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Laysan Albatross (2)Phoebastria immutabilis


Gray Hawk (2)Buteo nitidus


Gyrfalcon (2)Falco rusticolus


Sharp-tailed Grouse (2)Tympanuchus phasianellus


Snowy Owl (2)Nyctea scandiaca


Great Gray Owl (2)Strix nebulosa


Elegant Trogon (2)Trogon elegans


Colima Warbler (2)Vermivora crissalis


Laysan Albatross (2)Phoebastria immutabilis




    Subject: Westport Seabirds, March 17 Trip Report - Manx Shearwater, Laysan Albatross
    Date: 19 Mar
    From: grevelas AT integral-corp.com 
    Hi Tweets -
    Thanks to some good late winter weather this past Saturday, March 17th, Westport Seabirds had a great day of birding offshore. About 15 enthusiastic birders, mostly Northwesterners, but some from as far away as New York, left the dock in Westport at 6:30 am and headed due west toward the deep waters of Grays Canyon. Seas were a bit bumpy heading west but the NW wind was light and we knew we would enjoy a smooth ride home with a following sea. It was too dark to bird until we cleared the harbor, but with the first light we picked up some waterfowl (Brant, White-winged and Surf Scoters) and loons (Pacific and Red-throated), the first of what was to be about 200 Black-legged Kittiwakes for the day, and our first tubenose, a light phase Northern Fulmar surprisingly close to shore. As expected in March, bird numbers were low on the inner shelf but we picked up about 100 Common Murres, as well as small numbers of both Cassin's and Rhinocerous Auklets, the latter sporting their breeding plumes and "horns". Small numbers of Westerns, Glaucous-winged/Western hybrids, and Mew Gulls were also counted.
    In deeper water, Sooty Shearwaters were seen and around 9:45 am, the first Black-footed Albatross was called out. Not long after that, a second Albatross was seen in the wake behind the boat. As it banked, we could see its white belly and Captain Phil Anderson did a great job turning towards this Laysan Albatross and staying with it long enough for all to get to look. Laysan Albatross, usually 1-3 individuals, have been regular on Westport trips since last summer and we hope this continues. Captain Phil then headed for a long-liner fishing the deep water beyond the shelf break. Near that boat, we found more Black-footed Albatross, Northern Fulmars, Kittwakes, and many Herring Gulls. We set out a chum here, which brought these species close in for great photo opportunities. Our only definitive Short-tailed Shearwater of the day also came into our chum and was seen by many.
    We then worked north along the edge of the canyon for a few miles before turning east for home. More of the deep water species observed and we stopped for a very cooperative Humpback that surfaced repeatedly close to the boat. A second Laysan Albatross flew by as we got back onto the outer shelf. With smooth seas heading east, we slowed to investigate any intriguing alcids on the water and turned up our only Ancient Murrelet of the trip during one of those stops. Back on the inner shelf, a large feeding flock of gulls, kittiwakes, and Sooty Shearwaters caught our attention and we veered towards it picking up the only jaeger of the day, a Pomarine. Persistent scanning of this flock by the birders on the bow was rewarded by the sighting of a Manx Shearwater, perhaps the best bird of the day, moving within this swirl of birds. Many of the folks on board were fortunate to get on this bird, before it moved on. To end the day, a single Gray Whale was seen near the mouth of Grays Harbor as were many Steller's Sea Lions lounging on the channel markers.
    As always, Captain Phil Anderson and is wife Chris made sure everyone had a good trip. The final numbers and complete species list will be posted on Westport Seabirds.com and on ebird. Spotters for the trip were Bill Shelmerdine, Gene Revelas, Bruce Labar, and Cara Borre. Please check http://westportseabirds.com/ for the 2018 trip schedule and other information. Upcoming spring trips include April 21st, May, 19th, and June 23. Hope to see you out there sometime soon!
    Gene Revelas
    Olympia, WA

