Monday, September 6, 2010
A Tale of Two Tattlers
Instead of doing the usual seawatch this morning, John and I headed east and south along the road that goes along the base of the mountain to the east of Troutman Lake. We knew this to be one of the best areas to search for tattlers. After we had gone about half-way, we elected to leave the ATV behind and walk the tundra along the edge of the lake in case a shorebird was tucked in and out of view from the road. It paid off when John spotted a bird ahead of us that was definitely a tattler. We put the word out on the two-way radio although the message turned out to be somewhat garbled by the wind and distance. Eventually other members of the group got the word and converged on our location. Paul Lehman worked his way into a position close to the bird and handed down the decision we didn't want to hear. The bird was a Wandering Tattler, a bird we had seen earlier in the year in California. Pretty disappointing! We did the far boneyard since we were in the area without finding anything, then returned to the lodge. I had a cup of coffee, took a shower, and changed clothes. While I was getting dressed, a radio message came through from Paul Lehman at the sewage pond. He had a Gray-tailed Tattler. I quickly finished dressing, donned my outdoor clothes, and John and I steamed off on our ATV to the sewage pond where we got great views of the new yearbird. So after getting skunked for seven days, we finally broke the drought and the total is now 698.