(From a thread on a birding listserv, discussing "nemesis birds", ones birders have never seen)
Have honestly only had two shots at them (they are unusual in Minnesota, we might have one annually) - once in Corkscrew Swamp during a business trip - and the other is a bit of a story:
Had a business trip scheduled to Savannah, GA in mid-September. Discovered a local guide (through Birdchat), hired her for a full day birding in the area, including chasing Painted Buntings (despite loss of colorful plumage by then).
Two days before leaving, planes crashed into strategic buildings. The meeting was - eventually - cancelled. The horror, the loss of life, the long term implications made my small loss (initially, a trip and a bird; eventually, the loss of my business as the economy reeled) totally insignificant.
Yet, for me, 9/11 and Painted Buntings are inseparably, symbolically connected.
As are Painted Buntings and my move into full time ministry (transitioned from bivocational to ministry only).
And still, I have never seen one.