So I got on the phone with American Express and tried to find a flight that would get me there today. Gasoline shortages have been a huge issue on Long Island so I figured that flying and renting a car might be a good choice but it soon became obvious that there just weren't any good flights for any reasonable amount of money. So I resolved to drive, quickly packed a bag, and headed out to the car. As I was opening the door I got a text from Greg Lawrence which referred to an unidentified Tanager that looked potentially good. That stopped me in my tracks and I picked up the phone and called Greg. While the information was confused, that confusion gave me pause and I decided to wait and see if the bird was seen and photographed before committing to an 11-hour drive to Buffalo.
I put out more feelers and soon information was coming in. The first major bit of news was that photographs had been distributed and that the bird had been "re-identified" as a STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (!). Now that's a pretty amazing bird for New York too, although a bird that could also potentially be an escapee as they are kept as cage birds in some areas. Still, I was thinking that if the bird was confirmed, then Streak-backed Oriole was still something worth the long drive and I still planned to head out sometime after midnight.
And then, the news changed again. This time when a wave of Buffalo and Rochester birders made it to the site and discovered that the bird was just a BALTIMORE ORIOLE (albeit a very, very orange one).
|Flame-colored Tanager / Streak-backed Oriole / Baltimore Oriole|
Photograph by Willie D'Anna (used with permission)