Date: 12/28/17 8:33 pm
From: Jim Nelson <kingfishers2...>
Subject: [cobirds] Red-breasted Sapsucker -- thanks Colorado birders and sapsucker neighbors
Nearly at the end of a holiday visit to Colorado to see family, I was lucky to be in Colorado Springs for a less than 24-hour stay. We were in Estes Park the rest of our visit as I read listserv posts and saw eBird Rare Bird Alerts for the Red-breasted Sapsucker expecting the bird to disappear just as we made it to Colorado Springs.

We got in too late on Wednesday to try for the bird. I saw reports from Wednesday, so this morning during a 45-minute window I had available to try for the bird before needing to check out from our motel and head to an appointment, I arrived at Mirada Road with no birders in sight (bad sign?). I am usually the kiss of death for unusual birds. I almost always miss the target when I go in search of a bird that dozens of birders have seen over several days. So I had low expectations for success today.

Three other birders arrived within a few minutes, none of whom had seen the bird in previous tries, and we were wandering up and own Mirada looking for the sapsucker with no success. The clock was ticking. My stroke of luck was to stand in front of the house of a very nice woman (Carol, who Norm Lewis mentioned yesterday) scanning various pines with my binoculars. Carol came out her door, coffee cup in hand, and asked if I had seen the bird. When I said "no," she told me to wait a minute and she would take me to where she was sure it would be. She walked me back up Mirada where we gathered the other three folks and entered the HOA's open space with Carol, her so, and (I believe) daughter-in-law. And there was the bird. We all had great views and enjoyed sharing the special experience.

I added a lifer (thanks to friendly Coloradans, birders and non-birders) and made it back in time to check out and go to our appointment. Couldn't ask for a better experience and a great end to our holiday visit as we fly back east tomorrow.

Thanks David T. for the great find and all who helped me and other birders see this great bird.

Jim Nelson
Bethesda, Maryland

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