A One Day Wonder

Red-necked phalarope at Conneaut Harbor (photo by Steve Gosser)

Pittsburgh birders always hope that a trip to Lake Erie’s shore will uncover a rarity.  Will there be something awesome at the end of that 2.5 hour drive?

This rare bird showed up at Conneaut, Ohio nine days ago.  The August 15 rare bird alert reported an immature red-necked phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) on the sand spit.  Birders flocked to see him so far from his species’ normal migration routes west of the Mississippi and offshore in the Atlantic.

Steve Gosser photographed him less than 24 hours later.   Isn’t he gorgeous!

Red-necked phalarope at Conneaut Harbor, 16 Aug 2014 (photo by Steve Gosser)

That was Saturday.  I drove to Conneaut on Sunday and the bird was gone.

I should be more nimble if I want to see these One Day Wonders.


(photos by Steve Gosser)

4 thoughts on “A One Day Wonder

  1. Beautiful photos, and great little story about how birders will drive hours to see something unusual! Thank you for sharing!

  2. This morning I drove two hours to Miller’s Ponds near Pymatuning and got to see a three day wonder (and counting). It was not a life bird for me, but it was a life Pennsylvania bird and the closest I have ever been to a Wilson’s Phalarope. A very delicate and graceful bird.

  3. I didn’t even see this reported on the Ohio listserve the day before, so when I got there that day it was a nice little surprise. Even without some rarities there’s usually lots to see at Conneaut and lake Erie.

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