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, November 24, 2010

feeling PISI?

I am.

Good to know I won't be missing ALL of the 'common' species I still don't have for 2010 (BTBW, etc.). CORE is next, I suspect.


Woohoo! I'm finally to triple digits! I was concerned I wouldn't hit that milestone this year.
A fly-over pair of Pine Siskins got the honor to be #100. I hope I get some to join the Goldfinches at the thistle.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yellow-bellied SapSUCKIT!!!

I know, Sapsucker isn't a huge deal but it is for me. I had about given up all hope. But then, today, a day I should have driven up to Lake Erie to do a lake watch (Loons, Jaegers, KIEI!!) I woke up and went to the bathroom. A nice thing about my bathroom is it overlooks the feeders. A blur of white wing patches and dark gray caught my eye as it paused for a second to look at the sunflower seed, and then went on to land in the Red Maple. It was a super awesome adult female YBSA. In another five seconds it flew off to the pines and I never saw it again. Such a relief. I knew that bird had to hit my yard sooner or later this year. Surprising how rare it is in my yard. This is only the second time ever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Midnight Cygnus 159

I was overdue for this year yardbird. 200+ where sitting on the big lake less than a mile from home this past weekend. Tonight a large flock of columbianus flew over calling. They were vocal enough that I could hear them as I was brushing my teeth. From the back deck their mellow voices were even more enchanting against the stars.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Doppelganger on the big screen!?

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.

SNBU Pwnage

This time I had the near miss. When I heard the Snow Bunting on the mic doing a flyby, I again sprinted out to the back porch, and fortunately caught a single "teu" note as it flew W from my propoerty- presumably back to the airport. FINALLY! Now to target LALO.

Watch out Kat- now I am only 30 behind you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

not even a year bird......

Caught this little bugger scaring the bejeezus outta my House Finches today.......

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!

Why we bird - poll results

The real reason we watch birds??

We crAzy

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.

2 (16%)

Identifying birds is both “intellectual” and “challenging” - it tickles my brain.

3 (25%)

It satisfies my need for “systemizing” the planet– Oh See Dee, I loooove keeping records.

2 (16%)

I hate to admit it but I like “gaining status”– Whoa nice find, now kiss the ring.

1 (8%)

“Male hunting instinct” – Me like pretty bird….need me say more?

4 (33%)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just one more...

Ok, so this is just a little late in posting, but I've not posted in a while so here it goes.
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.

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Long Awaited 158/177

I can't believe its taken so long to get this bird for the yard. It kindly sat in the same spot for 45 mins. on the old golf course about 500 ft south west from my west boundary. Sorry for the dirty optics. Camera and scope haven't been cleaned since the chase for the ANHU.

Direct Hit

Check out the spread and patterning on this mess. Can only be BRNG. Takers/Disputers? Dammit!! I can't believe I missed this killer fly-over...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Near Hit

As George Carlin once hilariously said: "When two planes almost collide, they call it a near miss. It's a near hit! A collision is a near miss".

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


So yeah, I've been birding the yard, just not posting about it. Mostly I just haven't had much to post about, the yard is pretty much tapped out. But still, there have been a few to add, and I should have added them to the blog, just haven't had a lot of chances lately. News: I didn't ever get a danged OCWA, I guess there is still a slight chance. I did pick up a BTBW back in early october, but not much else. Still no stupid YBSA. In the morning of the third I had a good day. Got up for some watching and there was a few hawks on the soar. I got a great look at a lighter morph RLHA, yard lifer. I have a suspicion that this bad boy is the same bird that overwinters down the road from my house for the past few years. In fact, on Friday I had a great look at the bird down the road. We looked right at each other, the bird was right beside the road in a little tree. Very cool. Anyways, back on wednesday I also got a lifer PALO, but not in my yard, it was down in southern Ohio. Pretty cool. Other news: a pair of pretty PUFIs at my feeder yesterday. Last night I got home late and the GHOW were talking. Good times. So I'm still waiting on YBSA. Good birding clowns.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Totally expected life yard bird

I don't know what Slagheimer is talking about since my slab has waaaaay more potential than his. I'm just never around. Not an excuse I know but I just wanted to get that straightened out. For instance...who will likely get GOEA at his slab? Answer: the Big Booner.

While slaving away at home today, I decided to step out for a quick "smoke break." In five minutes of watching, I had a gorgeous adult RTHA flying around for a few minutes. My admiration was interrupted by the rattling call of a single fly over LALO (#64/#66).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Unexpected Winter Finch #156/176

A quick evening tour of the property after work was suddenly punctuated by a cacophony of chuttering finches barreling through the air 30 feet overhead. Reddish bodies were evident on most, although fainter orange tones and streaking were present on others. All were adorned with contrasting black wings and striking white wing bars. They were about 20 in number. Their undulating presence was fleeting. Conifer stands to the southwest of here are likely their hosts tonight.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pine Siskins arrive en mass

Although not a year yardbird it was still a nice surprise to have a group of 30 PISI's fly through today. It would be much appreciated if they would bring along their redpoll friends. A Hoary or two would be most excellent!