Update: Warren saw an American Avocet in Maryland on Aug. 31. Lisa's present broke the curse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am always telling Princess Lisa that I am a "Lucky American Man," and it is true, believe me..
L is not only TOLERATING my "Maryland mini-Big Year," she is ENCOURAGING it and helping me in my mad quest to see as many species as possible in the great state of Maryland in 2011. Current count is 271, with hopes of hitting 280 by December 31. That's harder than it sounds when you've already seen most of the common ones and a lot of the rarities.
Every weekend, L agrees to go birding where I need to go for my year list - whether it's a random Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher in a park in Howard County, or a White Ibis sighted at Lilypons Water Gardens out in Frederick County. (We dipped on both of those, but have found the birds I was looking for more often than not and some we didn't expect to see).
She even bought me this beautiful framed print of Audubon's rendering of the American Avocet - my Maryland nemesis bird. Avocets in Maryland flee at the sound of my name. They can hear me put the car keys in and start "Pippit," our trusty Ford Escape hybrid, and immediately fly to another state or undisclosed location. Then they do an Avocet laugh. Or snicker.
Someday I'll see an Avocet in the "Free State." For now, I'll treasure this picture as a reminder of a fun and crazy year with L and the birds. Sigh.