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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NE Yard Update

Here's some more birds from NE. The top two were not seen in the "yard" but were still noteworthy enough. The Blue Grosbeak was a nice surprise just - 1.5 miles south of here - as I don't remember seeing one in NE before (they're here but my location is on the edge of their range). I'm hoping to get the Western Kingbird in the yard before leaving...but they are scattered and not terribly easy to come by. Dickcissels are (I'll say it again) EVERYWHERE! Any time I stop I hear at least one singing if not more. Their song has become background noise here in rural Nebraska. The Lark Sparrow was added yesterday in the yard as was a Grasshopper Sparrow (beat you to this one Caleb!) and Western Meadowlark (I'd love to find Eastern, but I think finding Eastern here is like finding Western in MI - tough).
I went looking for Yellow-headed Blackbird yesterday in some local marshes but to no avail.
There'll be more to come I'm sure...

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

dog days of summer (not yet)

Spent a little time on the platform yesterday and finally picked up a new yardbird - - BEKI. Seems like that was a wee-bit overdue. Also had a SEWR carrying food, an egret or two, and a handful of bitterns.

Starlings chased out the bluebirds in the front (i returned the favor). other breeders for the yard include Song Sparrow, American Robin, Common Grackle, and House Wren and an agitated Swamp Sparrow.

Contemplating when to put in place the Marsh Wren Plan to get this across-the-cattails denizen on my yard list. I was hoping he'd come to me but it ain't looking so promising.

Sora and Willow Flycatcher also just out of range....

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Yard for a Week

Ok, I'll be up front and honest - the Dickcissel was not seen in MY yard, but it was seen today at my temporary yard. We are visiting relatives in East-Central Nebraska and they live out on a farm with a very nice pasture and stream within a mile of the Platte River. I've been here before this time of year and had only ever had DICK once or twice. This year they are ALL OVER the yard - Ididn't even have to wander in the pasture yet. I wonder if the "irruption" in MI is more wide-spread. I'll see what else interesting I can conjur up during this next week while we're here.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

According to my Mom, Eastern Screech Owl and Yellow-billed Cuckoo were in the yard this weekend. Of course I wasn't in town being that I was up in the Traverse City area doing my BBS routes. Finally, after several days of searching, the YBCU (139) revealed itself audibly to me while I lay in bed at 7am. It called continuously for an hour thereafter. Attempts to get the EASO to repond to recordings have been futile. However, mid-afternoon yesterday while I'm at work Mom has it respond to the wailing of the siren from a cop car!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No new birds, but...

I did document the first ever co-occurrence of Razzle Dazzle (DASL) and the Chaplain (JOKA). They were negotiating the terms of a major fireworks sale, as Razzle hoped to smuggle a shipment back to OH and Chappers needed the money (the fireworks market slows down with the economy, who knew?).

Note the extreme height difference between these two specimens, as well as the eBird bumper sticker (DASL ought to have this design tattooed to his forehead, based on how insanely committed he is to the cause).

In all seriousness, we did have a helluva time, including (thanks to Joe) an awesome motorboat survey of Ogontz Bay and its large Black Tern colony, the largest in MI. Unfortunately, the Little Gull pair which had been seen as recently as a couple weeks back, was no longer present. We had hoped to confirm the first Great Lakes nesting in 25 odd years.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Breaking the Lameness

It was bound to happen with all the flowers in bloom around the neighborhood. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird #55 (#58 life) zipped by my head this morning on my way out the door.

What's the word from all you dudes who actually have habitat in your yards....hhhhmmmmm?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

by a nose

Howdy yard birders, been a while......

I, like most have been wandering the earth enjoying doing field work and spring migration- still going on in the UP, I had Marbled Godwits, Wilson's Warblers & White-crowned Sparrows yesterday (not in the yard.....).

However I did take a rare trip home today, and as I caught up with a friend drinking beer and not driving for a change- we were treated to yard bird 88, and a brand-new all time yard lifer- a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. Did I mention they are littered along the Lake Superior shoreline the last few days?

