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.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fallout Warning!

Holy crap! I have never had this many warblers in my back yard. It sure was exciting with a few Yard Lifers mixed in! I was feeling crappy as I pulled in the drive, beat from getting up fairly early to lead a bird walk at the park today (I'm not really complaining, but I was tired). It was a really birdy bird walk with decent numbers of 13 sp. of warblers, Yellow Bellied Fly catcher, Acadian Flycatcher (still calling), Red-headed Woodpecker juv. (rare in the park), Barred Owls, etc. But as I climbed out of my car feeling slightly better I saw a warbler alight in the crappy hybrid cherry tree right behind my house. It was a BTNW, what a joy! I could feel it in the air, it had just rained and I could hear some more chips and a BGGN in the row of pines beside my house. In that I found a CMWA and a NAWA. I headed down to the creek (a short 200 yards back) and started my owl whistlin'. What popped up was a Yard lifer, a gorgeous YBFL! Next to it was some other Empid, It may have been a WIFL, didn't look much like a LEFL. I looked to my left when I heard some chip notes and the Honey Locust tree was alive! BBWA at last, possibly a HY male. Multiple BLPW, NAWA, AMRE, BTNW, CMWA, CSWA, BAWW, WIWA, MAWA, TEWA, but no friggin BLBW! This after I had about 8 or so of them at the park. Its how it goes. I can't complain because the next plumage lifer was very exciting for me, even though several of us bloggers here have it already, it was a life plumage for me. After the hoppin' locust tree I went down the brushy hedgerow and I pished a couple times. Something stirred from down low and hopped up and as I raised the bins I noticed its tail slightly up (glad I didn't dismiss it as a wren in the worsening light before I looked closer). There was a HY Mourning Warbler! Awesome broken eyering, dark lores, pinkish legs, green back, yellow underparts, and yellow throat with shadow hood. It was up, then down then up again, and then it was gone. Classic MOWA behavior. Its funny how I've seen decent numbers (maybe 12+) of adult males in my life, only one adult female, and now this youngster. Do the females and juv. birds just lay low? Or are there that many more males out there. Its always the MOWA's behavior that alerts my attention to it, so I don't think it has anything to do with a certain plumage being more noticeable than another. Anyways, it kicked ass. Last night an odd thing happened. I had a feeling I should open the window to listen for night migrants, it being a prime night for them, and seconds after I stuck my head out I heard a distinct down slurred "queerrr", tweeerr/peeuu, or whatever it sounds like to you. I heard little else, a few un-identifiable (by me) zeeeps etc. I couldn't believe I just got GCTH just like that. Ever feel like you have some kind of birder sixth sense?


  1. I hear you on the young MOWA's being an absolutely slick plumage Ben! I just photographed one along the Indiana lakefront on Wednesday (photo's and highlights of the day here: http://www.ilbirds.com/index.php?topic=40495.0 ).
    I also had an absolutely amazing morning here. 12 warbler species (including yard lifers BLBW and BBWA), PHVI, LEFL, SWTH, and also 11 MYWA and a PAWA. Yep - it's getting to be mid-late season folks. Boone and I had a frickin Dark-eyed Junco in Lake Cty IN on Sept 8 (fifth earliest fall arrival ever for IN)! Hang on to your hats folks!

  2. Dude, sweet pictures Sean. Love that Yellow-bellied Fly too. Maybe someday I'll go take pics of birds in my backyard again. I def. could have scored a few shots today, but that'd require carrying more than just my bins. I'm too lazy


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