Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Futile Chase, February 27

This week I had to plan for a Spring trip to Alaska.  I have spent time communicating by e-mail with John Puschock about potential pelagic trips from Adak and also a trip to Attu leaving from Adak.  In addition, I must get set for a trip to British Columbia very soon to try for the Red-flanked Bluetail, Brambling and Citrine Wagtail.  In order to go there, I need to renew my passport and started looking into what is required to do so.  I also communicated extensively with John about strategy for finding these birds and the amount of time needed.  I took a break in the afternoon today, Wednesday, February 27 to try for some birds I still need that are nearby.  I went to Deer Creek Reservoir and area to look for  Eurasian Wigeon reported recently by Bob Royse.  I did not succeed on the Eurasian Wigeon, but neither did Dan Sanders and Doreene Linzell, who were also looking for the bird.  I left them and headed to Columbus to try for the roosting Eastern Screech Owl near Alum Creek South Park in the upper beam of a converted railroad bridge used now for a foot and bike path bridge.  Unfortunately, I got held up in traffic due to an accident and the light was fading fast when I arrived. It was too dark to see into the beam from below when I arrived, so I decided to stay to try to see it against the lighted sky.  I stayed until between 7:00 and 7:30 pm, but never saw or heard a screech owl, even though  the bird was reported at this location last month.  It probably is still there.   So, I missed two species on this short trip, but there are opportunities for both in the future.

As I write this entry, I have tentative plans for a trip to Attu with John Puschok,  reservations for a flight to Seattle starting March 12 to go to BC for the rarities and have submitted for a fast passport renewal to arrive before my departure date.   An itinerary was needed for this passport renewal application.  This required a significant amount of planning.  Thanks to John for all of his help.

As I finish this entry on March 1, tomorrow, Saturday, I leave for one last trip to the east coast for winter specialties, Black-headed Gull, Eurasian Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Great Cormorant, King Eider, Thick-billed Murre, Razorbill, Dovekie, maybe Gyrfalcon and some missing waterfowl like Surf and White-winged Scoter and Ross's Goose and other birds that are now in Delaware, but not yet in Ohio.  I expect to be birding full-time from now on and the list to increase accordingly as I go to Florida, Texas and Arizona to pursue other rarities.    

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