I knew it was a long shot to drive an hour north of Clearwater to find a wild Budgerigar on the front lawn of a suburban home, but I had no other plans for the evening and there were lots of parks and waterways nearby, so I figured it would be good birding regardless of the results.
And it was. Lots of birds in the neighborhood, including nearly as many Palm Warblers as in The Dry Tortugas, and in the surrounding parks many Eastern Bluebirds, both male and female, and even two Pileated Woodpeckers.
But the real fun of the evening was chasing a brown bird all around the mulberry bushes, trees and shrubs , back and forth across the road, from river to pond, until it finally alighted on top of a bush in full view and like a movie star that runs from the paparazzi until it suits her purpose, posed for me for just a few seconds, just enough to get a little publicity, and then was gone.
The bird turned out to be a Brown Thrasher, and a very nice bird it was. And as is often the case, it's not always the bird you're chasing that is important, but the chase itself. The bird had me running around like a crazed lunatic, but in the end it was I who got the glory, while the bird sat for a quick photo shoot.
It didn't hurt, either, to get bird 234 on day 82 of my Big Year.
Now I must sleep, as there are yet more birds to chase and 284 days still ahead of me.