One of the worst things you can do as a birder is to report rare birds that nobody else is able to find. Sure, it happens some times. But if it happens all the time, people will start thinking you are making things up. As a birder, all you really have is your reputation. And you just can't survive as a birder with a reputation for making up rare bird sightings.
So, after I alerted the San Diego birding community to my Marbled Murrelet sighting, a bunch of folks showed up the next day to look for it. They found a lot of birds there that I had missed (especially since I didn't have a scope), but no murrelet. The next day, they were out there looking again. I was planning to be there too, but was up to late working on a presentation, and skipped out. The birders there were able to find a Brown Booby, which is a rare bird that was on many San Diego County birders's most wanted list, but no murrelet.
Sunday was my last morning in San Diego, so I joined a half dozen or so birders back at La Jolla. We saw lots of Black-vented Shearwaters offshore, a close Sooty Shearwater, and many other birds, but by the time I left just after 8am to catch my flight back home, there had been a distant Common Murre flyby, but no murrelet.
Fortunately, just after 9am the remaining birders were able to see my bird, as the Marbled Murrelet flew close by the point! They were also treated to several other good birds, including a Craveri's Murrelet.
While I wish I could have seen the booby and the other murrelet, I am really happy that others were able to see refind the Marbled Murrelet I reported. I was starting to get worried that San Diego birders might think I was all wet. Whew! Thank you bird, for finally showing up again! And if my sighting helped spark a memorable week of bird sightings from La Jolla Cove, that just makes it all the sweeter.
San Diego, I hope I can get back there soon. You have some great birds, and patient birders. Thanks for sharing. You gotta love it!
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