For over three weeks a “code 3” vagrant (Black-tailed Godwit) has been seen every day at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. I simply could not remove this bird’s image from my obsessive-compulsive-disordered (?) brain, so I signed out for a vacation day and took off at 3am this morning,….. knowing I absolutely had to attend a Staff meeting at 2pm. I did write VIRGINIA, didn’t I? 200 miles one way. I traveled down the entire uninteresting spine of our first state (Delaware), passed through a portion of Maryland, I think, and hit the Refuge at sunrise. I also made it back to Haverford for my meeting. That left very little time to search for this pretty large, fairly conspicuous, shorebird. (And please don’t diss me about carbon footprint, etc….we are talking Black-tailed Godwit for crying out loud…. and I drive a Hybrid!).
Oh,…. the bird. I didn’t see it. Trying to make myself feel better, all day I kept thinking of the guy from Long Island who arrived at the same time as I did with his teenage son. He must not have slept at all last night. Misery loves company. Of course, they may have spotted this rarity after I departed, once the tide let out and exposed the mudflat feeding ground. Maybe I should have checked that small detail before I left. Ending on a posiitve note….enjoy the photos of some great sightings from last week’s Texas trip.