A Travellerspoint blog

Twitch: Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Amherst Co, VA

overcast 53 °F


Before my coaching today, an ABA rare bird alert message came in about a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch in Virginia. As I am currently in Virginia, I immediately mapped the location to see if it was anywhere nearby.

As it was just under an hour away, at the top of a peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I hatched a crazy plan: I would hire an uber to take me into the mountains directly from my opera coaching, and hopefully bribe the uber driver into waiting for me at the trailhead to take me back to Lynchburg.

Well, so far I accomplished the task of securing an uber driver for this extraordinarily-long uber drive. The mountains were beautiful!

Luckily, I was able to come up with a cash sum that persuaded the uber driver into waiting me at the trailhead. I rather insanely gave myself exactly two hours to complete a 5.5-mile hike with 1300 feet of elevation gain. This resulted in my sprinting up this trail!

I had to stop to snap a few pictures of the beautiful scenery, as well as to catch my breath.

After just 45 minutes of absolutely hoofing it up to the top of the 4000-foot Mt. Pleasant, where the Rosy-Finch was reported, I was rewarded with beautiful 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains:

Then, another birder up there pointed out a distant raptor that I had first discounted as a Turkey Vulture, but upon further inspection, it turned out to be a GOLDEN EAGLE! A fantastic Virginia lifer — this is a bird that some birders try to find in Virginia for YEARS!

Well, it wasn’t meant to be as I soon had to sprint back down the trail as to not keep my uber driver waiting too long. Rats! That was a large investment for a bird that wasn’t there…

Bird-of-the-day to the Golden Eagle.

Good birding,
World Life List: 1186 Species

Posted by skwclar 13:43 Archived in USA

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The Blue Ridge mountains are aptly named. It's spectacular in October- autumn in hardwood heaven is an amazing sight!

by liz cifani

Sorry you missed your bird, but still the golden eagle was a good find.

Just chalk it up to increasing your lung capacity for singing!

by Vincent Cristen

Well, that finch owes you an appearance somewhere else!! Sounds kind of crazy with the Uber but fun on the trail.

by Mary McCutchan

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