    Gray Hawk (2)Buteo nitidus




      Subject: Birding in South Texas and the Hill Country
      Date: 18 Apr
      From: birder4184 AT yahoo.com 
      Starting April 2nd and ending April 13, I had a wonderful birding trip in South Texas with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT) . Our lead guide was Barry Zimmer who was terrific - maybe the best bird spotter I have ever seen. The first two days we were joined by Victor Emanuel - a real treat. When he departed a young guide from Florida, Carlos Sanchez took his spot. He was very talented as well.
      There were only a couple of misses (darn Tamaulipas Crow at the Brownsville Dump and uncooperative Seaside Sparrow) but we had just about everything else including some truly great looks. All told we had 232 species with highlights being Aplomado Falcons (3), Elf Owl (3), Common Pauraque on day roost, 28 Whooping Cranes, Red Billed Pigeons (2). Ringed Kingfishers (3). Green Jays (many), Green Kingfishers (2 or 3), White Collared Seedeaters (3), Altamira Oriole, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (1), Audubon's Oriole (3), Tropical Parula, Gray Hawk (1), White Tailed, Harris's and Broad Winged Hawks (Many), Swallow Tailed and White Tailed Kites, Nelson's Sparrow, 8 tern species, and 30 shorebird species. We also had an incredible fallout at South Padre Island with many great passerines with killer looks of most including especially Worm Eating and Blue Winged Warblers, Acadian Flycatcher, Indigo and Painted Buntings and Baltimore and Orchard Orioles.
      I went on to the Hill Country after the tour ended and at Lost Maples Natural Area and South Llano River State Park had great looks at and photos of Golden Cheeked Warblers, Black Capped Vireos, Zone Tailed Hawk and Scott's Oriole among others. Altogether I ended up with 251 birds on the trip. (I got photos of most of them.) Texas is amazing!!
      I would be happy to share info with anyone thinking of a trip to the area. I also wrote up 5 different blog posts about the visit. All can be found at blairbirding.wordpress.com .
      (But I did miss the Great Gray Owl in Bellingham. Can't have everything I guess.)
      Good birding to all
      Blair Bernson

      Gyrfalcon (2)Falco rusticolus




        Subject: GGOW - WWOW!
        Date: 07 Apr
        From: alndonna AT wamail.net 
        I like the term DRIZZMAL

        Al in Tacoma

        From: Jon Houghton
        Sent: Friday, April 6, 2018 7:52 PM
        To: Tweeters
        Subject: [Tweeters] GGOW - WWOW!

        Hi Tweeterdom “ Well, I™m a little conflicted on this one, but here goes: Spurred on by Gary Bletsch™s report of a Great Gray Owl near Bellingham, I let Frank Caruso talk me into a pretty early departure to the north this morning. We arrived at Sand Road off the Mt. Baker highway about 0730. As always, when chasing a bird like this, we hoped to first find the birders “ then the bird. Not to be disappointed in that, as we approached the Harmony School, we could see a gaggle of folks along the road to the north, with scopes headed to the west. We did a slow drive by and could see the GGOW perched on a post at the far end of a small field adjacent to the road. We quickly parked a ways north of the action and walked back to line up photos without the antique camper as a background. After a few dozen pix there, the bird flew to the north a bit, and landed on another fence post, affording a better background for another bunch of pix. I went to Frank™s car, parked on the shoulder, for a brace and the bird flew again, to a post about 30 feet from the car! Fantastic!! The 30 or so folk there moved along with us and got to see the bird fly again, toward us, taking a vole near the road, but partially screened by some shrubs. With bins, we could see the classic head tossing as he (or she?) hucked down the vole (whole) and flew back to the previous post. After a few minutes there (and a few more pix), the bird flew off to the west, through a line of trees and out of sight. Apparently the bird has been seen in this place for the last couple of mornings and might be worth a try over the weekend, for those so inclined. Today it was well removed from the school yard so no conflict there and no adverse reactions for locals. But, if you go, as always respect private property (the bird today was nicely protected by a barbed wire fence that kept any of the over-eager at bay)! After the owl viewing, we rendezvoused with Andy Stepniewski, Brian Pendleton, et al. on Fir Island, on the outside chance we could fine the Gyrfalcon reported there in past weeks. No luck on that but, as the weather moderated from the morning's mizzel (love that term, Michael!) Frank and I were able to find FOY Western Sandpipers (2!?), and an Am. Pipet (flyover) at Hayton. Then home to yard work in the surprising 60-degree sun!! Happy birding! - Jon



        ---
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        https://www.avast.com/antivirus



