I've not been by the computer long enough lately to report what's going on here so here's an update.
Yesterday as I was exiting my driveway for a bike ride with my son Caleb, out of the corner of my eye I see the blur of a speeding falcon at 3/4 tree top level. It quickly disappeared behind the trees, but I got just enough of a glance to make it out as a MERLIN...and his charactieristic straight-shooting flight added to the excitement! That's yardbird 81 and year bird 34.
Yes, 81 and 34, because I'm confidently adding PUFI (80/33) to my list from hearing it the other day - while it was a quiet and subdued song, I've eliminated all other possibilities. Ok, so bring on the "ridicule", but you KNOW that I don't take my ID's lightly! As Caleb knows I've had to let some slip away from me due to "giz only" id's - not 100% certain ones (1 second looks at both a very distant Harrier and a flyover flock of redpols - not vocalizing).
And Caleb, go ahead, just call me the copy cat...but I actually had PUFI before you. And just try to copy the MERL!
I'm stuck at 74 for WWCR - maybe one last wandering flock (of at least 9!) headed north will land in my evergreens just long enough for me to bag 'em.
Oh, and, yes, Phoebe is not on my yard life list yet - and did not get added today as you thought might happen. I'm hopeful it will be added soon - maybe even with photographic evidence to back it up.
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.