Thursday, November 27, 2014
A "Rarity Alert" recap - it happened!
Sometimes you can't explain it, and often - if a system is packin rarities - some seem to arrive far too early to even be associated with the storm - but somehow they arrive (I'm thinking about the Solitaires)...
MEGA - Brambling
Other: Alcid/Murre in NY (lake ON)
Common Eider in SW MI
2 Solitaires in ON right now
Someone's pet Eurasian Tree Sparrow that arrived in Niagara
Tufted Duck (Buffalo)
That's a pretty solid list! I've seem other reports of "good" birds - GWF Goose, Ross's, Goose etc...
Gotta love those big storms!
But now begins the vicious cycle of twitching. I'm going to come right out and say it - I hate twitching. There have been some birds I was very happy to get. Specifically, the Thick-billed Kingbird - was a remarkably awesome twitch. I also enjoyed the Whitby Smew a fair bit. (The Phainopepla was awesome!)
There are others that I "went for" - that I think I realized that "if I don't go now, I'll regret it later" - rather than being extremely excited to actually witness the bird itself. Some examples may be: The Rondeau Mag Frigatebird, the Elegant Tern, and even the Brown Booby to some degree (note: all of these birds were pretty distant).
Why am I writing about this? Because of that darn Brambling. It's an 8 hour round trip, for an AMAZING bird - but the 8 hours are holding me back...
I don't give a hoot about the Eurasian Tree Sparrow*..
But that Brambling sure looks awesome. I'm not trying to inflict my practice onto others - twitch away and love every second of it - it's just not for me - and I wanted to make a blog post about it. Maybe I'll look back and laugh when I realize I could have seen a Brambling today, but didn't....
Some of my thoughts on twitching:
- you learn a little by going on a twitch (about bird ID)
- you learn more by searching for rarities yourself (about bird ID)
- it is exciting to see a mega via twitch
- it is STUPIDLY exciting to find a mega
- most rarities show up in "vagrant season" - meaning time spent twitching, is time spent not looking for your own rares- at a prime time
- twitching a bird in "non vagrant season" is much more fun (eg,/ Sage Thrasher in February 2006)
- there are considerably more birds to TWITCH than to find (more regular gratification to twitch)
- competitive listing and twitching are practically the same thing
Anyways, just some chatter... It was a good distraction to thinking about that Brambling
I have this personal vendetta about introduced species. I still need Gray Partridge for my Ontario list, because I just don't care... I never bothered to chase a Eurasian Collared Dove, but when I found one in 2013 (with Mr. Dave Bell) - we were still really excited... Just as I'm sure I would be if I found a EuroTree Sparrow - but dang, I have a hard time getting excited about them.