2013 and beyond
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, December 19, 2010
It's been an honor serving with you. I will be leaving Marquette in the morning, not to return till after the new year. Unless I get a Glaucous or Great Black-backed (or a solitaire- one was about 7 blocks from my house the other day!), while I'm loading the car in the AM, I am done for the year!114.5 species of bird for my yard this year. I was hoping for more, but I spent too much time birding elsewhere, and still haven't gotten hip to nocturnal recording yet (one day!)
My biggest misses- Cackling Goose, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Orange-crowned Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, WW Crossbill and Hoary Redpoll. The goose and the two warblers are especially surprising misses.
One of my first birds of the year early in January was a flyover Pine Grosbeak. So I found it fitting that I had a small flock fly over today, to close out the season.
Class all the way.
The Haastage Negotiator.
Friday, December 17, 2010
A yardbirding highlight for me this year was transforming our front yard from a bird-free barren "grass" patch (with a single lilac sprig) to a diverse configuration of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that is already, after just one season, attracting birds. This book provides a novel approach of which plants to combine to complete your vagrant trap -- a must read for the Complete Yard-birder, after of course you finish building your igloo.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
By the way, Joe, I have a hard time believing you when you say "this may be my last contribution for 2010". Not only will your luck hold (yours usually does), but you know you can't resist posting more gregarious and entertaining writings. Oh, Mr. Swampy is still here. He sure is a freeloader. I'm going to have to buy more mixed seed. The gang of House Sparrows has taken him in. Figures he'd hang with that sort.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I have to give credit to Karen for noticing this one, but who knew that Boone had a doppelganger in hollywood?? In birding news...nada. Boone was over last Sunday and a half hour watch outside produced maybe 8 species including the ubiquitous CACG.
Watch out Kat- now I am only 30 behind you.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Well- it is winding down at the Haascienda- not too much left to get for the year. Gotta still clean up my finches, but I already have the hard one down (RECR), and the rest will just fall into place. Still hoping for a white-winged or dark-backed gull to fly over and of course, I'll let you all know when the Curve-billed Thrasher shows up.
I could go on and on about what birds I missed for the year that I thought I would get, but I suggest we save that post for late December.
......cause ya never know!
but the poll says differently:
Sociologist's suggest five reasons why birders are so driven by their 'passion'. Look inside your heart and choose which best explains your underlying motivation to “bird”?
I enjoy “sharing knowledge” with others – at my core I’m a teacher, teacher, teacher.
Identifying birds is both “intellectual” and “challenging” - it tickles my brain.
It satisfies my need for “systemizing” the planet– Oh See Dee, I loooove keeping records.
I hate to admit it but I like “gaining status”– Whoa nice find, now kiss the ring.
“Male hunting instinct” – Me like pretty bird….need me say more?
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
On 10/30 I watched this little guy make numerous trips back and forth to the feeder. It's not there anymore however.
Wish it would have stuck around.
#99 for 2010....just one more to break into triple digits...that might prove hard from here on out.
Also, I thought this picture might be more pleasant to look at than goose poop and would help to "flush" it a bit further down the page (thanks also to Rick for aiding in this with his RLHA pic). I must say, though, that goose made a nice shot! Next time I hope it hits your windshield or better yet, you while out raking leaves...oh, wait, you don't have any trees.
Monday, November 8, 2010
So using this logic, I had a near hit with a life yardbird yesterday morning. As I sat at the computer in the morning, listening to the live feed from my microphone, I had a small group of Snow Buntings rattling and giving the dry buzz call, not at all high up. I sprinted to the back porch as fast as humanly possible (~4 seconds), but heard nothing once I got out there. Would have been (131/141). And a couple weeks ago, I thought I heard a LALO go over too, but again was not able to pin it down.
Other than that, yardbirding has slowed to a crawl for the most part, with a daily Purple Finch the most interesting thing still around. Realistically, I should get Pine Siskin and probably Common Redpoll before the year is out, but I don't anticipate much else. Waterfowl are around but extremely difficult, and after that it's stuff like Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, and Saw-whet Owl, which are just plain tough.
Or maybe the Boreal Chickadee invasion that some are claiming (reports from Holland MI and Holiday Beach Ontario already this fall!) will turn into reality!?!?! That would be a first county record in my yard.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Here's the results of the Rarity voting.... Each participant ranked their preference for the Top Ten ranked rarities and I scored them by assigning 10 points for the #1 bird, 9 points for #2, 8 pts. for 3 etc., etc.
