I’m beating a hasty retreat out of Alaska. The Redwing was not seen on Sunday nor on Monday. This was terribly disappointing. It was a long, expensive trip that also sucked four precious days out of the remainder of my Big Year. Here is a brief recap.
Early Sunday morning, David Sonneborn drove Ken Petersen, Isaac Helmericks, owner of Aleutian Outfitters out of Adak, and myself from Anchorage down to Seward. This journey took about 2 ½ hours over snow packed roads and required driving over several mountain passes, but we arrived just after 10:00 AM. The locals (Carol, Peregrine Joe, Robin and Jim) were already on the scene keeping vigilance, but the Redwing hadn’t arrived yet. Ken and I stayed until dark hoping that it ight show late as it had on Saturday. The only bright spot for the day animal wise was a River Otter. Aleta and Thetus were kind enough to drive us back to Anchorage thru snow flurries, which made the return a little hairy. Ken needed to return to California Monday morning, but I figured that one more try on Monday was in order, so I drove down with Barrett Pierce from Amarillo, TX. Once I Seward, we worked hard. Carol and I held watch at the beach, where the redwing was originally seen, while Robin and Barrett drove through Seward scouring through every flock of Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks and A. Robins that they came upon. No luck – no Redwing – bummer. I wish to thank everyone for all the help and support on this trip, my only regret is that we didn’t see the Redwing together.
Once again, I feel like a heavyweight fighter that’s taken too many blows to the stomach. The situation reminds me of late June when successive misses for the Yellow Grosbeak, Red-footed Booby and Green Violet-ear also had me singing the blues. What turned that around was Scarborough Marsh. So now in an effort to right the ship, I’ll seek some southern hospitality! Texas- sweet Texas. It’s been one of the pillars of my Big Year. Texas was featured in my planning and has produced 177 year-birds so far, nine of which have been rarities. So saddle up. There’s a Golden-crowned Warbler waiting for me at Quinta Mazatlan and another at the Butterfly Garden near Mission. Though it’s getting late, this dog still hunts.