I spent about 50 minutes out in the surprisingly cold wind here this afternoon with my scope stationed on the highest sand trap in my "yard" to watch the horizon for raptors and cranes. I was rewarded with an incredible Sandhill Crane movement involving flocks of hundreds (one flock had over 300 in one kettle) that all told equaled 838 SACR (#33) moving NW in an incredibly short amount of time! To put that in perspective, the peak number of SACR I ever recorded at my folks house in WI in one day was a measly 150...
Raptors were also on the move in much smaller numbers, but I managed a dozen Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Red-shouldered Hawk (#34, #75 life), 2 Turkey Vultures (#35), 1 Bald Eagle (#36, #76 life), and a couple of Cooper's Hawks that may have been local. The only other bird of note was a Pied-billed Grebe (#37) out on the pond all by its lonesome.
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.