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.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yard meets MERL!

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.


  1. Well, here we go again! Typical Dykstra-esque standards. Turned another Rock Pigeon into a magical, mysterious yard bird. Actually, heck, I need Rock Pigeon!

    No, I am happy for you to be able to hold on to your life yard list lead by a thread for a couple more weeks. Consider it pro-bono outreach on my part.

    Again, on a serious note, yesterday evening I went out n the neighborhood without my binoculars (seriously dumb), and had a distant raptor which appeared to be either OSPR or NOHA (naked eye, about 1 mile distant), both of which would have been yard lifers. Hopefully I'll learn from that mistake!

  2. Dude OSPR would be pretty darn good that early right? Yeah I bring my bins out everytime I go into the back to play with my sisters now because ive had too many soaring gulls/raptors go over without being checked. Who knows, maybe I'll get another dark BWHA from my yard!

  3. Caleb - you seem to be placing a lot of confidence in your yard to produce this spring. Just remember that every morning last spring when you went birding to Huff Park or wherever, we'd talk and I'D have the long list of birds from MY YARD. PLUS, I started more seriously birding my yard somewhat late in May and I feel I have much to add to my list this spring as well. So, don't follow the path of Sean - get off your high horse NOW, before you even actually get a horse.


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