Newburyport, MA. I was told by the local birders that it was only the 3rd Ross' gull for Colorado.
While I was enjoying seeing the 693rd bird for the year I received a call telling me that the pink-footed goose I missed outside of Boston was relocated. I called American and booked myself to fly back to Boston rather than Raleigh. I arrived in Boston this morning at 1:30 and was picked up by my friend Richard who took me to his house to get some sleep.
I was out at the new site for the pink-footed (only the 3rd one ever seen in MA) about 8 AM and before 9 several other birders had arrived when the goose was found mixed in with a large group of canada geese. Unfortunately, we were only getting very frustrating 1-2 second looks of its head as it would raise it ever so briefly while feeding. After about 20 minutes the goose made a very short flight to another spot that we could not even see from the edge of the field it was in, and we could not try to get closer because of the "do not trespass" signs.
I decided to not waste any more time hoping it would reappear and instead drove an hour over to Plum Island to see if I could find a gyrfalcon that was reported from there on Saturday. On my way in I stopped at the local seafood cafe and ate some pretty good fried clams.
It was a beautiful, chilly day with lots of birds around including about 20 hooded mergansers, a rough-legged hawk and a eurasian wigeon. I spent 4 hours thoroughly enjoying the late fall day and all the birds at the refuge. As the sun was getting low in the sky I decided to head back to my friend's house, stopping at the cafe again to pick up a lobster roll for the road.
23 more birds were seen over the past 2 days for the week, and the gull and goose bring the YTD up to 694. I will be flying home in a couple of hours, but I just heard that a brown shrike--a rarity from the asia--was found today in northern CA. I may be on another flight early tomorrow. Stay tuned!