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.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Two big announcements for SWAMP KAT -

1) this mangy beast is now part of our family, the first dog in my life since 1993. I grew up with fleas, worms, and dogs -- my dad use to babysit me by putting me in the playpen with his litter of doberman puppies. My mom said my first attempts at communication was growling....

2) "My name is Joe and I am addicted to buying houses". I thought I had it beat but my enabler Chris, and I signed a Purchase Agreement on this Lake Michigan Abode. All those distant birds spotted last year from the Lair is where Lilly is sitting on the ice -- Portage Bay where the creek empties into Lake Michigan. The house is the one directly above her head. While I cannot claim that I will top last years effort I suspect that any loss of quantity will be replaced by quality (i.e. Franklin's Gull and Little Gull were near this spot last year). I promise no more Calidris, Podiceps, or Pluvaris sp.

The only saving grace for my yard birding pals is the house needs A LOT of work and it is unlikely it will be occupied until late in the year. So like a Peregrine trying to hunt a flock of shorebirds my focus will be split, which almost guarantees a divided (but hopefully not conquered) Swamp Kat.

Thanks for the kudos for 2010 -- I really had a lot of fun passing out free cans of whip-poor-ass-Caleb. I love you guys.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

COME on Slackers!!

#9 just flew over The Wastelands...just barely got my bins on it from my office window...

...by the way, who's in charge of updating the GoogleDoc species spreadsheet?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Low Motivation; 2010 wrapup

I like some/many of you am experiencing low motivation for the yardbird blog of late. Primarily, it's because there's NOTHING in my yard (Creeper and Golden-crowned Kinglet being the best). But I kind of feel like we never properly wrapped up the 2010 contest. So, to that end: Swamp Kitty, we were are all awed by your display of power and domination. Congratulations and kudos.

Now, let's let the trashtalk for 2011 begin so we can all get motivated again...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Drooling As Usual

Yeah, that's about all the excitement that January affords me at The Wastelands. Although as I was talking to a birding friend yesterday, I nabbed a female AMKE zip down the street for number 7. I get more good birds while having phone conversations with birding friends...how does that work?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ruling as usual.

Got a couple newbies for the yard year. A butterbut by the creek put me in first place for the Warbler War so far. Also picked up White-throated Sparrow at the feeder. It was raining today, looks like its good bye snow again. I hate that. At least I got to X-country Ski/bird one last time this morning I scored 25 species of birds (yes more than any of you have yet) and three mammals: White-tailed Deer, Red Squirrel, and E. Fox Squirrel. Bring on some waterfowl, and maybe a new woodpecker and some Redpolls!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Life Yard Mammal

I'd be curious to know how many of you blokes have COYOTE for their yard! [BEWA, what say you?]. Just this afternoon, the fam and I were maxing in our living room and I see a dog saunter past our patio door. Something immediately struck me as odd so I jumped and yelled for my wife to bring our son over to the window. Sure enough, a gorgeous coyote stopped at the street, looked around and took off to the south. I can only imagine that it caught wind of all the rabbits that hang out in the neighborhood. Everyone got to see, including my son...I know this because he was saying "woo woo" as we were looking out the window. Frickin' awesome!

In case you're wondering, this puts my yard mammal list up to TWO.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Icelandic and Galactic Gulls

My goodness it was a great five minutes of gulling at the Haas Tract! So I'm staring at the feeders thinking "man! this is the day of days! Where did this flock of 9 juncos come from??" Sweet ya know? But the I notice a couple of gulls going over, and lo and behold there was a 1st cycle Glaucous in with a loose pod of Herrings. Yaah ya know?! However just imagine the surprise about 2 minutes later when a fricking 2nd cycle Iceland Gull goes floating over?! Too cool! It's funny cause the only Iceland Gull I had all fall long and into CBC week in MQT was a 2nd cycle bird. I presume this was it still hanging out. This my 4th or 5th Glaucous here (of course missing it last year!), but Iceland Gull, thats a new one for the Haascienda. Just goes to show the merit of another year of yard-bird-blogging.
By the way, the title of this post is what a dump worker in Dafter several years ago said they were having when I asked what gulls had been around!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just dropped in to say...

I'm winning, yes. Just dropped by to say it. I haven't even really tried, not that it takes much to beat you lot. In fact I think its my goal this year to beat most of you without trying. So, yes, pretty much business as usual. In fact my biggest challenges this year will be to try and catch all the mis-identifications, exaggerations, and general hallucinations that you guys constantly serve up. Can our hero prevail against such odds? Stay tuned. I'm up to 28 species for the yard so far (60 for the year in OH): Highlights: CEDW, EABL, BDOW, GCKI, SSHA, COHA, RSHA, CARW, etc.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm back Baby!!!

Heya-mia Desperado's!

Well after a relaxing sojourn to the birdless burbs of Metro Detroit, I have returned to claim the 2011 crown and be proclaimed King of all Yardbirders (while spending as much possible time birding elsewhere as possible! Unlike Swamp-kitten, I am pleased to be in the North Woods (what?!? Ross's Gull wasn't good enough for you?? nor winning the 2010 comp?!? Why don't you go cry to your mommy- she cares!)

It was a slow first day, the feeders needed to be dug out, but while doing so, a nice flock of Boho's flew over, their drunken slurs wheezing in the air (too much fermented berry I suppose....). Nothing else of note- hell, I'm only at six species so far- but I feel good; 2011 is gonna be my year. So hold tight, try your best to win, but I'm going to kick all your asses this year (If Caleb can do as well as he did with Noc Migrants in the middle of landlocked Kent (sucks nads!) County, I'm curious to see how I will do on amazing, incredible, doesn't get better then the shores of Lake Superior. Fer Crists sakes- its in the name!

I believe the words you all are looking for are "Kiss" and "My Derriere"


~Take no Haastages

Ps. this photo of the waxwing, techincally not my yard, but a couple house up from my place.......

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm back ....

...but ain't too excited about it. Returned yesterday (from a better place) to empty feeders and 8 birds in the yard. Happy New Year.

Where are the rest of you gooners?

Hey, my name is Swamp Thang, wanna play?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Bloody New Year!

There was some BLOODY ACTION the other day at our feeders. We caught this Sharpie in action just after he had caught his lunch. We all enjoyed watching the carnage but wished we'd have seen the capture. My 7yr old son excitedly exclaimed "Dad, the hawk has an injured leg!" To which I replied, "Son, that's not the hawk's blood on its leg." You can insert a "Lightbulb" here over my son's head.
This event was also momentus in that, yes, believe it or not Sharp-shinned Hawk is a LIFE yard bird (113)! It's been top on my nemesis yard list for a long time.
We all thought you might like to enjoy the carnage as well (and my son's "self-canned" commentary on the video).

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