When one becomes a nutty birder and when one does a big year, one often does more and more chasing of birds. “Chasing” implies movement, even rapid movement. But lately my chasing has been mostly a stationary thing, a waiting for a bird, a vigil at the site where the desired bird has recently been seen and where I hope it will appear again.
Unfortunately, recently my stationary chasing has not produced the desired result. Three vigils for Short-eared Owls (as well as the earlier walks for them) and three vigils for Cassin’s Finch (one today and two some weeks ago) did not yield either of these birds.
Today I waited at a home in Palmer where a beautiful male Cassin’s Finch was seen yesterday. There were a few Common Redpolls that showed up periodically during the 3.5 hours that I was there. I understand that redpolls have previously been seen with the Cassin’s Finch, but I did not see the finch. Some of the redpolls were quite colorful, but definitely not as red as a male Cassin’s Finch, and others were quite light, possibly Hoary. It is possible that I heard the Cassin’s Finch, however, but I am not sure of that.
I was happy to see a couple of Red-breasted Nuthatches, a Downy Woodpecker, Black-billed Magpies, a Bald Eagle and Black-capped Chickadees while I listened and watched for redpolls and the finch.
For the next couple of days I have a few commitments that will likely keep me in the Anchorage area and I have no chases or vigils planned. So, my birding will likely be plain old ordinary short birding trips to local spots to see what I can see. As the weekend approaches, however, I have a couple more chases in mind, and maybe some vigils.
123 species so far