Well, for what it's worth (not very much!) I just had a Killdeer fly over the yard, year bird #29! It's sunny and cool, and I wouldn't doubt it if a few more species end up on the list over the next few days. Birds I've seen nearby but not from the yard in the past few days include Herring Gull, Northern Harrier, and Mute Swan- all of which should be possible soon.
As far as Greater White-fronted Geese- give it a rest already, Sean! You've at least doubleed my all-time state total for Michigan (somewhere around 30-40 individuals in 4-5 separate sightings), FROM YOUR YARD! Curtis, the only chance we stand is the fact that he may not be able to bird in that yard from June to December, but even then we may well have trouble.
Maybe we can introduce Curtis's handicap idea- how about we correct each year bird total by acreage (simple division) of yard, and variety of habitat types (general categories like open water, wetland, meadow, mowed lawn, forest, or something like that), but NOT observer effort, then see who "averages" out on top? Sean has the most acreage and the most varied habitats, and this might even the field a bit, but he also spends the most hours looking, thus will be rewarded for that.
My yard has some open lawn and mostly black oak/black cherry upland forest, but no wetland or water of any sort (except my water bath!). It is 0.55 acres in extent, and my view of the horizon is near zilch, another reason I cannot get the waterfowl skeins like Sean can. Flybys have to come almost straight over the house for me to see them. Anyway, it may be hard to relinquish the lead, Sean, but let's see if you're up to this new challenge or not. If you're having trouble accepting it, maybe we could also include a correction factor for # of months of the year we were present on the property too?
2013 and beyond
It's pretty simple: the most birds seen or heard from one's yard during 2013 will be the "winner". Want in? O.k....then do it despite that.
2013 promises to be a lot less mean but still a carbon-free birding competition, even if slightly less exciting than a MEGA x EPIC hybrid.