Warren flew up to New York earlier today on Air Force One, having landed the singularly mixed honor of being in the pool of journalists who accompanied the president as he traveled to attend the annual UN General Assembly. (Not as glamorous as it sounds, believe me).
Visions danced in his head. He could start an Air Force One bird list! The flight path into JFK airport goes right over a national wildlife refuge. Surely some geese or herons and egrets might be seen from the air? There might even be an Upland Sandpiper in the grass near the taxiway? And then .. well, we were due to go by helicopter from JFK to Manhattan. A Marine One bird list. (OK, well Warren wasn't exactly on Marine One itself, but in one of the helos for staff and press that LOOK like Marine One. It was elegantly called Helicopter Four). The possibilities abounded. Migrating passerines. Hawks. Who knew what might fly by our whirly-gig?
Sometimes you have to reduce your expectations a little. Or maybe a lot. But all birders know there's no such thing as bad birding. So after the Air Force One flight, and the dash to the helos and the short helicopter flight, and the dash to the press vans, and the motorcade (25 vehicles long at least) up the east side of Manhattan, Warren can report that he now has a PRESIDENTIAL MOTORCADE BIRDING LIST. It includes a Rock Pigeon and a Gull, species. I thought of asking the President to stop so I could scope the avian attractions on the East River, but was unsure how that might go.
If he gets a chance, Warren will head up to Central Park on Friday morning to do some serious fall migration birding. (While missing Lisa terribly, of course!)
Warren also has an Iraq birding list, and a CIA birding list. What an odd way to make a living.