Last Minute Change

Flying standby has given me tremendous flexibility and saved me dollars.  I’m pretty sure I’ve flown standby 11 times since June 15.  My son Scott delivered a huge bonus that’s for sure.  His last day at United is Aug 18 so the Cinderella lifestyle will certainly change. There have been many advantages but some disadvantages as well.  In the last 24 hrs. both have affected my “Big Year”.  I was all set to travel to St. Louis this morning with Linda today.  It was set up to nab the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, then spend a night in St. Louis and return to Denver on Saturday.  The flight at 10:50 AM looked good with at least seven open seats.  Then United Airlines must have cancelled or delayed a flight because late thursday night 58 of 60 seats were booked with 10 nonrev standbys.  So we cancelled.  But I noticed that the Aztec Thrush was seen again at the same Chokecherry tree in Madera Canyon.  I caught a 9:18 AM flight to Tucson where I rented an economy car, drove to Madera Canyon and arrived at the location on the Carrie Nation trail at 1:00 PM.  Linda Thompson, a flatlander from Texas arrived huffing and puffing minutes after me. We waited patiently and the adult male Aztec Thrush eventually came in to feed.  Very cool. Perhaps my most wanted bird in the ABA area. A bird I had missed in Mexico despite all my filming.  Number 692 for the year.  I was back in Niwot by 9:15 PM last night.

Aztec Thrush in Madera Canyon (Photo by John Vanderpoel)Tomorrow Gary Matthews and I will head west for the snowcock. Stay tuned.

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One Response to Last Minute Change

  1. Deanna Campbell says:

    Nice bird, John! Your luck is improving – you have apparently worked hard enough now to be lucky again!
    So – best of luck in Nevada – 700 is oh so near!
    Cheers! Deanna

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