Day 112 - The Unpredictable Flyer

Thursday, April 21, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-


So some time last week an Unpredictable Flyer was reported in Narnia. They occur here annually and can be found throughout the state but they aren't reliable really anywhere. Over the years there have been a few spots where they can usually be seen. It may take 3-4 visits to pick them up, or having someone else keep you in the loop when they come across them. More often than not when I've seen one here, it's been a migrant, flyby, or in some location perched in a random tree. They truly are just unpredictable.

I imagine historically they were more widespread and probably could have been seen with some regularity at certain sites. But in the 21st century it seems this species has been pushed to the brink where Aslan roams. I was actually worried that I may not be able to get one very easily in 2016, and was thinking I might have to drop everything and run when one gets reported. But reports started coming in, and it seemed that the Flyers would be a home run.

So today I ventured out into the Shuddering Woods, close to the Witch's Castle, and near the Frozen Waterfall. I hate going into this area though. The creatures that inhabit this forest are strange--usually nice in passing--but most outsiders would look at them with intrigue, and disbelief. They are quite gullible as well--you can tell them tales of fancy and they'll pretty much believe whatever you say. But if you happen to converse with them, don't spend too much time--they'll try to pull you in to their fantasy, and you might be lost forever.

Luckily today I didn't encounter any creatures who were interested in talking. But I also couldn't find the birds when I arrived. I scanned and scanned, and scanned. I checked every tree that looked appealing, and made several oops through the forest. Eventually I was about to give up when out the corner of my eye, I spotted the shape I was looking for atop a distant perch. I made my way to a better view point and soon found another birder there. I kept a low profile, snapped a few pictures and departed before they noticed who I was and asked why I was there. Phew!

For a few moments I worried they might flag em down, but I think I made it out without really being noticed. I slowly made my way out of the woods and continued my day, 1 bird richer for the year--a true tick. I am not a fan of the quick tick, in and out, one and done. I like to admire the birds, and take pictures, and enjoy the experience. With a big year its possible to do this. But trying to maintain my anonymity sometimes means I have to keep things short and be on my way before someone asks questions.

On a normal year, I probably wouldn't go out of my way to see an Unpredictable Flyer. Hell, there are dozens of birds I may not see on a typical year. I am not the kind of birder that needs to see every single regularly occurring species in my state every year. I would rather have quality encounters that leave lasting memories. To each their own I suppose. So getting the flyer today was a nice treat even with such a brief meeting. Next year, I probably won't track one down, and in 10 years, they might be almost impossible to find in Narnia--only time will tell.

New birds today: 1
Year List: 204


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I'm on a mission to see as many birds as I can in 2016... within the borders of my home state. The only catch is I'm not telling anyone that I'm doing a Big Year...