Thursday, May 9, 2013


OK, maybe not the really dangerous H1N1 thingy - but the one from seeing too many birds in too short a time. It's apparently a common ailment of the Big Year. Symptoms include nausea, head spinning, shivers, and addictive checking of listservs for new info. 

It's 5:30am and I feel terrible. My head's pounding, I'm shaking, and I think I have some kind of fever. Rather than nursing this in bed, I'm experiencing this on a 5am connecting flight from Boston to Fort Lauderdale via Charlotte.

Of course, Big Year bird flu should not be confused with the homophonic "Bird Flew (just before I arrived to see it.)" This is a very common ailment, and can also lead to the same symptoms (usually with a lot more cursing and swear words.)

I'm off to see the Black-faced Grassquit today - a very rare bird, that disappeared a few days ago (leading many observers to come down with a painful bout of Bird Flew.) So - not great timing. But hopefully there are some migrant warblers around Bill Baggs (a lovely park just south of Miami.) Then I'm heading out along the keys for Antillean Nighthawk at Marathon Airport, and an early night, ready for the boat trip tomorrow to the Dry Tortugas.

Thanks to Gerri for driving me out to Logan at 3:45am, and Khiva cat, who came along for the ride...


  1. Stay strong Neil! We're enjoying watching your progress from afar and reading about your adventures! The Ruby-throated hummingbirds finally arrived, and we have been enjoying our resident Eastern towhee! Looking forward to following your blog!

  2. Thanks Jackie.

    Bag a few of those Ruby-throats for me - it's hard to believe, but it's actually a year bird for me - an indication of how much time I'm spending in the West.

    Looking forward to seeing you and Bill soon, and doing something "normal".

    This morning...San Antonio, TX.