June 13th, 2008, 05:24 AM
Hello from Calgary
Hi! I was in St. Paul on the Pribiloffs the night the Rufous-tailed robin was found. It was all so very exciting. Glad to see the photos are finally off the island! I also feel like the luckiest birder in the world, as I had the wonderful and almost unbelievable good fortune for this to be my ABA bird #600! The guides were so excited for me! They made me promise I'd do a write-up for the Milestones section in ABA's Winging It publication, which I definitely will.
I had gotten two lifers that day (June 8) to sit at 599... Since I am going to California on a family holiday at the end of the month, we wondered over dinner what my 600 might be... Possibly Island Scrub Jay because my first "bird day" will be a Santa Cruz boat trip... Since I'd already been in Gambell last year, and I'd already racked up seven lifers at St. Paul (I'd hoped for 4 or 5...), noone thought I'd get another by the time I was to leave the next day...
Then came the pounding on the hotel room doors - most of us were asleep. We all had good views. I'm still a little dazed. Add the amazing times spent at the seacliffs with puffins, auklets, etc, not to mention the great photos I got, and this was one of the best bird trips I've ever done!
Anyway, by day, I'm a family physician in Calgary who also delivers babies on the side. I have two wonderful daughters, ages 3 and 6, and just this year I've rediscovered some actual free time to concentrate on my birds. The weekend before going up to St. Paul, I finally heard Yellow rail and saw Nelson's Sharp-tailed sparrow, adding these two local lifers to my list. I have been a volunteer at the Inglewood Bird sanctuary in Calgary for many years now and am also a Birdingpal. I discovered birds on a non-bird trip to Peru and Galapagos in 1992 and was immediately hooked. All holidays are now planned with birds in mind. So many birds, so little time...
June 13th, 2008, 05:31 AM
Sorry- duplicate messages
Hi again. It seems my first post went in twice. The first time it told me I wasn't allowed to post, so I logged in again and retried. When I checked to see if this worked, there were duplicate messages. Oops. Cheers, Deanna
June 13th, 2008, 07:14 AM
Hi Deanna, congratulations!! 1st for ABA is not bad for #600. Would love to see some of your photos from your trip if you get around to posting some here.
Curious what else you saw - Common Sandpiper, Gray Wagtail? A fall trip might be in order to get to #700.
In case anyone is interested, below are some more photos of Rufous-tailed Robin, including Europe's first and second records:
June 15th, 2008, 05:35 PM
My other lifers on St. Paul were Red-legged Kittiwake, Red-faced Cormorant, Ancient Murrelet, Black-tailed Gull (a first island record - overshadowed by the robin...), Brambling (nice adult male), Common Sandpiper, and Slaty-backed Gull. Unfortunately, the Gray Wagtail had left before I arrived...
I think 700 will take awhile! But I could see trying St. Paul out in the Fall someday. One of my flights home was overbooked, so I volunteered to be bumped, and I now have a free flight anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. I'm thinking about Adak...
My new bird goal is 2000 for the world. I'm at about 1650. (I need to clean up this list - it's been neglected for 6 years...) Now the fun is deciding where to go next!!! Look out world.
I'll see if I can figure out how to post some photos in the next couple of weeks. Not something I've ever tried before...
Happy Birding, Deanna Campbell
June 16th, 2008, 06:53 AM
Wow, great stuff. Some hard to get birds there. A fall trip is hard work but superb I hear.
June 24th, 2008, 07:32 AM
Might want to bookmark this blog that has a write up of this year's St Paul trip in installments. First of 4 has been posted with interesting video links: