Climbing Saddleback

I know, I know . . . you’re expecting a photo of a cute warbler . . . or a stunning raptor . . . or a rarity that has inexplicably appeared in Maine.  Nope, today you’re getting a selfie of MOI!!!!

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!!!


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