        Subject: GGOW - WWOW!
        Date: 06 Apr
        From: jon.houghton AT hartcrowser.com 
        Hi Tweeterdom - Well, I'm a little conflicted on this one, but... here goes:  Spurred on by Gary Bletsch's report of a Great Gray Owl near Bellingham, I let Frank Caruso talk me into a pretty early departure to the north this morning. We arrived at Sand Road off the Mt. Baker highway about 0730.  As always, when chasing a bird like this, we hoped to first find the birders - then the bird.  Not to be disappointed in that, as we approached the Harmony School, we could see a gaggle of folks along the road to the north, with scopes headed to the west.  We did a slow drive by and could see the GGOW perched on a post at the far end of a small field adjacent to the road.  We quickly parked a ways north of the action and walked back to line up photos without the antique camper as a background.  After a few dozen pix there, the bird flew to the north a bit, and landed on another fence post, affording a better background for another bunch of pix.  I went to Frank's car, parked on the shoulder, for a brace and the bird flew again, to a post about 30 feet from the car!  Fantastic!!  The 30 or so folk there moved along with us and got to see the bird fly again, toward us, taking a vole near the road, but partially screened by some shrubs. With bins, we could see the classic head tossing as he (or she?) hucked down the vole (whole) and flew back to the previous post.  After a few minutes there (and a few more pix), the bird flew off to the west, through a line of trees and out of sight.  Apparently the bird has been seen in this place for the last couple of mornings and might be worth a try over the weekend, for those so inclined.  Today it was well removed from the school yard so no conflict there and no adverse reactions for locals.  But, if you go, as always respect private property (the bird today was nicely protected by a barbed wire fence that kept any of the over-eager at bay)!  After the owl viewing, we rendezvoused with Andy Stepniewski, Brian Pendleton, et al. on Fir Island, on the outside chance we could fine the Gyrfalcon reported there in past weeks.  No luck on that but, as the weather moderated from the morning's mizzel (love that term, Michael!) Frank and I were able to find FOY Western Sandpipers (2!?), and an Am. Pipet (flyover) at Hayton.  Then home to yard work in the surprising 60-degree sun!!  Happy birding! - Jon



        Subject: Fwd: Fir Gyr
        Date: 19 Mar
        From: marvbreece AT q.com 
        Here are 2 short videos of a distant Gyrfalcon seen on Fir Island yesterday.
        https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

        Here are 2 images of same for those prone to motion sickness.
        http://www.pbase.com/marvbreece/image/167171199


        From: "Marv Breece"
        To: "Tweeters"
        Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2018 7:41:47 PM
        Subject: Fir Gyr

        This morning (3.18.18) I could not find a bluebird along Shorts School Road in Snohomish County. However, there was 1 male MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD at 407th Ave NE, barely north of Hwy 503 (Arlington?) working both sides of this dead end road. Thanks to those who have discovered and reported these bluebirds.

        There wasn't much else of any consequence until I arrived at Hayton Preserve on Fir Island in Skagit County. While doing a 360 degree scope from atop the dike, I noticed a very distant perched bird in a snag to the NE that looked like it could have been a peregrine or a gyr. Long story short. When I finally found the snag amidst a copse of conifers along Dry Slough Road, it turned out to be an adult GYRFALCON. What a nice surprise. I'll put up some photos tomorrow.

        It was a good day.

        --
        Marv Breece
        Tukwila, WA
        [email protected]

        Concepts shape our world.
        Concepts are not hard wired.



        Subject: Fir Gyr 530 not 503
        Date: 18 Mar
        From: marvbreece AT q.com 
        Oops! The Hwy is 530 not 503. Sorry.


        From: "Marv Breece"
        To: "Tweeters"
        Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2018 7:41:47 PM
        Subject: [Tweeters] Fir Gyr

        This morning (3.18.18) I could not find a bluebird along Shorts School Road in Snohomish County. However, there was 1 male MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD at 407th Ave NE, barely north of Hwy 503 (Arlington?) working both sides of this dead end road. Thanks to those who have discovered and reported these bluebirds.

        There wasn't much else of any consequence until I arrived at Hayton Preserve on Fir Island in Skagit County. While doing a 360 degree scope from atop the dike, I noticed a very distant perched bird in a snag to the NE that looked like it could have been a peregrine or a gyr. Long story short. When I finally found the snag amidst a copse of conifers along Dry Slough Road, it turned out to be an adult GYRFALCON. What a nice surprise. I'll put up some photos tomorrow.

        It was a good day.

        --
        Marv Breece
        Tukwila, WA
        [email protected]

        Concepts shape our world.
        Concepts are not hard wired.