Numbers following the record: first is the number total points based on the system just explained, second number is the highest ranking received by a participant, and third number is total number of members ranking a particular bird in the top 10.
For example -- White-winged Dove recieved 79 points, was ranked #1 by at least 1 person and scored in the top 10 on all 8 members voting list....
Figure I'll keep the list of all birds and we'll do a re-vote when merited.
1) White-winged Dove* - June 12 - Columbus OH – 79,1,8
2) Yellow-throated Warbler- 29 Aug - MQT- da Yoop 71,1,8
3) Swainson's Hawk- May 1 MQT- da Yoop 61,2,8
4) Rose-br. Grosbeak - Jan 2 - Warner - Central OH 56,2,8
5) Little Blue H/Snowy E. (imm) - 18 Aug- Naperville 36,4,7
6) Oregon Junco - 8 April- TOR - the Yoop 36,5,8
7) Am. White Pelican - 4 May -Booner's Wastelands 20,5,7
8) Black-bellied Plover - 5 May - overflying Naperville 15,4,3
9) Foxy Sparrow - Jan/Feb - Kaplan - UP MI 14,6,4
10) Dickcissel - Sep 8, Putzville (nocturnal flight call) 11,4,3
11) Cerulean Warbler - 30 April - Curtis' Urban Woodlot 9,7,3
13) Least Flycatcher – 8 June - DAZL’s slab 8,8,3
14) Northern Shrike - Mar 8 – Brigham 7,6,2
15) Merlin - Jan - Haas & Kaplan - UP MI 4,8,2
16) Golden Eagle – 3/21- TOR – UP, Big Rig9/? 1,10,1
16) Sora- over Black Oak forest- Putzville, 4/28 1,10,1
16) Yellow-b. Sapsucker – 4/13 - Booner Wastelands, 1,10,1
16) Am. Woodcock – 3/17 - Dykstra's urban oasis 1,10,1
Next game - please send me the measurements of your yard so I can calculate and plot species per unit of area, curious the relationship..... acres or yard dimensions are great. Thanks
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Yesterday (10/7) I was surprised to see this guy bobbing along the logs while I was looking for snipe. This is my first every October Northern Waterthrush. It was still present this morning at 7:40AM.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I've never seen one of these in Michigan, and I cannot remember hearing of any reports. Have you guys? And does this not make the rarity bar?
Monday, September 27, 2010
I got distracted, however, by a couple scolding HOWR that brought in Song and White-crowned Sparrows and then a sparrow that might have been a Harris. Needless to say, I "crossed over to the other side" and bushwhacked for the odd bird on the golf course. Well, the sparrows never re-materialized. A glance over my shoulder told me that this may have been a bad move as a medium sized buteo was speeding south across the yard over the south field. It was long gone by the time I got to an adequate vantage point, so I repositioned myself in the south field. TUVU's started streaming overhead and then a RTHA and at last a high kettle of 14 long awaited BWHA (153). Joining them were an adult and sub-adult BAEA. Unfortunately, no SWHA, but that can wait for another day.
Don't worry Putnut, I'll let you know if the HASP comes to light.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Other notables for the morning was a life woodpecker for the yard...not the red-headed I'm on the lookout for...but an overdue Hairy Woodpecker. It was very birdy but the warbs proved elusive to pin down. Had almost 40 warb sps that outnumbered my identified warblers by 50%. Still managed 9 species of warb, my first of fall YTVI, AMPI, and WTSP. Three different Marsh Wrens (including two that were in crap goldenrod habitat rather than the nearby cattails?!) and 5 Northern Shovelers (4 pictured below) replaced the 8 BW Teal that were present yesterday evening. Also noteworthy was the steady numbers of geese flying south all morning.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
This Red-eyed Vireo responded to a House Wren that was all riled up.
I was surprised to see an "interesting" goose this early down here this morning!Here's a second shot of the bird.
And finally here's a Blackpoll Warbler from this afternoon (one of eight warbler species including my second NOPA of the fall and continuing NOWA). BHVI was also a first of the fall today.
Other recent yardbirds include a Red-breasted Nuthatch that briefly touched down in a Boxelder on Monday morning and a White-breasted Nuthatch this afternoon working the Cottonwoods along the wetland (wandering young of the year or migrant??).
