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.
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.