Date: 6/15/20 9:43 pm
From: Paul Sullivan <paultsullivan...>
Subject: [obol] Re: twitching, finding rare birds, enjoying, paying it forward, and meeting friends
The title above comes from a grab-bag of responses to my original long post about the Veery and the Wood Thrush.

First, let me say that I have never participated in the periodic polling that asks "What do you think will be the next new bird for Oregon?" That challenges folks who are looking for rarities, the next new thing, looking at what species have been seen in nearby states. They say, "Chance favors the prepared mind," so this kind of thinking can alert one to what might show up.

Second, I'll plead guilty to not looking at every blackbird in the flock or every sparrow in the road.

I'm more dogged than that, looking for 200 species in each county, for example. I check 'blackbird' and look to see what else there is around.

I do plead guilty to spending many, many hours birding, looking for what's new in the neighborhood. Last year I had a good year at the Sheridan sewage ponds, coming up with Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Wilson's Phalarope, and Red-necked Grebe, plus a Clark's Grebe on a nearby pond, all shared.

I enjoy looking at someone else's beautiful find as much as I do finding my own rarity. It's not that I'VE discovered a bird, but the BIRD that I see and share -- and the people I share it with.

Paying it forward, I've led 174 birding weekends over 23 years and shown many birds to many people, the people who have become friends.

I just learned that on Friday we lost one of the good, dear friends who shared the trail with us, Ed Hausafus.

Find birds if you can, enjoy their beauty, share with friends, help others see and hear and climb the grade together.

Good birding, everyone,

Paul Sullivan

Subject: Adding to thoughts by Paul on Wood Thrush
Date: Mon Jun 15 2020 22:18 pm
From: rriparia AT

Thanks Paul. You summed up the weekend well. The day out

with you, and others, will always be a great memory. I was writing this before

you posted your thoughts. I�ll add mine.


Yes, finding rare birds is fun. But for me, it�s the camaraderie

of the birders in this state that really makes it fun. It�s like no other

place. The experience and beauty of the state, and the friends you meet along

the way, still seems to be greater than the list. I hope it stays that way.

Kevin Spencer
Klamath Falls, Oregon

Subject: How do you find a rare bird?
Date: Mon Jun 15 2020 20:03 pm
From: larspernorgren AT

Find a lot of common birds and look at most of them carefully. "Dogged persistence" was my father's mantra. Sift through all the Brewer's Blackbirds instead of ticking the species off the list the first half hour and ignoring them the next seven. Scrutinize a hundred Golden-crowned Sparrows as the occasion presents itself. Generally spend a lot of hours on foot, not talking, not ticking a great deal. Courting tedium . I'm sure if the effort was quantified the bulk of rarities discovered would be attributed to birders who spend one and two orders of magnitude more time in the field than the rest of us.

I enjoyed your story Paul. I can easily imagine 100s of Obol subscribers enjoying it as well and as a result of the vicarious pleasure it brings forego a drive of their own. The miniscule carbon footprint of your Wood Thrush chase may be negative!

Subject: Re: The saga of the Veery and the Wood Thrush (long)
Date: Mon Jun 15 2020 19:32 pm
From: davidcbaileyoregon AT

Good story Paul.
The rare birds that I find through my own efforts (though with the collective knowledge of many that help me strategically plan my birding), I find more rewarding than those I chase (or twitch; stakeouts...). I find it most rewarding when I find a rare bird, and through my efforts of reporting (and often times meeting up with others on the twitch) am able to help others observe and tick and enjoy the bird.

That is my challenge to all listers--find some rare birds of your own to share with the others. Pay it forward.

When was the last time you found a rare bird yourself?



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