Time and time again, I went to Pier 17 in the hopes of seeing the Bonaparte's Gull only to find the area empty, the birds too far away, the birds tucked in to sleep, blinding light or poor visibility. Disappointed, I would leave thinking I'm never going to see the Bonaparte's this year.
This same scenario plays itself out over and over as birders go to known areas where birds have been spotted. Whether it is the Virginia's Warbler, the Peregrine Falcon, the Blue-winged Teal, the Northern Goshawk, the Barrow's Goldeneye....the list is endless.... birders walk away shaking their head about the inability to spot an elusive bird.
There really is a limited window of opportunity before the bird takes off for good. This makes it imperative to keep on looking in the hopes of making the connection before the bird's departure.
After more than a dozen trips, several hours of looking and a tank of gas, I finally saw the Bonaparte's Gull sitting with a flock of Black-headed Gulls. It blended in so well, I could easily have missed it again. The black beak and slightly shorter legs confirmed I was looking at it! I was surprised to see how aggressive it was with the Black-headed Gulls. For no reason at all, it would jump up and poke the other birds.
Breathing a sigh of satisfaction, I can now turn my attention to finding other roaming birds reported in the area. How many times will I have to walk Long Pond to see the Northern Goshawk? How many times will I have to drive Rennie's River to see the Cedar Waxwings? Perhaps, if I weren't so impatient, I would just wait. I will surely see these birds in good time.