After a few days in sunny California where I had mixed results: an easy drive-up with the Garganey and 3 days of looking for a no-show Nazca Booby, I got a report of a Dusky Thrush found in Sitka, Alaska. This Siberian vagrant was calling my name from far away. I just hoped that I could get there fast enough to find it.
3 flights and 22 hours… later, I landed in the picturesque harbor town of Sitka. Darkness comes before 4 p.m. so I got there too late in the evening to chase it on Saturday. Over a nice bowl of Reindeer stew, I laid out a plan for the next couple of days. I booked several departures on Sunday in case I saw the bird quickly, or in case I didn’t.
After getting a much-needed 8 hours of sleep, I waited for light to come around 9 a.m. My hotel was walking distance to Crescent Harbor. On a foggy, drizzly day, I walked a couple of blocks to the sight of a plump, Robin-like bird. It was standing on the sidewalk like it was waiting for me. Number 807 was a five-minute tick.
I packed and went back to see it again and try to get better pictures. A small crowd had gathered. I had a chance to meet Matt Goff, the local birder who found this gem a couple of days ago. It was nice to meet him and personally thank him for the updates. Our visit was short. The next chase was already on tap.
This road warrior is headed back to Texas. I hope that there’s a beautiful Hummingbird waiting for me when I get there tomorrow.