Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Missing: One Ivory Gull

Have you seen this bird?

The Ivory Gull was not seen today unfortunately. Hopefully it's just vacationing for the day and it will turn up tomorrow. Maybe it's heading down to NJ! That would be a nice state bird.

I am thankful for my luck and the timing yesterday. I was able to get out of work to see the bird. All of the people missing this bird today made me think of some of the times I dipped on staked-out birds. There was a one-day-wonder Redwing in Pennsylvania that I missed along with 200 or so birders. There was also the very recent Long-billed Murrelet at Sandy Hook that I missed by a few hours. I missed a Brown-headed Nuthatch in Cape May by a few days and a Gray Kingbird by an hour or so. Purple Gallinule, Garganey, Bridled Tern, Barn Owl, White-eared Hummingbird, Three-toed Woodpecker, Blue Mockingbird, Rose-throated Becard (twice), White-throated Robin... wow, I didn't realize how many there were. What I'm trying to say is, there will be many more dips and many more successes and that's part of what makes birding fun in my book.


LauraHinNJ said...

I never seem to hear about these rare birds until after the fact!

Glad you got to see it.

Jochen said...

Well, that's all quite nice but listen to this one:

I was standing at Point Pelee in front of a dense bush with about 5 other people and we were waiting for the re-appearance of a Chat. I was basically standing shoulder to shoulder with another birder and after a few minutes decided to just turn around and check the woods behind us for a few seconds in case we were missing something. I hadn't even turned around completely when the birder right next to me called out "Worm-eating Warbler, just landed in the bush right in front of me!". So within probably less than a second I was watching the bush again but the bird had disappeared. This would have been a much, much sought-after lifer, and the Chat as well.
So I stood there again for around half an hour waiting, waiting, waiting until I finally gave up and went somewhere else to look for more cooperative birds. Needless to say, both the Chat and the Worm-eating Warbler made a re-appearance shortly afterwards and everybody was enjoying good looks at both of them ... everybody but me, that is.
Mind you, I did see a Chat shortly afterwards at Rondeau Provincial Park and probably heard a Worm-eating Warbler sing around Ann Arbor, but to have missed that species by a second at best is - to me - the very definition of dipping because you're instantly dipped into deep sorrow and frustration...

Patrick Belardo said...

Laura, you have to live on the rare bird alerts like I do! Just kidding, but I am signed up to a few email alerts that help. :)

Jochen, thanks for the story. How frustrating! It reminds me of when I missed my life Golden Eagle because I was using the bathroom. I did see one later the same day though.

John said...

It's a good thing you saw it while you had the chance!

Ben C. said...

I was out there on Tuesday for the mega-dip and will try for it again tomorrow if there is a reliable place to search at the possible Peekskill, NY sighting.

I don't drive so I'm stuck working around the public transport system. Getting to the previous IVGU site at Piermont Pier and Marsh by Red & Tan bus was a cinch.

Glad to hear you saw the bird.

Patrick Belardo said...


It was nice that the bird was in such an accessible area. I'm sorry that it hasn't officially returned yet. The news out of Peekskill was promising, but I haven't heard much.