Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tufted Flycatcher at Big Bend TX

The hotel shuttle bus took me to the Baltimore airport at noon Saturday, and I sat around watching families head home.  Although flights were delayed, mine to Albuquerque NM and then to Midland TX were right on time.  In Midland I met Chris Hitt at baggage claim.  He had been waiting for hours, had watched several football games, and had already gotten the rental car. So we loaded up and took off about 10pm.  About twenty miles down the road, it was apparent the car had a flat tire.  We stopped, I changed it (in the dark!), and we took the car back to the airport for a replacement.  Back on the road, we grabbed a McDonald's snack and drove the two hours to Fort Stockton where we spent a few, too few, hours asleep in a motel.  At 5:40am we arose, showered, grabbed some breakfast in the motel lobby, and began the drive to Big Bend NP.  We had almost arrived at the flycatcheer spot when we were stopped by the park police for speeding.  Trying to explain how our excitement had pushed the pedal a bit too much really didn't sell.  But, when we finally were able to check yesterday's flycatcher location, we found Jay Hand in place trying to photograph the bird.  We were ecstatic.  I took plenty of pictures, two of which are posted here (photos).  The bird was calling and doing sorties from a variety of perches, finally settling for a large cottonwood with plenty of little twigs upon which to perch and be photographed.  We birded around the area and then headed back to Midland where we booked a flight to Phoenix to look for the Streak-backed Oriole near Wellton AZ tomorrow.  The internet told us the oriole was seen today, so we're hopeful of seeing it tomorrow.  In addition the Brown Shrike in Northern California was re-seen and a Northern Lapwing was discovered near Storrs CT.  There doesn't seem to be a shortage of birds to chase at present.  Ah, the challenging life of a Big Year birder.
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  1. Amazing---Continued good birding.


  2. At last a speeding ticket! Now I feel like this is really ON!! Nice work on the flycatcher. What a handsome bird.

  3. " There doesn't seem to be a shortage of birds to chase . . ." and my GDS pal is going after them all!!! Great job. Renee

  4. Was your rental in Midland a dark SUV??