        _______________________________________________
        Tweeters mailing list
        [email protected]
        http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



        Subject: Fir Gyr
        Date: 18 Mar
        From: marvbreece AT q.com 
        This morning (3.18.18) I could not find a bluebird along Shorts School Road in Snohomish County. However, there was 1 male MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD at 407th Ave NE, barely north of Hwy 503 (Arlington?) working both sides of this dead end road. Thanks to those who have discovered and reported these bluebirds.

        There wasn't much else of any consequence until I arrived at Hayton Preserve on Fir Island in Skagit County. While doing a 360 degree scope from atop the dike, I noticed a very distant perched bird in a snag to the NE that looked like it could have been a peregrine or a gyr. Long story short. When I finally found the snag amidst a copse of conifers along Dry Slough Road, it turned out to be an adult GYRFALCON. What a nice surprise. I'll put up some photos tomorrow.

        It was a good day.

        --
        Marv Breece
        Tukwila, WA
        [email protected]

        Concepts shape our world.
        Concepts are not hard wired.

        Sharp-tailed Grouse (2)Tympanuchus phasianellus




          Subject: BirdNote, last week and the week of April 8 2018
          Date: 07 Apr
          From: ellenblackstone AT gmail.com 
          Hey, Tweeters,

          Last week on BirdNote:
          * Take a Walk Down an Arroyo
          https://bit.ly/2GnWmdm
          * American Robin, Valiant Challenger
          https://bit.ly/2IibaKW
          * Tanagers - Coffee Birds
          https://bit.ly/2uySzse
          * The Bird Songs of April
          https://bit.ly/2J7hw15
          * The Color of Birds' Eyes
          https://bit.ly/2J7Fh97
          * Hummingbird Migration Myths
          https://bit.ly/2IjZvLT
          * Sharp-tailed Grouse on a Lek
          https://bit.ly/2pUJcxj
          ””””””””””””””””””””
          Next week: All Dressed Up for Spring!
          http://bit.ly/2H41CX9
          ---------------------------------------------
          BirdNote is now in print. Check out our new book:
          https://www.birdnote.org/birdnote-book
          -----------------------------------------------------------------
          Did you have a favorite this week? Please let us know.
          mailto:[email protected]
          ========================Sign up for the podcast: https://birdnote.org/get-podcasts-rss
          Find us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/birdnoteradio?ref=ts
          ... or Follow us on Twitter. https://twitter.com/birdnoteradio
          Listen on Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/birdnote
          ========================
          You can listen to the mp3, see photos, and read the transcript for a
          show, plus sign up for weekly mail or the podcast and find related
          resources on the website. https://www.birdnote.org
          You'll find nearly 1500 episodes and more than 1000 videos in the archive.

          Thanks for listening,
          Ellen Blackstone, BirdNote

          Snowy Owl (2)Nyctea scandiaca




            Subject: Snowy owl
            Date: 25 Mar
            From: pdickins AT gmail.com 
            My wife and I drove around the Skagit  flower farm area this morning. Lots of yellow daffodils but could no locate the white owl.

            Phil Dickinson

            Sent from my iPhone_______________________________________________
            Tweeters mailing list
            [email protected]
            http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



            Subject: Skagit Snowy Owl NO
            Date: 25 Mar
            From: garybletsch AT yahoo.com 
            Several birders here, no luck today on Calhoun Road.

            Sent from my iPhone
            _______________________________________________
            Tweeters mailing list
            [email protected]
            http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



            Subject: Snowy Owl in Skagit County
            Date: 24 Mar
            From: catsatbow AT gmail.com 
            I saw photographs taken of a Snowy Owl in Skagit County out by the tulip
            fields. 3.24.18.

            Cathy Scott



            Subject: Snowy Owl
            Date: 24 Mar
            From: birdbooker AT zipcon.net 
            HI ALL:
            I saw a Facebook report of a Snowy Owl on Calhoun Road between Bradshaw
            & Beaver Marsh near Mount Vernon, WA.

            sincerely
            --

            Ian Paulsen
            Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
            Visit my BIRDBOOKER REPORT blog here:
            https://birdbookerreport.blogspot.com/
            _______________________________________________
            Tweeters mailing list
            [email protected]
            http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters

            Great Gray Owl (2)Strix nebulosa




              Subject: Great gray owl
              Date: 05 Apr
              From: diane_weinstein AT msn.com 
              I saw the Great Gray Owl this morning at 8:30. The owl was on a fence post along Sand road just past the school and Eberly road.

