Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Daily Redpoll 25 Feb 2007

Mom's Common Redpoll stayed through the weekend, and was quite cooperative today. Around noon, Fred Alsop arrived with a mini-bus-load of ornithology students from East Tennessee State University; all got multiple good looks at the bird before they continued on their long trip home to Johnson City (extreme NW Tennessee, 300+ miles) after a weekend field trip to Reelfoot Lake.

The flat light and my poor optics still didn't allow any high-quality pictures, but I thought these two were kinda cute:

This is my first time hosting (co-hosting, actually; my mother is the real host) a "chase target" like this. Other rarities of this magnitude I have found were in different circumstances and/or didn't stick around nearly so long. It's both thrilling and nerve-wracking; I find myself feeling a bit of personal responsibility for every person who has driven 3 or 4 even 7 hours to see the bird, worrying that it'll be a no-show and they will have wasted a trip! Fortunately, this little critter has been very accomodating, and everytime someone who has been dreaming of this bird for decades finally gets it in his or her binoculars, the world is just a big happy place.

I'd expect the main rush will be over now, with a full 8 days having allowed nearly everyone with the desire and the means to do so a chance to make the chase. I'll be curious to see how much longer the bird stays, with March just around the corner. I'm also hoping for a few more sunny mornings before it goes to try to get that good clear shot to frame and hang on Mom's wall!


At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing that one little bird could bring so much fun and excitement!
Birders are truly some of the nicest and most interesting people.
To have been a part of this wonderful week, and to share the birding life of my most extraordinary son, was a complete joy.


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