At 10:45 AM my phone beeped with a text message. The message was only four words long. Within a minute I had let Daisy know that I would be gone for a couple of hours, grabbed my microwaving beef pattie out of the microwave, kissed Desi goodbye, grabbed my gear, and gotten out the door.
I was at Point Lookout at 11:15 AM. That is kind of amazing when you consider that Google tells me that the ride is 28.5 miles and should have taken me 36 minutes. Of course, on my ride I had been texting and calling other birders, both with the hope of finding more information and to let others know about the bird. What bird? The bird that featured prominently in the four-word text message I had received: “Grace’s Warbler point lookout.”
The horde of birders at Point Lookout was impressive considering how little time had passed since Doug Gochfeld and Andrew Baksh found the bird. How did so many birders get to Point Lookout so quickly? Oh, right, the South Nassau Christmas Bird Count was today and a huge number of New York City and Long Island birders take part in that count every year – and none of them were on their own territory anymore!
But enough about the birders, where was the bird? Everyone seemed unconcerned and smiling but no one was looking at the bird. Wait, that flick of movement, what was that? That little tiny bird, that is what ended up hundreds, or, rather, thousands of miles from home? How is such a thing even possible? How does a bird that isn’t even in the eastern North America field guides end up on Long Island? Does it matter? What a bird!
What a bird! What a find! What a great way to start the new year, with a new bird for both my New York State list but also for the New York State list itself!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You have to do a NY Big Year now. Don’t waste this bird!!!1!1!
Beautiful bird…Great photos…!!! I am envious…!!!
You got that posted so fast it was almost like liveblogging
Hey! I was still on my territory when you were there.
Doug, are you still complaining about the rampant “geographic irregularities” in count sections? 😉
Posting a wood-warbler (and especially a Grace’s Warbler in NY) right after my post… Well, thanks there, buddy.
Wow, congrats on that one! Grace´s Warbler in NY- how ridiculous is that!
@All: Thanks! What a bird!
@Jochen: I had to look up “Rampensau” and I guess it kind of fits right now… 🙂
@Nick: That was some pretty fast turnaround, no? And what are these geographic irregularities?
The fabric of space-time mysteriously distorted, allowing all count sections to include Point Lookout (and poach Atlantic’s birds).
Nice bird, but I’m concerned that you were ‘texting and calling other birders’. Unsafe behavior by anyone, IMHO.
You know, Corey, I did the opposite of you and moved from Queens to the Albany area. I’m starting to rethink that decision…
We read about the Grace’s Warbler in a posting to Jerseybirds. We were
dismayed that while you were driving to Long Island you were texting and
calling people. It is bad enough you were doing something as
as texting and calling on your phone while driving. What is even worse
mentioned it in your blog. This sets a very bad example to other
reading your post. FYI it is illegal to drive and text and drive and use
cellphone (hand held or not) in NY. You are endangering yourself
others on the road and you are breaking the law.
Have a Safe New Year
@anthony & Wendy and Stuart Malmid: With all of the problems in the world this is what you are concerned about?
@Naomi in Upstate NY: Trust me, there is plenty that I miss about living upstate…but you should definitely find a way to get down for this bird!
Yes there are many problems in this world like global warming and global extinctions of animals and birds, The potential disaster for fracking and destroying watersheds in the east. We worry about a lot of things. And we put our money where our mouth is and support organizations that we hope can make a difference.
Obviously we won’t worry about you because you see nothing wrong with your behavior. Maybe you should worry about how your wife and children would feel if you were killed in a car accident because of your texting and use of cellphone when driving. Good luck.
@Wendy and Stuart Malmid: Look, great, I appreciate your concern and all but for people who have never commented here before to only comment about texting and driving – when there are pictures of a freaking Grace’s Warbler in the post – is pretty asinine. It’s like visiting New York City and having as your takeaway that the subways smell like piss. Sure, you can focus on that if you want but why would you?
@Everyone: The bird is still being seen as of today despite being strafed by a Merlin yesterday.
Corey, that is one AWESOME BIRD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wanted to write that I appreciate your post. It confirmed what I saw on the streets of NYC near Herald Square today. A dead warbler lying off the curb. I hate seeing animals dead, especially ones as striking as this one…I stopped because I saw the yellow and it was so tiny. I hope people are capturing them, but I feel like most likely it got confused by the lights in the buildings and hit its head while trying to migrate south. I read about that a few years ago…I really wish there was a way we as people could be less selfish and live with the animals on this planet versus trample them into extinction.