Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Two Extreme Birders are Fucking Crushing It in Alaska and If You're Not Watching, You're Doing it Wrong!

For the life of me I can't understand why this story isn't getting more play. 

Who gives a shit about #Lochtegate, Michael Phelps, Hope Solo's unprecedented suspension from soccer for having the audacity to call the Swedish defensive lineup "cowards" while in possession of a vagina, late-season baseball, or Colin Kaepernick's inexplicably controversial conscientious objection to forced, superficial, double-standardized, meaningless jingoism?

The real action right now is between birders Olaf Danielson, 50, of South Dakota and John Weigel, 60, of California, both of whom are running beak and beak to break the American Birding Association's world record for most bird species viewed in North America in a calendar year!

Both Danielson and Weigel--who trails Danielson by 3 birds with 757 to Weigel's 760--are bringing their bare-knuckle birding A-game to St. Lawrence Island, a remote land mass in the middle of the Bering Sea that is part of Alaska but actually closer to Siberia. (Yes, we can all see it from our houses here). 

And this is where shit gets real, because Danielson and Weigel--clearly the two biggest ballers in modern birding--are in Alaska scouting for "vagrants," defined as birds that do not typically land in North America but could get blown over here from Siberia. 

These two are fucking KILLING it out there in one of the most en fuego contests the birding community has seen in years. Not since Betty Wiggins, 79, of the Audubon Society put her hometown of Middleview, Minnesota on the map with her game-changing 2002 spotting of a Spectacled Eider from the window of a Princess Cruise coach bus near Talkeetna (a.k.a., "the spot seen round the world"), has any elite birder been this balls-to-the-wall, or, more aptly, cloaca-to-the-tree-trunk.

It is fucking DOPE AF.

No surprise though: The jealous haters and trolls were out in force in the comment section of the above-linked Alaska Dispatch/Washington Post piece, accusing these two champion birders of being egotistical "trust fund rich kids" and "clowns" who are turning a solitary, tranquil pastime into "an ego-driven pissing contest."  

Leave it to the Internet. I for one will be following this pissing guano-contest closely through the end of 2016, so check back here for play-by-play late-season updates. 

Olaf and John, listen mah boos: Haters gonna hate, and I respect your hustle. You do you by birding the SHIT out of those vagrants; and I'll do me by sitting on my ass and making fun of you in a slightly nicer and more creative way than the haters.


Photo: Olaf Danielson, Washington Post

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