Last night I figured out that with a little juggling I could manage a 15 minute stop at the Western Reef-Heron site in Brooklyn on my way to another appointment. I spent a restless night wondering if it was worth hauling my three kids over there after so much heartbreak. The bird had never been seen three days in a row, so it seemed a bit crazy to try again. And with limited time to search, it seemed like a recipe for failure. Besides, the polluted Coney Island creek inlet is hardly scenic, has been the scene of some strange goings on, and not the kind of place I'd really want my kids to spend a whole lot of time.
But at 8am we pulled up to the Home Depot, I jumped out, ran across the softball fields to the creek and there, just as it should be, was the bird feeding a mere 30 feet off shore. After so much heartache on my previous two attempts to see this bird (three if you count last year's attempt in New Hampshire), you'd think I'd savor the moment. But no, I ran back to the car to get my three kids. We ran back to the creek, where the bird had moved off about 50 yards, and we all got looks through the scope and binoculars. My kids are for sure my lucky charm, as I rarely dip on a bird chase when I have them along. Junior birdchasers, don't leave home without them! (photo:digitalmediatree.com)
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