Where I've been/What I've seen
I woke up late yesterday and checked my email, just to make sure I had not missed anything important overnight. I looked in the eBird RBA thread, and it appeared to be just the usual continuing birds, Tricolored Heron, a White-winged Dove, a late staying Pacific-slope Flycatcher, until something caught my eye. So rare in fact, I had to blink twice to make sure that it was not my still half-sleeping eyes playing tricks on me. A Groove-billed Ani had been reported only fifteen minutes north of me (found by out-of-town birder Claudia Dias), and pending acceptance, a first San Diego record. I immediately told my parents who told me that we could go in a few hours. Waiting for these hours to pass felt extremely long, and there had been no reports since the initial finding. About an hour before we left however, the bird was found again, and there were twenty birders on it.
The time finally came where I could go after the bird, and I hopped in the driver’s seat of the car for only the second time and drove with my mother to the park where the bird was being seen. The drive felt like forever, and when we got to the park I grabbed my gear and ran about a quarter mile to where the bird was being seen. The location was not too hard to find, considering about twenty birders were surrounding the bird when I arrived. I walked over a little bridge to the side where it was being seen, and there it was, perched right out in the open, not minding the numerous cameras clicking away at it.
The bird disappeared in the bush several times and emerged with a grasshopper, which seemed to be its primary food source. The was never a period of more than five minutes where the bird was not seen, and it must be the easiest bird I have ever chased. I personally believe that this bird really looks like a dinosaur. A really, ugly yet cute, floofy velociraptor. Honestly this is one of my favorite birds that I have ever chased and as a result I spent about an hour just watching it, and showing it to people and birders who stopped by. The bird continues at the same spot as of today, and some people are giving it a 50% chance at staying the winter.