Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731



Monday, December 13, 2010

Brown Shrike

After a night of very little sleep and much driving, I reached the Clam Beach area of Humboldt County where we searched for the Brown Shrike ten days ago.  I had stayed in a Motel 6 in Ukiah for four hours and rose to find a good luck message at reception from Bill Mauck, a fall Gambell colleague.  In McKinleyville I met up with my birding partner, John Spahr, at his motel.  He had seen the shrike yesterday as had Chris Hitt and Wes Fritz.  But he wanted to show it to me today.  We walked down the hill to the spot where it had been seen yesterday.  There were three birders there already.  It was at that point that I realized I hadn't brought my binos down the hill.  So, I walked back up the hill to get them and walked back down only to meet one of the birders coming back with the story that John had found the bird three minutes after I left.  They all yelled after me and John tried to call me on my cellphone, but it never rang.  I wasn't worried; I had two days for the bird and I knew it would pop up for me.  And it did! (web photo)  Not long after John left to go look for a Tufted Duck which had been reported, the shrike appeared in a bush not far from where it had been seen earlier.  It put on quite a show, hopping around and flying short distances.  Then it took off to somewhere and couldn't be re-found.  Our group left and drove up to where John had just seen an Arctic Loon and called to tell us (now the cellphone works!).  We found the loon and scoped it, a yearbird for Chris.  Then I left to go to a wireless hotspot to move my airline reservations up a day to tomorrow.  While I was doing that, John got his Tufted Duck.  So Chris is now at 699 and John is at 701, the shrike being bird #700.  John and I had lunch together, after which he went to the Arcata airport for his flight and I drove back to San Francisco to a motel.  Tomorrow I fly to Spokane to look for Gray Partridges.

7 comments:

  1. Way to go!! Perseverance,perseverance,perseverance..Good luck with the partridge!

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  2. I admire your drive and your passion. We readers are fortunate that you are a big year participant and a "journaler." Renee

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  3. Awesome! So glad we had a chance to meet you in louisiana this year. I have enjoyed your blog since February and will miss keeping up with your travels next year! Congratulations on a great year and best holiday wishes.

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  4. How did you forget your binoculars? Don't you sleep with them around your neck?

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  5. WOW, what more can be said! Congrats, Audrey

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  6. my wife and I saw what we felt was an Arctic Loon at Stone Lagoon in Humboldt,County on Jan 2,2011 but the local "Professional birders" have not confirmed it. Thanks for your supporting comments.

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