Monday, January 7, 2013

Busted and Bitter About It!

Lori, Tara and I made the trip to Shippensburg again to try to see the Prairie Falcon that has been wintering there for the past several years.  You may remember that Lori and I busted on this last year.  Well, guess what? We busted again yesterday.  We saw lots of Amish buggies and bikers.  We saw lots of Red-tails and Kestrals. We saw a Turkey and and a Harrier.  We saw hundreds of pigeons and starlings. We even thought we saw the Prairie Falcon. But after reviewing the photos, we concluded that the bird we thought was the Prairie was probably another Kestral or something.  Sigh.  Busted.

Busting while chasing rare birds is nothing new to birders and to us.  We generally shrug it off and keep going however, sometimes I just get bitter about it. The bitter part comes in to play here for sure because as we were trolling around the Amish farm fields busting on the falcon, Di texts me with this photo of an adult Bald Eagle sitting in a tree at Lemon Hill - the same Lemon Hill where Roxy and I walk EVERY OTHER DAY OF THE YEAR! Yes, bitter about it.  This photo is taken with her iPhone for Pete's sake.  Bitter.

Adult Bald Eagle - Lemon Hill Phila.
So, I'm steaming mad the whole drive home (2 hours on the Turnpike) and then get an email from my mother asking" what kind of hawk is this in her backyard". She sends this photo of a Sharp-shinned Hawk taken with a point and shoot through the screened in lanai.  Ugh.  I'm really going to scream.

Sharp-shinned Hawk - Florida
Topping off the bitterness is the reports on the Internet this morning from a few other birders stating that they saw the Prairie Falcon yesterday on the same road that we were on for 4 hours.  We only saw one other guy looking for the bird and he said that he didn't see it.  Double Ugh!

I don't know if I'll get over this any time soon.  Of course, there was no sign of the Bald Eagle at Lemon Hill today either.  Don't try to console me either.  I just want to be bitter about it for awhile.

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