Today I got up early and headed out to Sandy Hook to try and see some of the recently reported “Western Rarities.” Townsend’s Solitaire, Western Kingbird, and Ash-throated Flycatcher had all been reported in the last week near the Sandy Hook Boy Scout camp. I arrived around 8:45 AM and met up with other seeking birders. Reports were that the Flycatcher had been seen around 8 AM but no Solitaire or Kingbird was seen yet. So with the rest of the group I wait and looked and waited some more until around 10:30 AM. I then decided to take a quick walk past a half up/half down fence located about 25 yards away from the flag pole itself. As I stepped through the opening in the fence a bird popped up and stood briefly a few feet from my head. I quietly called the other birders over as I knew this was the Ash-throated. Of course, as things go, most only got a quick glance as the bird took off seconds after everyone arrived. He didn’t fly far and myself and two other birders re-found the bird and I snapped a few pictures before he tore off for good. So one out of three is sure better than 0-3. Fun day for sure.