I've read in some books about the brain that the emotional brain will always win over the analytical brain, or something to that effect. Nevertheless, when I had an unreasonable desire to go see a rare Blue Mockingbird that was being seen in the Guadalupe Mountains (at Rattlesnake Springs), I talked myself out of chasing it for a week or more. But with no interesting birds in the Big Bend area, and even though I'm not a chaser of rarities outside the Big Bend area, I could no longer control the urge. Emotional brain won again!
I left Alpine at 4:00 AM and went for it. I had never birded in the Guadalupes before.
I got there at daylight (time zone change) and 32°. Had no idea where or how to look for my target bird. Rattlesnake Springs is a huge campground. I had it all to myself until a young birding couple showed up. He had a GPS location for where to look so I tagged along. When the bird didn't show up, I decided to spread out the search and headed downstream, or maybe upstream, not sure, but west, after exchanging phone numbers. After about an hour Chris Wood* texted me that they had it at the original site. I rushed over there, unaware that the bird was between us. So, getting to where they were, I more or less flushed the bird. I got one horrible shot, that I knew I had to improve on in order to feel I'd actually seen the bird and not just a bird someone pointed out to me. Here's that photo taken around 8:30 AM.
At one point I heard the mockingbird calling and even recorded the call, but couldn't locate it. Finally, around 10:30, I decided to give up. As I began working my way back along the creek, I heard it, then briefly located it, in a different hackberry tree. I love hackberry trees even more than I had previously loved them, although they don't seem to attract the birds nearly as much at my oasis. I managed a couple of slightly better shots. Not what I would have liked, but not willing to wait around longer with a long drive home ahead of me.
I'm so glad I went. It was so worth it! I'd do it again, but I'm adamant that I will not chase rare birds any farther away from home than that! I got back to Alpine around 3 PM, exhausted, but happy.