              Diane Weinstein
              Issaquah

              Get Outlook for Android



              Subject: Whatom Great Grey Owl
              Date: 04 Apr
              From: schasecredo AT gmail.com 
              An update for those interested in seeing Whatcom's Great Gray Owl:

              The owl was last seen Monday morning on the campus of Harmony Elementary
              School on Sand Road northeast of Bellingham. This location has already been
              shared publicly in several places - I'm not sharing it for the first time.
              It was first reported Friday; I believe a teacher on the campus of the
              elementary school was the first to report it. At that time, he was
              unwilling to share the location, without giving an explanation. On Sunday
              (April Fools, coincidentally, we now can see), the location was shared on a
              Whatcom birding e-mail group. I believe it was shared because Harmony is on
              its Spring Break now, so folks walking around a school with binoculars and
              cameras don't look quite as suspicious as they might otherwise. I live 10
              minutes away, so I looked for it Sunday morning, with no luck, and was
              there late in the evening Sunday night as well, once again, unsuccessfully.
              My luck changed Monday morning. From my car, on Sand Road, I saw the owl
              around in the woods just north of the school. He (She?) flew from a post in
              the woods to the stop sign at the teacher parking lot of the campus. He
              stayed on the post for 20+ minutes, and that's where he was when I finally
              left. Joe Meche saw the owl that morning as well, and published some
              fantastic pictures on a local birders Facebook group. As far as I've heard,
              it hasn't been seen since. 25+ folks looked for it yesterday morning, and
              quite a few last night as well. I know of several more who were planning to
              be there this morning, so I imagine a decently large group is there at this
              time; I haven't heard if it has or hasn't been seen today.

              According to the Mount Baker School District's calendar, Harmony's break is
              one week long. As of next Monday, they'll be back to class. I'm a
              schoolteacher myself; as such, I *strongly urge you* not to hang around
              during school hours, that is, if the owl is found again and seen into next
              week. That will put a lot of undue pressure on the school, and will not win
              favors. In the meantime, happy hunting - but please - be respectful! There
              are still activities going on - a soccer practice yesterday, basketball in
              the covered recess area last night, etc... The neighbors have, as far as
              I've heard, been receptive to the increased vehicle and foot traffic, but
              please mind their wishes as well.

              Thanks,
              Stephen, in Everson


              On 2 April 2018 at 19:50, Gary Bletsch wrote:

              > Dear Tweeters,
              >
              > There has been a Great Grey Owl in Whatcom County, apparently. It was said
              > to have been seen and photographed on Sand Road, wherever that is.
              >
              > A flurry of confusing e-mails made me think it was just another April
              > Fool's hoax, but I just heard from a birder who lives up that way, and the
              > bird is said to have been seen this morning.
              >
              > Yours truly,
              >
              > Gary Bletsch
              >
              > _______________________________________________
              > Tweeters mailing list
              > [email protected]
              > http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
              >
              >

              Elegant Trogon (2)Trogon elegans




                Subject: Rare Bird Image vs. Grievous Bodily Harm - Blame it on Friday the 13th...or...? (Off-topic)
                Date: 13 Apr
                From: ucd880 AT comcast.net 
                We have been pretty lucky with SE AZ Trogons but mostly over towards SWRS. We chased one in Madera. Started at the upper parking lot where it called, showed itself for a fraction of a second and then flew uphill. It went 50-100 yards, perched, called, and when we got close flew up the trail again. After about 1/4 to maybe 1/2 mile of this the bird went back downhill. When we finally arrived near the parking lot it sat out in the open for a photo session.


                I think the first time we saw one in Madera we were walking up a trail and there it was, on a branch about 10' away. Totally silent. Would not have known it was there as it did not call and did not move.


                They are really special treats.



