I think that, prior to this evening, the above title would go to either Ross's Goose or Harris's Sparrow both from the early 00s. But I think I just topped it today...
Ok the preamble - after getting home from work at 5 and checking the blog I saw that the spring king picked up the FOS MAWA today. Well hell if I wanted him to have those FOS sighting bonus points all to himself and I was determined to dig a mag out of one of the BCCH that are around. Well I Pished, wheezed, peter-petered, whited, whinneyed, and tooted until my throat literally got sore and the net result was...2 OVEN and a BAWW. Son of a bee-sting! Where the heck are all the warbs that everyone else on wisbirdn and ibet seem to be getting!? So I worked my way up to the top of the field hoping that a shorebird might have seen thee poor excuse for a pond down in the valley and stopped in - nada ('cept a GBHE flyover which is a fall bird for me). A few CHSW and BARS were gettin knocked around in the wind on my way back and I heard a BCCH in a spot I hadn't heard them on the way up. What the heck I'll give it a shot. Redux the pishing routinue and while I only got 2 BCCH in, they also pulled in an AMRE and a different OVEN so I kept it up. All of a sudden I hear the louder and smackier chipping of a waterthrush nearby. (renewed conniption fit of pishing) The bird flies in right above me and is staring down at me trying to figure out what ridiculous bird is making all these noises. The bird has extremely contrasting facial features set off by the broad white supercilium (wide all the way back), a little half white eye arc under the eye, and an unstreaked, white throat. The bird also is quite heavy beaked (it was briefly in the vicinity of an Ovenbird and it made the OVEN look dinky). The streaking underneath was all good for LOWA with diffuse streaking throughout. It flew around a couple of times before dropping back down into the brush and disapearing from view.
Needless to say, I was incredulous that of all the "southern" breeding warblers that I got this fall, I got the one almost least on my radar screen (definitely behind BWWA, HOWA, CERW, PRAW and I guess more likely than YTWA, PROW, KEWA, YBCH, and WEWA - none of which I consider really possibilities in the slightest). I was also surprised by how late I got it since this is one of the first warblers to be detected well to our south in July and early August. A quick look over WI's eBird data for the last 15 years revealed several Sept records from the Madison, Beloit, and Milwaukee areas by reputable observers. I guess I'd never realized they were still being detected in southern WI this time of the year...
In terms of where this bird could have come from, the most likely area is the Black River Falls vicinity up near Eau Claire a little SE of Minneapolis. It's amazing how plentiful they are that far north in the tributaries of the Mississippi. Because other than there, there really aren't more than about a dozen spots in the eastern half of WI that I know of them breeding at...
Flame away, but I've gotta thank Curtis for getting me motivated enough to try to pull in those points from your MAWA!
(Also added VEER and EATO to the fall tally)
EDIT: Just realized Veery is actually a yard yearbird...man not sure how I missed that this spring.
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.