So last night I got the email that a Wood Sandpiper was in Delaware (check out my buddy Jeff's photos here). So, as a dedicated birdchaser, the only real question was how early would I have to get up to chase this baby before work!?!
The answer, 4am. A 140 mile drive got me there about an hour after sunup. A couple guys said they saw the bird right at first light, but by the time I got there, it had disappeared.
Finally, after over an hour of searching, we finally found it across the road from where it had been seen before. What a beauty!
After half an hour of watching this Asian shorebird, it was time to get out of the rain and head back to the office. I made great time heading back, until Dick Cheney's motorcade locked up traffic on the PA Turnpike for over half an hour! Luckily I was perched on top of the Hwy 611 overpass where I had a direct look at his motorcade when it pulled onto 611 at the Willow Grove exit. Fortunately, I was still pretty jazzed about seeing the rare bird, so my grumbling about the VP-caused gridlock was kept to a minimum (that is to say I stopped fuming about it fairly soon after it was over!).
Neil Hayward Gunning for ABA Big Year Record
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