Sunday, November 21, 2010
Going Home, but not Directly
I was heading home to spend some time with Joyce. At least that's what I thought when I got up this morning. But when I read my email and found out that the Black-tailed Gull had been seen again in Long Beach, I wasn't so sure. It did give me something to think about during the drive with Denny to the airport in Manchester NH. The checkin for my flight to Norfolk was very quick and easy. During my wait for the plane to board, there was a call for volunteers to give up their seats since the flight was overbooked. I volunteered, but when the boarding process began, the agent told me that there were some no-shows and my seat wouldn't be needed. So I boarded when my time came. I was two-thirds the way down the ramp to the plane when I heard my name called. A couple of late-comers needed my seat if I still wanted to give it up. I did, and took the bump for which I picked up $457 to be used to pay for future flights. My new flight to Norfolk left only forty minutes later, going through Chicago instead of Baltimore. On that flight I sat next to a freshman at St. Paul School in Concord who introduced herself to me as Hannah. She was lovely. I told her I had been born about fifty years too early. She giggled. When I got to Chicago, I changed my mind about going home and booked a flight from there to Los Angeles to go for the gull. When I got to Denver, an intermediate stop, a phone message told me that a Brown Shrike had been found in Humboldt County CA. Another bird on the radar. As the plane touched down in LA, it was clear there wouldn't be enough light to see the gull today, so I slowed down a little. I picked up my rental car just as I got a call from Chris Hitt saying that the shrike had disappeared. So take a bird off the radar for the moment. Once inside my rental car I set the GPS for the Long Beach gull location and queried it for the location of a nearby motel. Guess what! There was a Motel 6 only 1.5 miles from the gull site. Sounds like it was meant to be. I drove there, checked in, and walked across the street to a nice Thai restaurant where I had a spicy scallop dish. Now, will the Black-tailed Gull give me an audience tomorrow or the cold shoulder?