Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I know, I know. The blog is, like, so last week at the moment. So, in an attempt at an update and to add greater transparency, I've agreed to answer some FAQs posed by some readers*

Q: Where are you?
On the interweb thingy I'm still in Southern California. In the real world (yeah, like a Big Year chasing birds is the real world) I'm in Orlando airport, trying to get a flight *back* to California. 

Q: Wait - who's feeding the cats? Are they still alive? 
They're fine...

Still alive.

Q: What are you doing in Orlando? Isn't that where Disney is?
Well - I've just spent a day (yesterday) on a pelagic trip out of New Smyrna Beach trying for White-tailed Tropicbird. And today I've chased Budgerigar for the second time and a very geographically helpful Code 3 surprise - a Fork-tailed Flycatcher - less than an hour from the airport. No Disney characters were hurt during these escapades.

Q: Whatever. Did you get the birds?
You'll have to wait for the posts...they should be online soon.

Q: Why don't I know what's been happening recently?
A combination of: too much birding / there aren't enough hours in the day / I haven't managed to delegate my blog / I'm too tight to pay someone to write it / 5-hour energy drinks don't work.

Q: So - why are you going back to California? Did you forget to return the rental car?
Ummm...no. There's a Lesser Sand-plover in San Diego. It's a stunning bird and a lifer. I may get it in Alaska in the fall, but this is too good a chance to miss. Plus, there was a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper too - but that hasn't been seen since.

Q: OK. Well, hurry up and write some more. This blog is the highlight of my life.
Really? Thanks! Well, I know birds are cool, and the writing is kind of funny and…

Q: I'm being sarcastic. 
Oh. OK. 

(*In this attempt at greater transparency I should mention that I've just made up these questions myself. But I think they're pretty good ones.)


  1. Sadly this blog really IS the highlight of my life at the moment! No kidding.

  2. Thanks for the post! Good luck! I mainly bird locally, and enjoy your nationwide birding vicariously!

    1. Thanks David,

      Glad to hear you're enjoying hearing about the birds.

      - Neil

  3. Good luck with the Lesser Sand Plover (we call them Mongolian Plovers over here). It really is quite the cracking good bird. Post away, Mr. Hayward. We miss you!! :)

    1. Hey Bradlee,

      Great to see you're still reading!

      Yeah - we used to get Mongolian Plovers in the UK - as very rare vagrants. Very excited to go to CA to try for this bird. Hope you'll enjoy seeing the pics later ;)

      - Neil

  4. Very well written and exceedingly humorous. I truly look forward to hearing about the disposition of the FL campaigns.

  5. I'll be submitting some questions of my own for the next FAQ... heh, heh