Friday, July 5, 2013


"Yes, sir, we have your reservation here. And yes, it's for a car from here [Raleigh, NC] to Philadelphia. But we don't have a car available."

Me, "But you have my reservation, right?"

"Oh yes, we have the reservation."

Welcome to Raleigh-Durham Airport, North Carolina and this rather circular phone conversation. I'm on my way to the Outer Banks for a pelagic trip out of Hatteras tomorrow. But first - I need to get there. My insurance company has organized a car for me to pick up here, and drop off in Philly on Sunday, where I'm hopefully going to pick up my (repaired) car, and drive all the way back home.  (See here if you missed the me putting the accident into accidental big year.)

"OK. We might have one for you this afternoon. When will you be arriving?"

"I'm here right now. At the airport." The booking is for a location about 10 mins away - apparently those are ok with returning the rental car to a different city, unlike the airport ones. 

"OK. How are you getting to our location?"

"Ummm…I was told that you'd pick me up."

"Oh, yes. We can do that. But we don't have anyone here today that can do that." The guy is so upbeat and (I think) smiling, that I really think he genuinely can't hear the steam escaping from my ears. "But maybe we can get another location to pick you up. Which terminal are you at?"

"I don't know"

"Is it the nice new one?"

Is it the nice new one? Hmmm. I look around. Compared to Boston Logan, this is practically futuristic. But maybe it's 5 years old, and for NC it's actually the really shitty old one? But if I crane my neck out the window, I can see cars, which I feel like reminding the guy on the phone is more than Enterprise has - a company allegedly in the car rental business. I see a sign for Terminal 2. "Oh, that's the new one."

RDU Airport - Terminal 2 - "The nice, new one"

Hoping the sea-watching tomorrow will be more successful than the car renting today...


  1. Welcome to North Carolina! :) Brian Patteson will take very good care of you and find you some good birds tomorrow.

    Dave Hardin
    Newton, NC

  2. Hi, just wanted to let you know that there is a potential 1st ABA record of Rufous-necked Wood-Rail at Bosque del Apache in NM:

    It apparently hasn't been verified yet but it sounds like it might be correct.

    1. Hey Banjo,

      Thanks for the heads up! I just saw this come in too. Very exciting!

      Very bad timing! Just made the 24 hour drive back from Hatteras, and getting ready for a 2 week vacation to CA with Gerri on Weds...

      - Neil