Friday, December 31, 2010
Decision Not To Go To Texas
On Wednesday afternoon another White-throated Thrush was found in Texas, this time at Estero Llande Grande State Park in Westlaco. I'm certain this is not the bird that was seen in Pharr a few days earlier. When I heard the news, I got on the computer to see if I could get a flight to the valley the following day. After some monkeying around, my only option was a very expensive round trip. In addition I would only have the last day of the year to look for the bird. The resulting quandary was typical of those that arose all through the Big Year. The decision didn't come easily. However, later on Wednesday night I decided to let the thrush go. It was too much buck for the bang! There had already been a precedent. I had decided a month ago not to go for McKay's Buntings at a feeder in Nome even though it was an almost guaranteed bird. That decision was made primarily on financial grounds, but in Alaska the travel conditions are always a little iffy and add an additional constraint. This time the thrush was not a guarantee, but probably would show up sooner or later at the water feature as the Rufous-backed Thrush did at Laguna Atascosa NWR last week. That proved to be the case. A late afternoon sighting yesterday showed the White-throated Thrush to be still around. Whether it shows today or not will have no effect on my Big Year. As I learned, very few choices are clear-cut. I'm pleased that so many of mine went the right way.