Revised 2011 bird total:
437 species

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Marylandic Adventure - Le Conte's Sparrow AND Calliope Hummingbird

I asked the homeoner of the vagrant that I've mentioned several times in my blog and she said it would be okay to say the name of the species and the state as long as I don't post the location or her contact information.  Thank you.  So, I'll let 'the cat out of the bag'.  The vagrant that I first posted about several weeks ago and chased today is Calliope Hummingbird in Maryland.  I first learned about that bird on November 3rd but the next day my mom was leaving for Canada.  Right after she got home my dad would leave for the Czech Republic.  My mom and I were planning to go when I was away but then my mom and I both got sick.  I thought that there was no chance that the Calliope would hold on until after I got back from my Eastern Shore trip (the next possible time for me to chase it) but it did.  But then I couldn't go before thanksgiving.  Would it really hold on that long?  But it did.  So yesterday my mom and I headed north, for Maryland.

To sweeten everything up, yesterday I got word of a Le Conte's Sparrow in a different part of Maryland but that I could try for as well, before I tried for the Calliope in the afternoon.  But I had a commitment to be at the Calliope location at 1 pm and with hours of driving to get from the hotel, to the Le Conte's, and then to the Calliope I had a mere 20 minutes to search for the Le Conte's.  I arrived on site and someone said it hadn't been seen for 1.5 hours.  UGH!  I didn't have all day to search for the bird by any means, and maybe it was gone if it hadn't been seen for 1.5 hours.  But then someone pointed and everyone gathered around them.  Did they see it?  I ran to them.  Sure enough, the Le Conte's was there and gave great looks.  This is a major milestone, 375 for my J. Big Year!  This was my second goal (first was 350, second was 375, and now it's 400)

But we had to keep going.  We were two hours from the Calliope Hummingbird and we had about exactly 2 hours to get there.  So we programed the GPS and hit the road.  We arrived right on time (or just a minute late) but the homeoner said it hadn't been seen for a while but often feeds around 2:00 so if we waited it should show up.  And sure enough, at 2:15 it was spotted perched on a small tree.  Then it flew to the hummingbird feeder.  Fed on some plants and flew away.  Bingo!  376.  I would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to the homeowner for being so gracious in letting us come to see her visiting rarity.

I'm now in the Doubletree Hotel, Annapolis Maryland and tomorrow drive home.

I am H A P P Y to be at 376!

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