[Tweeters] Missed the Wagtail - but A Great Morning

B B birder4184 at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 24 20:12:49 PST 2018

I set out this morning to hopefully find my 200th species in Washington this month - my goal for a Big Month.  The original plan was to try Carnation for an American Pipit and then to Everett to look for a Semipalmated Plover.  Terrible traffic caused a change of plans and I took the ferry to Kingston and then went to the Port Orchard Airport and at the same area that Brian Pendleton and I have had Mountain Quail in the past, and he had some last week, I was able to flush two - qwerking as they flew off - that hoped for #200.  I then went to the Sanderson Airfield in Shelton - a new place for me - looking for the Western Bluebirds that were reported by Whittier Johnson and Bill Tweit yesterday.  It took a lot of searching checking every road that was accessible but I finally found a group of five towards the north end of the airfield - just south of the industrial area.  The plan was to go to Hoquiam to the STP and look for the Palm Warbler that Alex Patia had reported there.  Just as I was getting to Hoquiam, I got a call from Ann Marie Wood telling me about the White Wagtail sighting.  What to do?  After Hoquiam the original plan was to continue to Westport and the ocean beaches looking for Semipalmated and Snowy Plovers.  I decided to try for the Palm Warbler and then decide "what next".
The Palm Warbler was very cooperative and responded immediately to its call - but not out between the two ponds but in the trees just west of Paulson Road at the corner.  It was very active - and was continuously pumping its tail.  Now what? - 2.5 hours to try for the Wagtail or on to the beaches.  I had seen a White Wagtail in Washington many years ago but had no photo.  I made the quick calculation that the possibility of a White Wagtail was of higher value than the admittedly much higher possibility of the Snowy Plover and that the Semipalmated Plover was just as likely in Everett.
I raced to Neal Road - where I had seen and photographed the Rusty Blackbird two days ago.  A number of birders were there - no Wagtail.  Others also arrived - no Wagtail.  I had already had a fabulous day.  Sure the Wagtail would have been an incredible "topper' but missing it just did not feel like a downer.  Sure that was in large part because of the morning sightings and meeting and surpassing my goal of 200 for the Month.  But equally so it was because it was so much fun to be with so many great birders looking together - sharing the experience.  There were lots of laughs - and I did not see any tears.
Good birding to all...
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