Date: 12/23/18 3:54 pm
From: David Irons <llsdirons...>
Subject: [obol] Re: White Egret
While we are trotting out Benton Basham (correct spelling) trivia, he almost ran over me with his van while backing out of the driveway at his single-wide trailer in the back of the "tropical zone" at Estero Llano Grande State Park near Weslaco, Texas. If not for Shawneen and Mike Freiberg yelling at me to look out, he would have almost certainly hit me. His f
unky little trailer, where he spends part of each winter, is one of just the few remaining "residences" that were grandfathered in when the state park was formed several years ago. The front part of the park was formerly a private trailer park/RV park with lots of exotic tropical plants and citrus trees (hence the tropical zone nickname). As residents have died off or moved out their mobile homes are removed with only the concrete pads remaining. There are a couple RV spots at the front of the park used by seasonal park hosts, but otherwise I think Benton's place and one other residence are the only two remaining.

If you ever go to the Rio Grande Valley, this park and in particular its Tropical Zone are "must visit."

Dave Irons
Beaverton, OR

From: Steve Jaggers <SJJag...>
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2018 11:39 PM
To: <llsdirons...>; <obol...>; <acontrer56...>
Subject: Re: [obol] Re: White Egret

Yep, been remembering the Christmas Redwing in Olympia several years ago.

Trivia, Bentam Bashom (sp) saw it thru my scope.

Steve Jaggers.

Sent from Xfinity Connect Application

-----Original Message-----

From: <llsdirons...>
To: <obol...>, <acontrer56...>
Sent: 2018-12-23 3:22:16 PM
Subject: [obol] Re: White Egret

With all the robins around our area–and we will be out culling through them the next couple mornings–my mega-rarity daydreaming is centered on Old World Turdus species. Oregon seems long overdue for one these. Candidates include Redwing, Dusky Thrush, Eye-browed Thrush and perhaps more remotely Fieldfare (one just found in B.C.).

Dave Irons
Beaverton, OR

From: <obol-bounce...> <obol-bounce...> on behalf of Alan Contreras <acontrer56...>
Sent: Sunday, December 23, 2018 10:27 PM
Subject: [obol] Re: White Egret

One of the distinctive aspects of some cases like this, and which is applicable to the Indescribable Egret) (aka Unnecessary Egret, Ardea whybotheri) is the joy of dueling experts.

No one who saw the bird in the first few days thought they saw an Intermediate Egret and set out to make the sale. They checked into a report of Cattle Egret, a good local rarity, photographed a smallish large egret and, in effect, asked various experts what it was. The answers have now come back with various points of view. Most of us who looked yesterday and today never saw a bird that matched the original description. We saw a few candidates that fizzled.

I think the pump-priming here was primarily a result of the first two international experts who commented privately making positive noises about the bird. As this fact seeped into the birding community, those of us who had no clue how to i.d. an Intermediate Egret naturally followed the early “expert” line and looked for what we thought we were supposed to look for. That line has now become something of a dendritic maze.

With luck the next wild winter rarity will be something easy to i.d. I’d like Gray Wagtail.

Alan Contreras
Eugene, Oregon<>

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