                Hal Michael
                Science Outreach Director, Sustainable Fisheries Foundation
                Olympia WA
                360-459-4005
                360-791-7702 (C)
                [email protected]

                > On April 13, 2018 at 8:26 PM [email protected] wrote:
                >
                > Hi folks,
                >
                > One of my better bosses over the years had quite a few to-the-point advisory sayings, one of which was "Never make yourself remarkable for the wrong reason." I certainly didn't intend to violate this good bit of advice today, but that's what happened.
                >
                > Now a question - what is a rare life bird sighting, and a good photographic image to boot worth? I got to ask myself this question today. I'm not sure of my answer...read on if this is of interest.
                >
                > We are in SE Arizona, with many opportunities for great life birds, and a few truly special "grail" birds - the Elegant Trogon of course among them. Madera Canyon is one place where this species is possible, but it is not easy to find even for locals. Prior to today, we had been to Madera Canyon twice on this trip. We got some great birds - lifers among them - but of course the banter among the numerous birders roaming the canyon road and trail was 'Have you seen a Trogon?' The first day we were there, the answer from everyone we talked to or overhead was...nope. The second day we heard of one AOU group that had a quick glimpse of (and short photo opportunity for) one bird, which perched briefly before flying up the mountain not to be seen again.
                >
                > Today, we joined in a weekly birding walk with folks who are at the development where we have the trailer, and they headed to Madera Canyon, in large part to try to find an Elegant Trogon. We set out from the Proctor Road parking area and started working up the trail, picking up some nice birds along the way, including a couple warblers, hummingbirds and Ash-throated and Dusky-capped Flycatcher. We had determined I would leave the group early and drive the car up to the Madera Canyon picnic area and work my way down to meet the group, after first searching for a breeding pair of Northern Pgymy Owl that had been seen and photographed (including a couple shots I got of one of the two birds) two days earlier.
                >
                > As soon as I got out of the car at the parking lot and walked toward the picnic area, a woman was calling to her group that she had seen and photographed one of TWO Trogons. I was close to her when she yelled this and asked for details. The answer...the always dreaded "It was here thirty seconds ago." And long gone. One had flown up the mountainside, but she indicated one had flown down the trail I was planning to walk, by the creek. So off I went, hopeful and with camera at the ready. Shortly, I ran into another couple birding, and - no lie - "You just missed it, it was here thirty seconds ago. It's working its way down the creek." I didn't think about it at the time, not being a superstitious person (maybe that has now changed...!) but hey, it is Friday the 13th.
                >
                > I walked a bit further down the trail and opted to sit down on a bench and watch for the bird potentially flying back upstream. Whereupon, the couple I had just bumped into started waving and pointing frantically and motioning for me to come down to where they were. I, uhhh, trotted off down the trail (two knee replacements and all), nothing at all like the pace that I used to do as a serious runner (too many pounds ago). After all, it's an ELEGANT TROGON, I've got my new camera, and this may be my one opportunity in life to see the bird and get some great images, right?! At which point, I tripped - on what or how, I don't know - and despite my best efforts to stay vertical, I did a full force body-plant (fortunately not a face plant) hard on the downward sloping trail, which in SE Arizona fashion is dusty, sandy and with some rocks here and there. I broke the fall primarily with my left hand - and my new camera and Swarovski binocs. It HURT!! I got up quickly a!
                nd of course being a bird nerd, my first thought was - "Is the bird still there?" (I had seen it clearly as I started down the trail.) My second thought was "Is my camera still working?!? And when I looked at it filthy with dust, and with the mode dial label torn off and gone, my third thought was "Damn, there goes my chance at an image." I looked up and...THE BIRD was still there, feet away from the couple who had motioned to me, and apparently unperturbed by the sizable dust cloud that accompanied my ridiculous plop. I framed the bird and...yep, the camera was in the wrong mode, with no label to refer to. I turned it one way (fortunately the dial still worked) and it landed on Aperture - what I was set up for. Two continuous mode bursts and I had my images!
                >
                > At this point I'm not sure whether the bird flew or was still there, but (finally!) my fourth thought came to me..."Gee, I hurt really bad, I wonder what I did to myself when I fell?" My left hand hurt the most, so I looked at it. Lots of blood, actively dripping, mixed with plenty of trail dirt for good measure, and the fingerprint pad of my left thumb hanging there seemingly almost completely separated from my finger. And my thumb hurting pretty badly as well. Oh great, time to find an emergency room. Ooops, first, it's time to find my wife, down the trail somewhere with the rest of the group. And you guessed it - extremely spotty cell phone service in the canyon. A quick ride up the road to the Santa Rita Lodge to use their phone and - amazingly - Trisha was in an area where she got the call. The person at the lodge looked at my thumb, blanched and asked if I wanted her to call 911. Thanks so much for the phone, but nope. Down the canyon, picked up Trisha !
                who had been near a picnic area and off down the canyon to the Green Valley Hospital which a helpful person had given accurate directions to.
                >
                > The medical result a couple of hours later - a broken thumb, a thorough scrubbing of the wound, nine stiches, a dressing and a splint, a tetanus shot, an antibiotic prescription and...crash and burns be damned, some decent images of an Elegant Trogon, albeit from behind, but still showing the resplendent plumage that makes this species so special.
                >
                > Was it worth it? If I heal up without an infection or thumb mobility complications, I'll probably tell myself yes. But being serious, considering what could have happened, no. It was stupidity. I'm not an athlete anymore. I'm old. I'm overweight. I could have hit my head. I could have compound fractured something - which according to the former Marine Corps medic/now Physician's Assistant who did the repair work happens frequently to hikers on the much more difficult trails which climb the mountain at the end of the road. "We have people coming in with bones sticking out on a regular basis."
                >
                > So...no more hurrying (ok, pretty much running) down the trail or through the woods to get another rare bird for me. No way! Unless maybe it's the Red Warbler (not Red-faced, Red) that was seen and photographed on Mount Lemmon within the week - the first ever documented record in the US. Bird nerdity might again overcome common sense, though I am going to try mightily to prevent that from happening!
                >
                > And, yes, here is a link to one of the images I paid dearly for -
                >
                > https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/26570533077/in/dateposted-public/
                >
                > I considered posting a link to an image Trisha took of my battered and bloodied thumb while I was waiting on the ER gurney for the repair work, but figured that might be just a bit too far off topic...!
                >
                > Oh and one last point. To my knowledge - certainly within our group - I was one of maybe only three folks who got a photo of the bird today. (Now, where did I put the Ibuprofen bottle...?)
                >
                > John Tubbs
                > Lacey, WA
                > (temporarily Tucson, AZ)
                > johntubbs AT Comcast DOT net
                >




