After spending 4 days upstate in Oneonta pursuing the fortunes of Hartwick
College's basketball team (grandson #2 is a member) we arrived home Monday
night to answer John McNeil's call re: the "golden moment" (read lifer) he
had earlier in the day ! Today, the earliest I could get up to Brookside
County Park was 1545, and as luck would have it, the only person there was
someone with prior experience with this Golden-crowned Sparrow, the actual
birder who found it...Patty Orgera (sp ?) !  She made my day by stating the
bird had made an appearance already, and within a short time, after a
number of White-throated Sparrows, a few Mourning Doves, and 2 Fox Sparrows
started feeding, the GCSP arrived ! It made one more visit before Patty
left, actively feeding under the hanging feeders. Just before I left (dusk)
It came in one more time, with the same cast of birds, although the Fox
Sparrow count had grown to 3.

Like John, this bird was a "lifer" for me - a species I had begun to wonder
if it had become a personal nemesis. This mindset was fueled by a futile
record after traveling, on many different trips, along much of the pacific
coast, from the Mexican border, through California, Oregon, Washington and
up into Alaska. This black cloud then followed me back East, when, in the
near past, I traveled upstate while unsuccessfully seeking out our state's
1st record for this species !  On that occasion also, the bird's founder
(Lance Ferderame (sp ?) was the only birder on location when I arrived, ~
0800, and it remained that way until we left ~ 1245. You can believe that
this was the first thing that entered my mind when Patty told me of her
great fortune !



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