The Bicknell’s Thrush holds a special place in the hearts of the Maine Birding Community. It is shy, difficult to identify and only nests on mountains above 3,200 feet. So to see one . . . one has to climb.
So this morning, my alarm went off at 1:00 am (Ingrid was thrilled) and I was driving to Rangley to climb Saddleback Mountain (4,121 feet), Maine’s home of the Bicknell’s Thrush.
Around 2:30 am, while driving through Wilton, I saw the all too familiar flashing blue lights in my rearview mirror . . . I was being pulled over for speeding. Time for Ethan’s surefire way to talk one of a ticket.
Police: I had you going 58 in a 35 mph zone
Me: Oh, I’m terribly sorry. I missed the speed limit sign
Police: Where are you going this time of the night?
Me (here comes my magic): I’m a birder and I’m driving up to Saddleback to get a rare bird that is only found in Maine at the very top of the mountain. I want to be there at sunrise.
Police: What is the bird?
Me: It’s called a Bicknell’s Thrush and it winters in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and it . . . Basically I keep talking about birds until he manages to interrupts me and gives me a verbal warning and sends me on my way.
This method has gotten me out of four speeding tickets in the last year . . . they’ll do anything to get me to shut up!!!!
Anyway, saw the Bicknell’s just below the tree line and took this obnoxious selfie on the summit.
Maine Big Year Bird # 282!!!