Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 17:51:18 -0700
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Eric Beohm <ebeohm@DIRECTVINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Question, Comment, and Birding Memory
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
I was wondering if anybody came to look for the INCA
DOVE today. I knew that several people wouldn't be able
to because of work and prior commitments. I noticed no
one signed my guest book, so I doubt anyone came in the
I also was unable to look today because of work, and
this afternoon I was busy, but I was around the yard.
We volunteer for 4-H and had about fifty kids out here
this afternoon. I would like to think they were all
coming to look for the dove, but I think they were more
interested in the horses and such.
I want to thank all of those who sent me encouraging
e-mails. I appreciate y'all being good sports!
I was thinking back on something today. I remember
birding with someone years ago. We were having a pretty
good day and such. He said wouldn't it be a bummer if
we saw both a CONNECTICUT WARBLER and a MOURNING
WARBLER. I told him I would think that would be a great
day indeed. He said it would be a bad day because you
would want to tell others about it, but you couldn't.
He said certain people just wouldn't be able to accept
I wondered about that afterwards. I figured I would
never see both in one day, so why even think about it.
And well, I still haven't seen them together, but I did
have a similar experience.
About three years ago in the fall I birded at the
Chattahoochee Recreational Area at Cochran Shoals. It
was a great day for migrants. It seemed like birds were
just falling out of the sky. I was looking for some
rarities, and it didn't take long to find one. The
first good bird I saw was a MARSH WREN. Then another
and another. Eight were seen that day. Also, in the
grasses were two SEDGE WRENS which are always a thrill
to find. I thought that was a pretty good day and
wondered if I should go home then. I decided to stay.
Next I found a PHILADELPHIA VIREO. Then another and
another. I found a total of six. I was walking on
sunshine then. Continuing on I saw a gray-looking
vireo. The bird was perched right in front of me and
was very cooperative. It was my first WARBLING VIREO.
Needless to say I was speechless. The day was wearing
on, and I had done a lot of walking. I had pain in my
whole body, but I pressed on. I checked out a dense
thicket that looked like good habitat. Out popped a
beautiful MOURNING WARBLER. The bird stayed frozen
right in front of me for over a minute. It was like a
deer caught in headlights. All I could do was laugh. I
headed back towards my car and picked up a NASHVILLE
WARBLER. I couldn't believe I had seen all those birds,
20 species of warbler, six species of vireo, and also a
TRAIL'S FLYCATCHER which I didn't dare try to ID
further. It was time to go home.
I was pysched and ready to tell the world about my day.
Then I remember what my fellow birder had told me.
Would anybody believe me? I was ready to tell the world
but was the world ready to listen?
I did what I thought was the right thing to do. I
reported my birds and gave good directions and tips
about how to relocate the birds. I was glad to do my
part, afterall I was always interested in other peoples
The response was discouraging. There were actually
complaints to the RBA. A few individuals obviously
couldn't believe that my report even made it onto the
RBA. I didn't know what to think.
Fortunately, later I got word that four PHILADELPHIA
VIREOS were relocated the next day along with MARSH and
SEDGE WRENS. Also, the WARBLING VIREO was relocated the
same day I saw it. A MOURNING WARBLER was seen two days
later in about the same spot and also there was a
report of a unidentified Flycatcher around then.
I thought that would pretty much clear the air. I felt
my report had been justified but according to some it
wasn't. Well, later I realized that every single report
will be challenged vigorously. Every exciting moment
will be tempered with anxiety.
(Also, to make matters worse I found another MOURNING
WARBLER around that same time at a different place. I
called several people immediately. They came and
everybody got to see the bird well. Thank goodness!)
The next time my fellow birder asks me if I would
report both Mourning and Connecticut, I would probably
still say "yes". But I would definitely think about it
a little harder.