I blame the insomnia. I do. I really struggled to sleep last night and ultimately only got a very little bit of shut-eye. Which made for a really tough morning, a difficult workday, and some bizarre birding.
Just before noon, I received a phone call from John Haas – he had a WESTERN GREBE at Piermont Pier! When I got out of work I headed straight to Piermont and arrived with plenty of beautiful light. I parked at the beginning of the pier, and as I walked towards where the bird had been seen, Bob Senerchia pulled alongside me and gave me a lift the rest of the way, explaining that there was plenty of parking further up. Maria Loukeris and Christopher Takacs were both there and photographing the bird, which was in perfect evening light and not very far out (I’ve included one of Maria’s shots below). I jumped out of Bob’s car and pretty much immediately started to take photos… I looked at my camera and saw some awful words: No Card in Camera. Ugh, no way, not today. I must have a spare back in the car! Bob let me borrow his car, which is a Prius which apparently you need a special degree to drive. I finally figured out out how to get it into gear and drove back to my car. With the parking brake on – I thought the beeping was for the seatbelt! I checked my camera bag and of course, no spare card. My heart was broken, but I grabbed my scope and my iPhone adapter and called Bob so he could tell me how to release the brake. I made it back incident-free, and decided to make lemonade out of lemons. I stayed for a good while and enjoyed the bird, what a beauty! I took what photos I could through the scope and shot the above video, which made me happy. When it came time to leave, I took the wrong exit and went across the Tappan Zee Bridge… it’s the insomnia – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Huge thanks to Bob for letting use his car, Maria for her photo, and of course to John Haas for locating the bird and getting the word out.