Plans have changed. I’m moving fast and I’ll stay that way through the rest of the year! I might as well go out with guns blazing, right? Right now I’m on one last crazyass chase with the Musketeers! Okay now that I’ve totally confused everyone here’s what’s happening. Last night I received a call from Brian Patteson that he was postponing the pelagic trip yet another day-till Thursday. That was a bit depressing and I wasn’t too excited about sitting around in the rain in Hatteras for two days. My dilemma was solved when Doug Koch suggested that we drive to Tennessee and try for the Hooded Crane. That’s all the encouragement I needed. Drive the 700 plus miles, see the crane tomorrow morning then drive back all the way to Hatteras to be in position for the Thursday pelagic trip. It’s a Big Year right? I can always sleep beginning next year. Doug and I had breakfast in Buxton, NC with my Ohio birding buddies Jeff Wert, Jim McCarty and his son Bret, then headed west. Forty miles later and on a lark, we decided to give Bland Liz Southworth a call, “Hey Bland Liz! Want to chase the Hooded Crane then join us for a possible Great Skua?” She replied “Give me a couple of minutes boys to look at logistics and I’ll get back to you.” Five minutes alter she called while in transit to Boston Logan Airport. No moss grows under that lady, we are now picking her up in Chattanooga, TN at 9:00 PM this evening. Dug and I stopped in Chapel Hill, NC to have lunch at Mama Dip’s Kitchen with Chris “The Hitman” Hitt. Good Southern Cooking while Chris briefed us on the Hooded Crane. Then we were off again.
And there’s more to this story. I learned this morning that a Smew was found yesterday in Toronto in a harbor. I called Ron Pittiway and Jean Iron to get a current status of the Smew and low and behold Jean was looking at it as we spoke. If the duck holds tomorrow, I’ll fly to Toronto from Norfolk, VA early Friday morning, hopefully nab the Smew. then still fly out Friday late afternoon to Phoenix where I’ll meet my brother, Bill. We’ll drive to Lake Havasu and try for the Nutting’s Flycatcher on Saturday. My map is now laid out in front of me and has become very clear. Try to stay with me folks cause I’m in “Full Chase Mode” and it’s a race to the finish line!