So this will be my last post for a while, I head out for the next couple of weeks to my tempory new digs in a black spruce bog in northern Luce County. Funny, I wonder if YB Fly will be my first yard bird for my new place......

I will be keeping a yard list and I will post it seperately to our totals in the sidebar. Dave- you should do the same from your spring field work- that was a hell of a list.

Finally, totally with you all- migration at the Haascienda blew this year; still missing RB Hummingbird and an f-ing Ovenbird! Still have sapsuckers around thou.....

Monday, June 7, 2010

#89 and SLOWLY counting

While outside enjoying the weather (and fixing the broken chain on my son's bike) my attention turned aside from my task to the high thin "seee" sounds coming from the top of the oaks next door. At least 5 Cedar Waxings (89) were flitting about. CEDW was one of my "where was that bird?" birds up to this point. Glad I could knock that one down!
The counting has been SLOW lately - and I assume it continues to be that way for the rest of you too seeing that the posts have slowed down to a trickle too. Maybe we ought to transition our posting during the summer to our local summer birding expeditions. Otherwise we might lose our readership (we had been averaging 40 new viewers and anywhere from 100 to 600 total views a day this spring!).
Give us some thoughts...
Oh, and when will I officially be crowned "Warbler War" victor? Has an ending date been set?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Harry Potter wants to be an OROR

I am a nerd I know. So, bing bang boom, not much migration at all lately. But! I was running late yesterday and as I rushed to the car, I heard the squeaky fast whistles of an Orchard Oriole! I figured, heck, I'm late anyways, may as well enjoy it. So, I pulled out the bins and checked him out, a lovely adult male. I'll take that. Not much more left to add to my yard for the time being, guess its time to sit and wait until fall migration starts. :(

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Through the cracks

After a couple of Cedar Waxwings today I realized my year and life yardlists were slightly out of synch. After an audit I found a couple of birds that fell though the cracks; the best was a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in May that failed to make the year-list allowing me to tie it up with Big Rig going into the summer smack-down (137).

The only bright spot in this forgettable migration is the cornucopia of missing migrants that will keep poking around the yard this summer an exciting endevor .... my best misses include osprey, kingfisher, indigo bunting, sora, cuckoo, chestnut-sided warbler (just to choose 1), broad-winged hawk, winter wren, hermit thrush, etc, etc, etc, etc anyone else with ridiculous Missing Migrants??

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'll help with another post...

Migration has crashed and burned here as well. All I have to report is an Acadian Flycatcher (87) on 5/26 and tonight I got a new yard bird...2 Common Nighthawks (88/113) FINALLY flew over my abode while I was sitting on my front porch enjoying the evening. YEAH!
Other migrants still hanging around were Ovenbird (5/31), Great Crested Flycatcher (6/1) & Gray Catbird (5/31 & 6/1).
I can't believe I missed (still a slight chance I'll get it yet this spring) Blackpoll Warbler! The only other warbler besides Blackpoll that I missed this spring (that is already on my list) is Canada - which has been only 1/spring the past two years and is a bird not taken for granted here.

Wow...not a post since May 24th???

Apparently migration died...an unusual May if I do say so. Not sure about you Wolverines or BuckNuts, but here in NE Ill. it got hot and steamy in a hurry. I had been gone a lot last week but the last true migrant I had around here (not in the yard) was a YBFL here in Plainfield Twp. on 24 May.

Yesterday I was surprised with a Blue Jay. Again, not stellar but good for the Wastelands. This was year #54/life #57. Not sure what it was doing over this way but maybe it was cruising for a feeder to pilfer.

At least I get to break this post-less insanity. Geeze...and it's only June 1st! Any of you dudes have any prospects on some breeders that haven't shown up yet? I bet Slagerheister is going to come up with some new pop of BEVIs near his pad...what up Dave?!