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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Waterbird counter gets me LALO

So during a visit by Tom Prestby, after a successful rendezvous for the ANMU in Saint Joseph, MI yesterday, I walked him around the golf course for a little bit this morning. Very few birds were around (5 shovelers and a pair of cacklers were the only things of interest). As we were about to head in Tom picked out the whistle of a Lapland Longspur and paused. Shortly after we both heard the rattle and repeated whistles. So I hustled back into the "yard" area so the bird would be legit much to Tom's ammusement.
Not too many more yardbird possibilities left this year unless smaller wetlands around freeze up and the larger pond here pulls some ducks in...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No new birds BUT...

Not just one but two Coyotes were seen today! This one initially bolted into cover when it saw me, not five minutes later it was leisurely giving me a 50 foot buffer as it made its way back towards its den (I found it about 1/2 mile away last month on the far brushy side of the biggest pond on the course system). I've never witnessed coyotes this fearless before...Here's a bad digi-bin of the fourship of shovelers I saw the other day:Basically just hoping for a few more ducks before freeze-over and maybe a flyover LALO or SNBU at this point... I checked out a bunch of patches near me today and managed 15 waterfowl species (GWFG, CANV, COGO, and a flock of 141 RNDU were the highlights).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Proposed new "yard"

Well here's my proposed new "yard". I'm not sure how to exactly measure an acre from an aerial view, but after looking at Caleb and Curtis' places from similar heights on google earth this is pretty close. I bent the line because there's a pond there and it's tough for me to stand in it. I choose this area because it's about the closest area to my place that actually affords a view of the ponds and has some cattails and a few trees in it (and stays off the active fairways for the most part...). I'll go back through my list from this place and figure out what I've seen from there assuming you guys are okay with this.

No swans overhead today, but there was a female Hooded Merganser on the water and four shovelers were also present (my second observation here).Let me know guys.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And again

Wow- the birds are really hitting. Just looked up in my backyard to see a flock of 17 Tundra Swans (116/116) headed south, SILENTLY. No wonder my mic hasn't yet paid off with this species. This also brings us cumulatively to 150, inching slowly toward Sean's old WI record.

And these ones would have counted even if we defined the contest as those birds either within or directly above one's yard- they were straight above the house at about maybe 500-1000 feet.

Sean- let's see some number from the new jaunt in Illinois- start by proposing a boundary to us, then letting us know what you've identified from within that boundary.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Life Yard Bird (115/115)!!

Well folks, my yard bird networking has paid off. My neighbor just called to inform me that some turkeys were walking behind his house in a recently mowed cornfield, and sure enough- a quick look across his yard through my living room window confirmed it. My only question is "what took so long?" I'd never have believed it would take over a year and a half to get this species (even by sound!) given my habitat.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Late House Wren - 10/30

I braved the rain on Friday and went out in hope that the rain had grounded some waterfowl or something. The fairways had all flooded and there were geese and mallards everywhere. Not many passerines to be had, but a lone House Wren surprised me (from my eBird entries I have never had a HOWR past the last week of Sept in WI, MI, IL, IN, or even NJ!). Also had a female Rusty Blackbird land among the robins in the top of some cottonwoods and then flyover a little bit later. A handful of YRWAs and one Palm Warbler were also noted. Also had a single DCCO flyover (they'd all but disappeared over the past ten days here).
Currently in a hotel in Ft Lauderdale listening to BTGRs sqwack outside. Now I have to not pay attention to birds the rest of this trip...