Besides all this new activity, the real change that is in the air was what my down jacket insulated me from tonight.....
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Luckily for me, the bird flew about fifteen feet down and began working the edge of the goldenrod. Then I began fighting with the auto focus on my camera which seemed to want to focus on every single branch either in front of or behind the wren... I got this shot off before it went back into the shade of the weedy stalks a little further in.I got this final shot of the bird before a greens keepers rolled up on a mower and scared the bird further back into the vegetation.
I don't know about you guys, but I'm stunned to get this species here. This is a bird I never recorded at my folks house in WI which had breeding BOBO, SAVS, EAME and a 7 acre hay field. Rarity-meter worthy or not?
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Blackpoll Warbler - 1 (Year bird #98 AND #26/26 for all the warblers on my all-time yard list now having been seen in 2010).
Bay-breasted Warbler - 1
Cape May Warbler - 2
Mourning Warbler - 1 (3rd yard record, first for fall)
Nashville Warbler - 1
American Redstart - 2
Magnolia Warbler - 1
I've also seen a Swainson's Thrush using the bath the past 2 mornings (on Friday a.m. it was 46Degrees at bath time!).
Surprisingly there have been NO Tennessee Warblers here yet.
Sorry for no pictures, my camera was out of battery power. Also, my laptop's hard drive went ca-put so I've been computer-less lately (other than my iPod touch which does not jive with posting to the blog). I'll post as I can.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Location: Home Observation date:9/10/10
Number of species: 56
Canada Goose 10 Wild Turkey 6 Great Blue Heron 1 Turkey Vulture 8 Red-shouldered Hawk 3 Red-tailed Hawk 1 Killdeer 1 Mourning Dove 6 Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 5 Red-bellied Woodpecker 4 Downy Woodpecker 4 Northern Flicker 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee 3 Empidonax sp. 1 Eastern Phoebe 1 Great Crested Flycatcher 1 Warbling Vireo 2 Red-eyed Vireo 1 Blue Jay 12 American Crow 6 Barn Swallow 4 Carolina Chickadee 8 Tufted Titmouse 4 White-breasted Nuthatch 6 Carolina Wren 2 House Wren 6 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 Eastern Bluebird 2 Swainson's Thrush 1 American Robin 80 Gray Catbird 20 European Starling 12 Cedar Waxwing 6 Blue-winged Warbler 1 Nashville Warbler 1 Magnolia Warbler 2 Black-throated Green Warbler 1 Blackpoll Warbler 8 Black-and-white Warbler 1 American Redstart 6 Northern Waterthrush 1 Common Yellowthroat 3 Wilson's Warbler 1 Canada Warbler 1 Eastern Towhee 2 Chipping Sparrow 1 Field Sparrow 4 Song Sparrow 2 Scarlet Tanager 1 Northern Cardinal 10 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 Indigo Bunting 1 Common Grackle 80 House Finch 4 American Goldfinch 8 House Sparrow 6
Thursday, September 9, 2010
So, this morning, I anxiously analyzed the recording to see what I could do with it. The bird was pretty high up, so that it was barely picked up on the sonogram, but it is there, and most critically, the frequency range of what's visible is in the 2,800-5,500 HZ range only. The duration is around 0.08 sec. Basically, boys, what I suspected at the time is confirmed. None of the other buzzes are this low-pitched, and I judged by ear (immediately) that the sound quality was way too dull/dry for INBU. So, Skyler, enjoy losing your lead back again!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
This is the first time this fall that I've had any substantial #s of warbs in the bath. It required much tweaking of the setup out there to get them comfortable enough to come in. For the longest time birds would approach the bath within a foot but balk at actually getting in, then fly off. But finally, today they gathered the courage to do it.
Now to just get some more diversity...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
RBGR, VEER, SWTH, BOBO, and SOSA rounded out my migrants for the AM.
Putnam, I think I beat you by a long shot for "shear number of birds in the bath at one time"!
In addition to this "excitement" (if you want to call a flock of HOSP's exciting) I added the following birds over the last few days...
9/2 - #97 - Veery (some people actually get to SEE them in their yards) I also saw a Swainson's Thrush and had a bad look at what was likely a Gray-cheeked foraging by the Swainson's.
On a positive note, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have finally become regular to my feeder! YEAH!