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Maybe a spur of the moment trip?


millipede
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ABA Rare Bird Alert on Facebook has a brown booby in Missouri... 3h 45m away. Is that something I can pass up?

On eBird there are reports from as last as 6:30 last night. No reports(for any birds) are showing up for this morning yet.
This is near Bear Bottoms Resort at Lake of the Ozarks, north of Springfield a ways.
I called that resort and the lady said they only had one room and, it's a bit small for me and 4 kids... but, she mentioned a resort across the highway which I may call soon. I told her it was a long drive and I was checking to see if it's been seen. She said she'd go check... I'm to call her back in 30 minutes(which is now about 12 minutes) so, here's hoping.
If it's still there, I will call the other place. The other place, it looks like they want you to rent more than one night. At least, that's what the website looks like. I'll ask. And there's a motel down the road as well as other lodging in the area... So, we'll see... 

I don't want to drive almost 4 hours... my kids definitely don't want to... and, it will cost a bit of money for lodging and gas, etc...  but...
Can I pass up a brown booby?
One might show up in Arkansas again some day and maybe I'll chase that but, you never know when or where...  and, I've skipped chasing a lot of birds over the years, some of which I regret... some, I didn't know what I was skipping out on at the time...  like the brambling that was in Arkansas once... was at a private residence a pretty good drive from here. The homeowners welcomed people to come not knowing what that was going to mean...  and a day later, it was gone. At the time, I didn't realize how big a deal that was and regret not going there.
I wish the booby was in Arkansas to add to my AR life list... 
I'm rambling... 
I hope it's still there. I don't like spur of the moment trips...  or spending money...  but........  this could be fun.
 

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Guess I will watch for eBird reports as well as watching that FB group...  Just talked to the lady and she couldn't find it...  normally could see it from there. It's sprinkling and they're going to get a storm at some point so she wasn't sure if that had anything to do with it.
Might be good to NOT drive that far...........  I will regret it if I don't and it does show up but I'll also regret it if I go that far and don't find it.
So, we'll wait and see.

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Just me, but I wouldn't drive 4 hours for a bird that isn't a stone-cold, locked-down guaran-darn-teed sighting.

=IF= I was of a mind to, I'd leave at 0-dark-30, be there by 8:00a or so, spend a few hours birding, and be back on the road by 12:30p or 1:00p.  No way I'd spend money on a hotel.

Just one opinion.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Yeah, if that lady had seen it or if there were eBird reports... or if someone got back to me on the ABA Rare Bird Alert FB page saying it was there... I would have gone.
That's a LONG drive to just turn around and go back... especially with 4 kids. Getting a hotel, going swimming etc would have made it more enjoyable for them.

But I think it was a conspiracy...  nobody said a word, not even a "nope" on the FB page... and the entire county only ended up with TWO eBird checklists yesterday and no mention of the booby. Seems it may have moved on... hopefully headed down to AR.

So I stayed local and had a decent time birding. Got a Bell's vireo and two palm warblers that I don't see EVERY year... Baby geese and baby wood ducks...  Had the male goose chase me aggressively as I walked down the boardwalk. I tried to tell him I was moving on but he didn't stop til I turned around and kind of stomped my foot letting him know I wasn't scared... although I might have been a tiny bit nervous for a second...  Very narrow boardwalk... didn't want to fall in... ha. 

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I'm a bit mad now...  on the ABA rare bird alert page, ONE person got back to me and said "they"(whomever they were) were not posting to eBird out of respect for the homeowner...
But...  There are several other ways to see the bird according to eBird reports. This is frustrating.
I asked something else and they never got back to me. Why all the secrecy?

So I'm looking today and, eBird reports from late yesterday. I would have seen it if I went Thursday.
The "resort" I talked to... this young guy's eBird report is from there and said they let people walk out on their pier to get closer views. He got REALLY good pictures.

I was okay with nobody reporting it Thursday...  maybe it was gone and I wouldn't have to worry about whether I should have made that almost 4 hour drive.
Now I'm back to wondering if I should head up there right now.  Ugh...
(looks like when they were leaving, someone offered to take them out on a boat and that's how he got the closer photos...)

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as of yesterday, the booby is still there. Would be a very cool lifer...  but, how badly do I want to drive almost 4 hours?????
Ack... this is still torturing me.

On the upside... another good day yesterday. Someone reported a black-necked stilt at the local fish hatchery, about 30 minutes from here. So, I went. I've seen them twice before but never in this county. Exciting enough there were other people there chasing it.
Only one was reported but there were two there... a male and a female. Then I had 7 wilson's phalaropes fly by me... I thought they were plovers at first, they looked so tiny in flight with their neck and legs pulled in. Weird... just weird....  but awesome. Then an american avocet...  Good birds there... then a drive down a nearby road and I almost didn't make a checklist... then, I saw a bittern... just the neck and head... frozen. I watched it for a while and got some pictures... then, I heard bobolinks... further down the road were three upland sandpipers. All good birds I wasn't expecting.
No lifers but still good birding.

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As of today, the brown booby is still being reported up there...   I would be happier if it had moved on... because not I'm still thinking... should I? Could I???? 
And about 5+ hours from here, in Arkansas... there's a limpkin right now.
Will the world still be here once my kids all move out? Will my kids ever all move out? HA... 
I love my kids and, I choose them over the birds, most of the time...  For now, dropping things to go 4 or 5 hours is just a bit tricky.
Why can't people tell those birds to head over this way???  a couple hours closer?  Is that too much to ask?  HA

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, millipede said:

ABA Rare Bird Alert on Facebook has a brown booby in Missouri.

And about 5+ hours from here, in Arkansas... there's a limpkin right now.

Definitely time to drop the Rare Bird Alert page, and maybe Facebook entirely.  This birding stuff is supposed to be fun.  What you don't know can't keep you awake.

(So terribly sorry I dove into this end of pool in the first place.  :classic_sad:)

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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