All was going well. My car was in the bay by 1:15, I should be out of here by 1:30 I thought to myself. Then a text message came in from Julie Ann Brown, Executive Director of the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council, Kevin Karlson wanted her to pass on to me that he had just found an Iceland Gull at the Bolivar Flats. Awesome I can be on my way in about 15 minutes I thought.
|Rain on the Galveston|
Finally after what seemed like an eternity of waiting I was off. It was still raining buckets. Rain on the causeway, rain as I boarded the ferry.
I checked weather as the ferry made 12 mph across the Bolivar Road according to my GPS. It was raining lighter now and it looked like most has moved off shore.
|American Avocets on the beach|
At the flats itself I just took my scope and binos, no phone, no camera since it was still raining lightly. I had to walk out a pretty good ways before I found any gulls. Then there it was, a snow white second cycle Iceland Gull for Year Bird 377. I studied it and made notes with the scope for a TBRC report.
Crud though, it really was close enough for a picture. I headed back to the car to get the camera going over what I had with me to protect the camera. All I could come up with was the wrapper for the case of water I had in the back, it would have to do.
The plastic covered the camera well enough. When I made it back out to the bird I got a few shots pulling the plastic back. I decided to move closer. I let loose of the plastic and then the wind took it. I gave chase but it got away from me, I felt very guilty for that. To make up for it I pick up as much trash as I could on the way back to the car, hoping a net loss of trash would balance the karma.
I wasn't able to get very close to the bird though because of a tongue of water between us. Every bird in the group seemed calm. Oh well, it was warm enough and my shoes would dry and I headed across. Eventually making it calf deep and getting some decent shots while the birds ignored the wet footed dodo with the camera. As I emerged from the water it dawned on me that my rubber boots were in the car.
My phone was loaded with messages when I got back to the car. All told five people had contacted me to let me know about the bird. Friends like this is what it takes for a Big Year!