ABA AREA #800!

Apologies for bombarding you with blogposts today but I promise….this is IT for awhile. Besides, I need to keep doing something to fight the red-eye jet lag:)

After the excitement of Mr. Middendorff, my mind immediately shifted to: #800 has to be special. Really special. But I cannot control things out there in Gambell….so relax. Yeah, right. I couldn’t sleep that night as I imagined the possibilities for #800. The Gray-tailed Tattler (code 3) was the most likely statistically but not what I envisioned. Lesser Sand-Plover? Maybe. Another possibility was returning home stuck at 799. Not a bad outcome. But I was there to rack up new birds and I didn’t want to go ”oh-for” the last four days.

The day after Mr. Middendorff’s appearance started like every other Gambell day. Coffee, two hours at the Sea-watch followed by a sweep of the Far & Circular bone-yards. The elusive Stonechat was on our minds as several of us climbed rocky slopes looking for that specialty. Nada. After lunch we kept to the routine of marching through the Near bone-yard when the call came. Far bone-yard, SIBERIAN ACCENTOR. What a cool name I thought. I only knew a little about this Code 4. A native of northern Siberia, it’s a small, shy, sparrow-like bird with beautiful streaked patterns on its head.

Aaron shuttled most of the participants via ATV while two of us power-walked the 3/4 mile at a very brisk pace. The entire group viewed this migrant up close. S-A-T-I-S-F-A-C-T-I-O-N.


SIBERIAN ACCENTOR in wormwood vegetation

GCW & Guide extraordinaire Aaron Lang

Truth be told, we found that Tattler two days later. #801. Now what?!

Gray-tailed Tattler (Troutman Lake, Gambell, Alaska)

About George C. Wood

A birder since age ten, but not necessarily an avid "lister", I am closing in on 700 (*800!) species seen in North America.....hoping to capture each sighting with my camera.
This entry was posted in Quest for 700 (*800!). Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to ABA AREA #800!

  1. Deborah Glass says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Life time achievement. Cannot wait to very.

  2. Anne says:

    You are so awesome!!! Congratulations!!!

  3. Lindy says:


  4. Huge congratulations, George!! Great little bird for 800. And yeah, now what? One goes for 900?

  5. Tom Mason says:

    Congratulations George. Thanks for letting me follow you every step of the way! I can’t help but compare the photo of your 800 with Wilt CHamberlain’s 100 point game with the handwritten 100 in his photo!!!

  6. Dolores Zintl Rouse says:

    Congratulations George, You make it so exciting for us readers, I love hearing about your adventures, please keep them coming,!!!!

  7. Jessica & Chris Coss says:

    Congratulations George — what an awesome accomplishment!! Chris and I are looking forward to hearing all about your trip.

  8. jmbuck3 says:


  9. Jay Bennett says:

    Really proud of you Woodie! And the Iggles won opener so wonders never cease. Hope to see you soon in Philly

  10. austinsyd says:

    Fantastic! Congrats, Georgette!

  11. Joe Weisbord says:

    #800!!!!!!!!! Incredible achievement, brother George! Prunella Montanella, great bird!!!

  12. Dan Miller says:

    Well done Sir George! Congrats from Maine!

  13. Michael Parish says:

    Congratulations! What an accomplishment!


  14. Scott Tuttle says:

    801 Wonderful ! Congratulations ! Now get back to work !

  15. joek49 says:

    Wow wow wow! Amazing achievement, George!!!

  16. David says:

    UNREAL!! Congrats. You are a stud.

  17. Chuck Kontulis says:

    Congratulations George! Jeff told me the 46 or so birds from Hawaii don’t count so you’ll just have to keep going which is good news for your fans. Really enjoy your reading your posts and look forward to many more. Chuck

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thanks Chuck! Hawaii now counts but “old-school” birders still like to define the ABA AREA as only Canada and the first 49 states. So there is a “Club”, a very small one, of living 800er’s excluding Hawaii. So, yes, another Club to aspire to join:)

  18. Julia Foster says:

    Wow!!! After your ABA Continental, you’ll have to go on to your Whole World list!

  19. Andrew Mozino says:

    Congratulations George. Wish you were a 58 member.

    Sent from my iPhone


  20. chasscrew says:

    Yes! Just awesome!

    Cheers, Anne and Baird

    Sent from my iPhone


  21. Lisa Favaro says:

    Yay George! Such fun to read about your birding exploits! XO

  22. kirkhorton12 says:

    Congrats George! So excited for you, what an achievement

  23. Congratulations George! Thank you for sharing your adventures

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