Sunday, December 16, 2007

Chasing a Murrelet

For those who haven't heard, a Long-billed Murrelet turned up in PA at Lake Nockamixon on Friday - an hour's drive from my house. For those of you who aren't listers or chasers, a Long-billed Murrelet is a pretty big deal. An interesting auk that nests in trees far from the water, it should be spending its winter somewhere near Japan or South Korea. Incredibly, these birds have turned up several times in the US on large lakes or along the cost. Unfortunately, I was working from home on Friday and decided to not go chase it.

Saturday morning came and I booked over to PA to look for the bird. Unfortunately, luck was not on my side and the bird was not found again. I searched every access point of the lake along with throngs of other birders to no avail. It's a big lake with lots of little nooks, so who knows if this 10" bird is still there. Although I missed the murrelet, I did see more Lesser Black-backed Gulls in one place than I ever have. There were over 50 of them there. Incredible!

This is actually the second time I've missed a Long-billed Murrelet due to work this year. There was one at Sandy Hook back in January. I assure you that there won't be a third time!


dguzman said...

This was all over the list-serv this weekend, but I didn't go -- the weather was pretty icy and rough in Central PA all weekend. (we even had to postpone our CBC until next weekend) Sorry you went out there and didn't get to see it.

Larry said...

It's always nice when a missed bird leads to another unexpected sighting. That is a little too far for me but I'll be chasing a bird or two on my Christmas vacation provided that there's something to chase.