Breeding primarily in the boreal forest and taiga regions of Eurasia it can be found from Iceland to Russia and is a species that normally spends its winters in parts of Europe, Northwest Africa, or the Middle East.
” These were the words that I uttered to myself as I was attending the Mass Audubon Birders Meeting in Boston, MA on Sunday March 13th and saw the following email flash across my phone: ).
In short, this bird is a long way away from home and a mega rarity for North America (ABA Code 4).
Unfortunately, I was in Boston over an hour away when it was discovered.
As I sat in the giant ballroom at Umass Boston with no logical way of giving chase that day the only words that could escape my lips again were “You have got to be kidding me.” The next morning came quickly and as I awoke at am and a message was already in my inbox that the Redwing was relocated again. Feeling pumped and lucky I swiftly made my way to the Hollis Brookline High School and the athletic fields off of Love Lane and Cavalier Court.
As I arrived there was already a large fleet of cars parked with many license plates hailing from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
As I went to park I noticed a large group of birders just up the road with many scopes, binoculars, and cameras fixed on a single point. I just needed to park and get down there before by some odd chance it flew off.
Grabbing my binoculars and my camera bag I ran down to the group of birders that numbered somewhere around 30.
As I arrived I asked to the group if someone could point me in the direction of the bird which many were obliged to do.
However, one gentleman stated he had it in his scope and I went in for a quick look to make sure I got the bird before I worried about better views or taking pictures.
Looking through the scope the bird was barely discernible as it was hidden behind a series of twigs, many of which covered up any of the bird’s distinctive red coloration on the flanks leaving only the typical thrush-brown coloration in sight which blended easily with the backdrop.
Staring through the scope my first thought was the bird had switched to another perch, but suddenly there was a slight bit of movement from the bird- “GOT IT! Once I was able to get a look at the bird to state that I’ve observed it, I moved down past the group of birders to get better views with my binoculars and to take pictures with my camera.
During this time more birders arrived and many were on their cell phones telling their friends that they had spotted the bird and the directions to find it.
There were many separate discussions going on about bird chases for this species across the Northeast, some successful, some not.