When an out-of-range Rusty Blackbird (RUBL) was found at the southern end of my home San Mateo County (California) on October 27th, I faced mutually-exclusive choices for the morning of the 28th.
Option #1 was to pursue the bird by bike. The wandering individual was the first RUBL to stray into biking range since I moved to San Mateo in May of 2017, and the species would be a fantastic addition to my cherished Bay Area Bike List (324 species to date). With over 3,500 feet of climbing spread across 74 round-trip miles, the ride would be an exhausting undertaking and consume an entire day.
Option #2 was to pursue the bird by car so I could photograph it. RUBL would be a new species for my photo collection, and the folks who observed the bird on the 27th noted that it was very approachable. My 600mm lens is too valuable and heavy to carry on the bike; even if I was willing and able to ride with it, then I'd to need to leave at 3am to reach the the bird by sunrise. So yeah, I'd drive if I opted for photography.
Decision, decisions.....bike or photograph?
Map adapted from this informative website
For those interested in learning a bit more about Rusty Blackbird biology and conservation, I offer the following links: