Date: 12/2/18 10:03 pm
From: Nicholas Mrvelj <nickmrvelj...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Clatsop County Bunting

To clarify my comment on pursuing the flock via a vehicle, at times they
would flush and fly off down the beach, often to the extent that one would
need to drive in that direction to keep sight of the them. They would flush
unexpectedly at times and not always in direct correlation with a human
approach. It was not my intent to paint the image of us tearing off after
the birds in close proximity and at high speeds, as that is not how the
encounters played out. The drive to drop off Matt was a different story

When the flock eventually did land, we found that approaching by foot did
make it easier to get closer. There were a few other vehicles on the beach
besides us, probably oblivious to the wildlife in their way.


On Sun, Dec 2, 2018 at 7:32 PM Nicholas Mrvelj <nickmrvelj...> wrote:

> Hello all,
> I had the good luck of running into the putative McKay’s Bunting this
> morning alongside Zack Schlanger and Matt Cahill. We came across Audrey
> Addison, Eric Carlson, and Courtney Kelly Jett already on the birds. This
> was just north of the Sunset Beach Access, perhaps by a mile or so. My
> driving skills weren’t the subtlest pulling up, and the birds flushed
> immediately upon our arrival, fortunately touching back down a short while
> later in nearly the same spot. The sun was to our back, and within a few
> moments we picked out the pale Bunting from the flock of 20 odd Snow
> Buntings. Most of us started firing off photos as quickly as possible. My
> observations of the bird were mostly through the viewfinder, as I felt
> documenting it was paramount to prolonged looks through binoculars or a
> spotting scope. The birds flushed after a minute or so, and began a
> continuous cycle of cat and mouse, eventually joined by 30+ more SNBU. They
> relocated between us and the sun, and started heading toward the dune
> grass, where they were extremely difficult to view. We approached slowly,
> and they flushed a few more times before settling back on the beach. I was
> able to capture a few more photos and some awful handheld video before the
> flock flushed again. Chase as we might, we were never able to get close to
> the flock again with the sun to our back, or really in any close, lengthy
> fashion, before eventually losing it as they flew out over the surf and
> headed south.
> I was not able to capture any flight shots or discern any crucial details
> about the retrices in flight. It was an entertaining and enthralling
> twitch, with the odd experience of sporadically pursuing the flock in a car
> at speed as it flew on in front of us, often doubling back multiple times.
> Here’s a link to my eBird checklist:
> I know that Eric and Audrey got a few photos of the subject bird as well
> that are a little bit more illuminating than mine.
> What a doozie of an ID!
> Good Birding,
> Nick Mrvelj

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