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.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Wastelands Strike Back

::Note that this post was in the process of going up last night when Comcast decided to be the great company that it actually is. Thank the good Lord for the automatic SAVE NOW button::

Just when I thought the rest of the year was a wash for me at The Wastelands, I awoke (12/05) to the sound of scads of geese flying over. Just as Fitz was texting me to alert of the crane insanity up at his place, I was getting ready to peck out a text warning him of the coming gander onslaught. So I am pleased to announce that I too nabbed 4 new yard species for the year, which also happened to be 4 new all-timers (one of which was a new Will County bird for me placing me at 191...a White-winged Scoter tomorrow should score my 192nd for the county).

Since I have bronchitis, I did most of my watching from my dining room windows with scope in position. At the point I ticked a flock of 31 Northern Shoveler (#65) fly by, I said "screw my lungs" and I headed outside to conduct a more meaningful survey.

I ended up doing a 2-hour eBird survey and scored some huge additions. A flyby American Tree Sparrow (#66) was long overdue but again, I have ZERO cover for species of this sort. The bird of the day for me was a gorgeous light-morph Rough-legged Hawk (#67) that soared over just 20 minutes before I called it quits on the survey. This species (along with SNBU) was way overdue at The Wastelands so I was thrilled to say the least. This was also a new county tick for me. After I headed inside, the geese kept on a flyin' so I continued to watch from the windows and nabbed another RLHA for a two-count roughie today. The numerous MALL flocks paid off again with 3 American Black Duck making that #68.

There was a steady flow of geese the whole day. While birding from my dining room, I had numerous distant flocks of geese with some birds possibly being Greater White-fronteds but double-paned window glass and a 60x scope zoom just didn't work out all that well. I also had a total of 457 Sandhill Cranes move over and I probably missed a bunch when I stayed inside. With all the geese, I'm shocked I didn't get at least one Snow Goose.

The standardized count today:

Number of species: 16

Cackling Goose 2
Canada Goose 787
American Black Duck 3
Mallard 142
Northern Shoveler 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 4
Rough-legged Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
Sandhill Crane 202
Ring-billed Gull 14
Mourning Dove 17
American Crow 4
American Robin 3
European Starling 93
American Goldfinch 1

The incidental tally today and does not include the numbers from above:

Cackling Goose 36
Canada Goose 4100
Mallard 135
Northern Shoveler 31
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Rough-legged Hawk 1
Sandhill Crane 255
Ring-billed Gull 9
Mourning Dove 5
Horned Lark 1
European Starling 210
American Tree Sparrow 1
House Finch 8

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