Planning Session – 12/07/11

I’m once again in full chase mode and loving it.  Seeing the Graylag Goose gave me a certain sense of vindication. The chance to right a planning mistake on my part; to make things even sweeter, Bland Liz saw her nemesis this morning and Doug Koch and I were able to take photos (see 12-06 post) of the goose while it perched on it’s favorite rock for an hour. But that was then and this is now.  It’s Wednesday evening and I’m racing from Baltimore to San Antonio on a Southwest Airlines flight, which should arrive late tonight.  Sweet Texas has delivered once again. Tomorrow morning, I’ll drive to the Upper Rio Grande Valley seeking two Brown Jays that are visiting the feeding station in Salineno, TX.  This is the first time any have resurfaced north of the border since the Rio Grande R. flooded last year.  After that it’s off to California for a Sunday Bodega Bay pelagic trip with the “Dream Team”. I will try to fit in a play for the Rufous-capped Warbler (it was confirmed today) before I take my last trip of the year to the Great White North –this time to Adak in the Aleutian Islands.  Hopefully, I won’t get stuck out in inclement weather and will return to Colorado on Dec19 with 12 days to chase rarities and hopefully time to fit in a pelagic trip out of North Carolina with the Admiral of the Atlantic himself, Brian Patteson.  A quick note – Linda and I will not celebrate a traditional Chriistmas together this year. Instead she’ll chase with me. I’m inclined to base out of South Texas or Tucson so we won’t be pinned down by weather, but we’ll see.

So this is the plan, tentative though it may be.  I could reveal future birds on my wish/prediction list, but fear I might jinx it, since so many of them have already come true over the last thirty days.  I’m too busy to make a year-end prediction myself, though Chris Hitt, who as many of you know reached 704 in the lower 48 last year, has made some predictions as well as analyzed other “Big Year” lists. It’s an interesting read; if you wish here is the link.


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11 Responses to Planning Session – 12/07/11

  1. Scott Vanderpoel says:

    learn how to put in an actual link, old-timer

  2. D says:

    There is a chaseable McKay’s Bunting in Homer. I believe you already saw them in Nome. I’m not aware of anything else of great note in AK but will keep youi posted.

  3. Linda Vanderpoel says:

    Thanks Doug Koch for letting me vent and giving John some GREAT “pay back” ideas!!

  4. Hi John,

    Love to follow your Big Day journeys.
    Maybe this one will stick around.
    This Asian bird is a Mega for your country.
    Good chasing the last three weeks of 2011.

    Greetings from the Netherlands.
    Lennaert Steen

  5. Dave Brown says:

    John, your wife should be sainted! I say this as I bird every day in an effort to force you back to Newfoundland before Jan 1st!

  6. John Vanderpoel says:


    You are correct, Linda is a Saint. That being said I’d give anything to further aggravate her by returning to Newfoundland during the Holiday Season.


  7. Al Trompler says:

    Falcated Duck, Colusa NWR in California.

  8. Kerry Provance says:

    John, on your planning session, it’s the 4th quarter, a minute and 59 seconds to go and the Broncos just received the the kickoff after the Raiders scored a field goal. If it’s the 90’s, Elway is in charge of another 4th quarter comeback win. This year it’s Tebow. I just have this feeling that you’re in the same situation and about to take the lead for a victory, as these fellows have so many times. I Don’t know if you’re an NFL fan but, you’ve got a plan and if you are at the right places at the right times, victory is yours! Get those birds! Get to those places! Become the champ! This is just too much fun to keep up with down the home stretch. And when you’ve ticked your last tick for the year, you owe your wife, not just big time, but MEGA time! Celebrate together. Thanks for the excitement! Go get’em! K.P. PS: Broncos 21 to 20, over the Raiders.

  9. LindaVanderpoel says:

    thanks guys for all the kind words. . . . especially while encouraging John to go on yet another wild chase!!! I am indeed a saint. . . . .

  10. John Vanderpoel says:

    Thanks, Lennaert. Mission accomplished.

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