                > _______________________________________________
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                >



                Subject: Rare Bird Image vs. Grievous Bodily Harm - Blame it on Friday the 13th...or...? (Off-topic)
                Date: 13 Apr
                From: johntubbs AT comcast.net 
                Hi folks, 

                One of my better bosses over the years had quite a few to-the-point advisory sayings, one of which was "Never make yourself remarkable for the wrong reason." I certainly didn't intend to violate this good bit of advice today, but that's what happened.

                Now a question - what is a rare life bird sighting, and a good photographic image to boot worth? I got to ask myself this question today. I'm not sure of my answer...read on if this is of interest.

                We are in SE Arizona, with many opportunities for great life birds, and a few truly special "grail" birds - the Elegant Trogon of course among them. Madera Canyon is one place where this species is possible, but it is not easy to find even for locals. Prior to today, we had been to Madera Canyon twice on this trip. We got some great birds - lifers among them - but of course the banter among the numerous birders roaming the canyon road and trail was 'Have you seen a Trogon?' The first day we were there, the answer from everyone we talked to or overhead was...nope. The second day we heard of one AOU group that had a quick glimpse of (and short photo opportunity for) one bird, which perched briefly before flying up the mountain not to be seen again.

                Today, we joined in a weekly birding walk with folks who are at the development where we have the trailer, and they headed to Madera Canyon, in large part to try to find an Elegant Trogon. We set out from the Proctor Road parking area and started working up the trail, picking up some nice birds along the way, including a couple warblers, hummingbirds and Ash-throated and Dusky-capped Flycatcher. We had determined I would leave the group early and drive the car up to the Madera Canyon picnic area and work my way down to meet the group, after first searching for a breeding pair of Northern Pgymy Owl that had been seen and photographed (including a couple shots I got of one of the two birds) two days earlier.

                As soon as I got out of the car at the parking lot and walked toward the picnic area, a woman was calling to her group that she had seen and photographed one of TWO Trogons. I was close to her when she yelled this and asked for details. The answer...the always dreaded "It was here thirty seconds ago." And long gone. One had flown up the mountainside, but she indicated one had flown down the trail I was planning to walk, by the creek. So off I went, hopeful and with camera at the ready. Shortly, I ran into another couple birding, and - no lie - "You just missed it, it was here thirty seconds ago. It's working its way down the creek." I didn't think about it at the time, not being a superstitious person (maybe that has now changed...!) but hey, it is Friday the 13th.

