Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back For the Baikal

It just had to be.  When I came out of the Motel 6 in Mesa this morning on my way to the nearby Denny's for breakfast, I noticed that the license plate on my rental car was simply meant for me.  Later I got a passerby to take my picture with the car.  He turned out to be Matt VanWallene, the birder who found the Tufted Flycatcher at Big Bend NP in TX.  It becomes a very small world when a very rare bird pulls 'em in from everywhere.  I arrived at the Gilbert Water Reserve, parked the car, and began to look for the crowd of birders I expected to be staring at the teal.  I ran into Tom and Sean from last June's Gambell AK trip.  But after wandering around the various ponds and not seeing any of the birders I expected to see, I went back to the original spot and started over.  However, at that point one of Tom's friends came by and told us the bird was in Pond Six, a new location for it.  So we charged over there and sure enough, there was the crowd and there was the bird (photo).  It was in with Northern Pintails, Green-winged Teal, and a few Mallards.  We watched it for a hour, taking photos and chatting with friends as we watched.  It was nice to see so many birders having a good time.  Finally I went back to the car, drove it back to the airport, checked it in, and went to the terminal.  However about that time news came in that a La Sagra's Flycatcher had appeared at Bill Baggs Park in Miami FL. guessed it!  I changed my flight home and instead took a flight to Fort Lauderdale.  I'm in my Motel 6 (I got the last room) where I'll get set for a successful go at the dreaded LaSagra's tomorrow.


  1. Bob,
    Another great bird. Our daughter lives just 3 minutes from there and I've been to the Reserve many times and always found great birds. You WILL reach your goal. Good luck in Florida with the F/C. Walt

  2. Hey, you're not far from John! Good luck. Renee

  3. This feels like June again, so many new birds! I won't say "whit" about the flycatcher (don't want to jinx it)... but my, won't Newfoundland provide a nice contrast tomorrow!

  4. Hey Bob,

    The rental car license plate was indeed a sign! You're having a great Big Yr end game. Congrats on the Baikal Teal and the La Sagra's Flycatcher. Best wishes for a rarities-filled December.