What can I say with a title like that? Well, this a.m. I flushed a bird from the ground and it landed 6' up in THICK shrubs. I got the binocs on it, but all I could see was a pizza slice through its face, showing it's beak, eye and cheek only. It was grayish brown in color on the head (what I could see) with a decent sized, bi-colored beak. It also had an eye ring, somewhat duller than a female Connecticut, but brighter than a first year female Mourning (compare to drawings in Peterson's Warbler guide). The bird sat absolutely motionless in this position for 1-2 min. I was about 20 or 30' from it. I tried to move slightly to see if I could get a better angle and it flushed. I could not refind the bird, but potentially flushed it one more time 10 min later, but it did not give me a look. I had to leave for the day and the thought of a potential Connecticut Warbler in my yard drove me NUTS! I did not return until 7pm and it was not refound. I'll have to try again in the morning.
SO, I guess I put down Oporornis sp. on the species tally... and for the warbler war. BUT, how to count this bird...that is the question. Seeing that Sean got Mourning Warbler today, it would seem fair to call my bird a tie with his so we both get 2 points for a first sighting. If I re-find the bird (unlikely) and confirm it as a CONW, then we can change it back to 3pts each. What say you Sean?
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.