Alabama's Northern Flicker aka Yellowhammer
#40. This is an upgraded photo from the most recent visit to Alabama on January 26, 2018, in the Blackwell Swamp at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Ten more birds to go. This is seeming like work. If I had a partner, the quest might turn out to include a bit more recreational birding. Thanks to Tom Cromer and Christine Sharp for hosting me in Huntsville and going birding with me to get this photo. Thanks to one of their dogs, Sheena, for welcoming me. Edie, on the other hand .... Well, she did settle down and accept me but her job was to defend the castle.
This latest road trip was about 7200 miles. At $0.50 per mile, plus added cost of lodging and road meals, it comes to about $600 per bird. It was a fine vacation. The 2017 Ford Escape handled really well and got 28 mpg. I was surprised how well it steered in a straight line even with sqirrelly winds.
Update: the trip really took some wind out of my sails. I was about two weeks in serious recovery where I hardly left the house, and a month before I considered an intense birding day (which I cancelled due to rain). Now, at five weeks out, I'm not very energetic and really don't want to drive anywhere. Age 69 and eating too much ice cream.