                I walked a bit further down the trail and opted to sit down on a bench and watch for the bird potentially flying back upstream. Whereupon, the couple I had just bumped into started waving and pointing frantically and motioning for me to come down to where they were. I, uhhh, trotted off down the trail (two knee replacements and all), nothing at all like the pace that I used to do as a serious runner (too many pounds ago). After all, it's an ELEGANT TROGON, I've got my new camera, and this may be my one opportunity in life to see the bird and get some great images, right?! At which point, I tripped - on what or how, I don't know - and despite my best efforts to stay vertical, I did a full force body-plant (fortunately not a face plant) hard on the downward sloping trail, which in SE Arizona fashion is dusty, sandy and with some rocks here and there. I broke the fall primarily with my left hand - and my new camera and Swarovski binocs. It HURT!! I got up quickly and of course being a bird nerd, my first thought was - "Is the bird still there?" (I had seen it clearly as I started down the trail.) My second thought was "Is my camera still working?!? And when I looked at it filthy with dust, and with the mode dial label torn off and gone, my third thought was "Damn, there goes my chance at an image." I looked up and...THE BIRD was still there, feet away from the couple who had motioned to me, and apparently unperturbed by the sizable dust cloud that accompanied my ridiculous plop. I framed the bird and...yep, the camera was in the wrong mode, with no label to refer to. I turned it one way (fortunately the dial still worked) and it landed on Aperture - what I was set up for. Two continuous mode bursts and I had my images!

                At this point I'm not sure whether the bird flew or was still there, but (finally!) my fourth thought came to me..."Gee, I hurt really bad, I wonder what I did to myself when I fell?" My left hand hurt the most, so I looked at it. Lots of blood, actively dripping, mixed with plenty of trail dirt for good measure, and the fingerprint pad of my left thumb hanging there seemingly almost completely separated from my finger. And my thumb hurting pretty badly as well. Oh great, time to find an emergency room. Ooops, first, it's time to find my wife, down the trail somewhere with the rest of the group. And you guessed it - extremely spotty cell phone service in the canyon. A quick ride up the road to the Santa Rita Lodge to use their phone and - amazingly - Trisha was in an area where she got the call. The person at the lodge looked at my thumb, blanched and asked if I wanted her to call 911. Thanks so much for the phone, but nope. Down the canyon, picked up Trisha who had been near a picnic area and off down the canyon to the Green Valley Hospital which a helpful person had given accurate directions to.

                The medical result a couple of hours later - a broken thumb, a thorough scrubbing of the wound, nine stiches, a dressing and a splint, a tetanus shot, an antibiotic prescription and...crash and burns be damned, some decent images of an Elegant Trogon, albeit from behind, but still showing the resplendent plumage that makes this species so special.

                Was it worth it? If I heal up without an infection or thumb mobility complications, I'll probably tell myself yes. But being serious, considering what could have happened, no. It was stupidity. I'm not an athlete anymore. I'm old. I'm overweight. I could have hit my head. I could have compound fractured something - which according to the former Marine Corps medic/now Physician's Assistant who did the repair work happens frequently to hikers on the much more difficult trails which climb the mountain at the end of the road. "We have people coming in with bones sticking out on a regular basis."

                So...no more hurrying (ok, pretty much running) down the trail or through the woods to get another rare bird for me. No way! Unless maybe it's the Red Warbler (not Red-faced, Red) that was seen and photographed on Mount Lemmon within the week - the first ever documented record in the US. Bird nerdity might again overcome common sense, though I am going to try mightily to prevent that from happening!

                And, yes, here is a link to one of the images I paid dearly for -

                https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/26570533077/in/dateposted-public/

                I considered posting a link to an image Trisha took of my battered and bloodied thumb while I was waiting on the ER gurney for the repair work, but figured that might be just a bit too far off topic...!

                Oh and one last point. To my knowledge - certainly within our group - I was one of maybe only three folks who got a photo of the bird today. (Now, where did I put the Ibuprofen bottle...?)

                John Tubbs
                Lacey, WA
                (temporarily Tucson, AZ)
                johntubbs AT Comcast DOT net

                Colima Warbler (2)Vermivora crissalis




                  Subject: RFI Big Bend NP
                  Date: 27 Mar
                  From: rgrichards7 AT icloud.com 
                  We are going to Big Bend National Park at the end of April. In addition to the hike up to find Colima Warbler, which we are planning to do, can you recommend other birding locations there? We are staying in Terlingua, so are looking primarily for locations in the west and central part of the park. We have identified some locations through eBird, and would welcome any info from your own experience.

                  Thanks for your comments off-line -

                  Ruth R
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