[Tweeters] Clark County Brant
garybletsch at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 24 19:25:39 PST 2013
Today, December 24th--Howard Hughes's birthday--on my way back from a solo, three-day, 1336-mile trip to Humboldt County--where I missed the Little Bunting--I stopped by Vancouver Lake to search for the Ross's Goose. I did not find it, but did see a BRANT out there with the other geese. Besides several thousand Cacklers, the flock included about 250 Snow Geese, a few hundred or more Canada Geese, and one Greater White-fronted Goose.
PS The highlight of my "miss the bunting" visit to Humboldt County was a very birdy side-trip to Arcata Marsh. It had been over 30 years since I'd birded there. It is much "nicer" now that it has undergone restoration, although I wasn't expecting it to be as park-like as now it be. I missed the Northern Waterthrushes there, although I must admit I did not try for them very hard, since the return trip was looming before me. One of the leading local birders of that area told me that the species is actually resident there now, in small numbers. I still can't fathom why the birds would choose to start up a little colony hundreds of miles from their nearest strongholds, but birds do that sometimes.
PPS I cannot complain about being the unluckiest birder among those who missed the bunting. Even though both of my car's headlights went kaputt after nightfall on Interstate Five, in the mountainous part of Oregon, and even though I "had" to drive down twisty-turny Highway 199 at night with nothing but my high-beams, in order to get to the bunting spot in the morning, the honors for unluckiest birder have to go to the young lady who spent two days there without seeing the bunting--after having a boulder fall from a cliff on California Highway 299, scoring a direct hit on her rear window. Actually, since it hit the rear one instead of the windscreen itself, perhaps she was the LUCKIEST birder!
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