Planning Session

Today I’ve devoted to a planning session, though there are a few Peregrine Video things that need attention.  First of all, I updated my remaining target birds (under the Bird List column).  It’s available as both an Excel  spredsheet and a PDF. Forty species now remain on this list.  Some won’t be easy or may not be in the ABA at all this year, but I’ve got a plan for each of the 40.

I certainly hope to add additional rarities in Alaska, Newfoundland and the Lower 48, but wouldn’t speculate at all what they may be.  My current plan is to try for the Eurasian Tree Sparrow tomorrow.  Fly to St. Louis, bag the bird then fly back tomorrow night. That’s right-all in one day.  I need to keep taking advantage of Scott’s employment with United Airlines because it will end on August 18!

Sunday Gary Matthews and I fly to Salt Lake City then drive to Elko to team up with Guy Pickavance and a friend to try for the Himalayan Snowcock.  People have asked me to project what my year-end total may be, but at this point I want to focus more on how to get the target birds, reserve my air miles with American Airlines to chase rarities later this year and continue to maximize the use of “free” calendar days so that I have time to chase later without sacrificing any of these target birds.

Stay tuned.  I’m going to keep the pedal to the metal.

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5 Responses to Planning Session

  1. Jason Cade says:

    I’m sure you have been told many places to get the Eurasian Tree Sparrow but if you have any trouble finding it my father & I found this bird at the St. Louis Zoo. Not sure if this has been recommended to you but this was the recommended place to us & we had no trouble finding it. Just thought I would pass along the info.

  2. Steve Bobonick says:

    Hi John,
    I’ve been following your blog (and Matt’s) for some time now.
    I just got back from Utah/Nevada and tried for the Snowcock on the mornings of July 28 and 29 using the Island Lake Trail at the end of Lamoille Canyon. I assume you plan to go to the same location. We did not see or hear any on the 28th but did see (but did not hear) a single bird on the 29th. It was at the very top of the ridge at the far right of the cirque and only visible for about one minute before it disappeared over the far side of the ridge. This was at 5:30 AM, so start up the 2-mile hike before 4:00 AM.
    I spoke to a serious local hiker on the way back down who asked me if I had seen any. He noted that the best place to see Snowcocks is from the Overland Lake Campground. This is in the southern part of the Ruby Mountains and is accessed from the Ruby Valley (i.e. eastern) side of the mountains. However, it is a six mile one-way hike to the area, so you would have to backpack in the day before and sleep at the campground.
    If you want anymore details, call me!

    Steve Bobonick
    Cincinnati, OH

  3. Greg Baker says:


    When are you going to the Ruby Mts for HISN?
    If there is anyway I could join you there, I would in a heartbeat!

    Greg Baker/Portland, Oregon

  4. John says:


    Part of my phone message was letting you know the Wood Sandpiper was seen again on Friday afternoon.

  5. John Vanderpoel says:


    Call me at 303-809-9611. We leave tomorrow and will fly to Salt Lake City. Then drive to Elko. We will try on MOnday then again on Tuesday with the Vancouver guys.

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