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To chase or not to chase?


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I never chase anything.

it's to disappointing to me really.

However if i'm in an area where someone says they saw something interesting I will certainly  look around for it, but only if its been seen that same day. I mean i kind of don't even get the point of chasing something someone saw days ago. It could be miles and miles in any direction from it last location.

 

 

 

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I have chased a few birds up in Humboldt County, CA from where I live in the Bay Area. Wood Sandpiper was one of them. It’s a 4 hr. drive from my house. It’s a long day trip but I have done it a couple of times. I also chased the first CA state record Yellow-browed Warbler that was about 3.5 hrs away and dipped on that one. It was painful, but like 80-90 other people shared in my pain that day.

How far away is the alleged Eurasian Hobby? Where is this bird posted, I can’t seem to find anything about it online? I know there was a bird in Neah Bay in 2014, but I haven’t seen anything about a recent one.

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I went to look for a Tundra Swan that was overwintering last year if you could call that chasing. They don’t overwinter here, so it was rare for the date. Never saw one before so thought I’d go find it, and I did. It was maybe 30 minutes away.

A month ago a Boreal owl was spotted in a city park so figured I should try to go find that as who wouldn’t. Didn’t see it, and neither did the 50 other people looking for it that day either! That also was only about 30-40 minutes away. 

Currently there is a black-legged kittiwake about an hour away, the 10th province record. Don’t have any plans on looking for it as I know there will be tons of people there. Never been a fan of chasing... I’d like to see the birds, but there’s no guarantee and the crowds of people that usually accompany rare birds takes the fun out of it. I prefer to bird by myself and I think it’s better for the birds too.
Though, I think I would chase a bird that was rare for the country and a lifer. I probably should chase more honestly, I’d see a lot more stuff 😂
 
I’ve mentioned this before, but one guy drove 5 hours and waited outside my gate for an additional 2 hours (I had left a few days prior) to try and see a Ruby-throated hummingbird that was visiting my yard. He never saw it. 
 

I’ve also been keeping track of who has been coming to try and find the Harris’s sparrow that’s been in my neighbourhood for the last 3 months. 56 people came to find it (that I know of) and only 27 have actually seen it, with most of those people coming more than once. 17 people came multiple times for a total of 60 visits between them, with some coming up to 10 times. Most of the repeat visitors eventually found it, but some who have came 4 or 5 times still haven’t.  Not very good odds! 

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I always said I would never chase (so much better to come across them naturally) but I've done it three times so far, all less than an hour away.

Northern Hawk Owl - well worth it to see the bird but embarrassing to see the behaviour of the birders/photographers. The bird was at a marsh in the centre of a small town and for about two weeks or more there were upwards of a hundred birders fighting for the best spot to observe. It caused quite a stir and the residents were not impressed.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper - not sure why I went after this one. Disappointing except for the other birders I met there.

Eurasian Wigeon - a couple of weeks ago. Worth the trip (40 minutes LOL) as it is a beautiful bird and really stood out from the American Wigeons.

I think I may do it again if the bird is interesting to me but not just for a rarity.

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Since I’m still a very new birder, I pretty much stay around my county, ( Orange County, Ca), but I do chase some birds in my county, when I have time to do so. I think this is potentially not ID correctly, but if it gets confirmed, then I’d say got chase it. Does anyone have photos of it yet?

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5 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

Wasn’t the hobby identified as a Metin or something like that? I may be mistaken. If it is real, I would say chase. I’ll often go long distances to chase rare birds. The longest I’ve done is an 8 and a half hour drive to try and find a Purple Sandpiper, and we made a little trip out of it. 

I thought I saw it suggested somewhere that it was someones escaped falconry Aplomado Falcon.

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My longest chase was for the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail at the Bosque del Apache, about 3 hours from me.  I got it and my life Least Bittern.  My other two long ones have been to Albuquerque, about 1.5 hours, and they were times when I was going there anyway.  My most recent ones were a Surf Scoter (successful), about 35 minutes if you don't get lost, and Grasshopper Sparrow (unsuccessful), about 10 minutes.  At this point I wouldn't go far at all unless there was another reason to go there--too much gas, time, and energy.

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