Do you have a favorite bird? 

Every bird! When a bird comes in, that’s my favorite bird. The Blue Bunting will be my favorite bird today. 

I spent the day today at Frontera Audubon Society, with high hopes of seeing the Blue Bunting. I wasn't disappointed, and had the opportunity to interview multiple other birders also looking for the bunting, as well as a host of other birds reported there. Merrill was one of several birders I interviewed, and "made the cut" for tonight's blog, brought to you by McDonalds sketchy wifi. 

I met Merrill and Anders while looking for the Blue Bunting, which made his scheduled appearance in the early afternoon, within an hour of my arrival. Waiting several weeks after a rare bird is reported is risky- on one hand the bird may be gone, or it may be patterned well enough by birders that I can show up at exactly the right time and place and interview several birders before the bird arrives. Today's Blue Bunting sighting was choreographed by circumstance, bringing the bird in and out of the foliage multiple times during my visit for a variety of encounters. I silently marveled at his iridescence each time the bird appeared in the dense foliage. I know perfectly well the next time I see this bird likely will be in a dense thicket in Central America or Mexico- not in the U.S.

Merrill and company provided some wonderful dialogue about birding and technology as we waited for the bunting to show up. We talked about innovation and optics, and how quickly birding has seemed to grow- now there's birders everywhere! 

I used to go out birding, and maybe you’d see one birder the whole day. Now you go out and there’s just flocks of ‘em!
— Merrill

Overall, it was a great afternoon birding with friends new and old. We'll see what south Texas holds in store for me tomorrow!