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.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Here we go!

Looks like Swamp Kat and the CP got this blog updated just in time!  Yesterday's record highs in Chicago-land (I think we just cracked 60...) melted pretty much all of the 22+ inches we had and inundated every low spot with standing water.  And on cue the waterfowl appeared.  The greens by my apt had large numbers of dabs and geese but unfort no diversity (234 MALL in 3 small fluddles was a record for me since I've been here).  The good news was that good numbers of birds were on the move as well. In 45 minutes of watching after work I picked up 3 GWFG, 6 CACG, 800+ CANG, and 6 COME (overdue yard lifer).  Equally impressive in their sudden influx into the area were 60+ RWBL including many singing and setting up territories.  I only squeaked out one grackle yesterday, but Boone told me he had several go over the wastelands earlier in the day.
Today it was colder but still above freezing, and the ground had soaked up most of the standing water.  But the ducks were still moving and I netted better diversity with my scope out along the western horizon.  The highlight was 2 Common Goldeneye (yard lifer), but the 3 NOPI, 26 Aythya sp, and 6 more COME weren't bad either.  Loads of dab duck sps too that were interesting.  Blackbird numbers were even higher today (50+ COGR) and I also snagged 3 more CACG. 
Nothing like an early thaw to get things jump started!
Good birding and welcome aboard newbs!

PS Mad props for figuring out the sweet graph showing our live progress.  An awesome touch!


  1. And in case anyone is wondering, this FOY RWBL beats last year's FOY by 18 days...
    The COGR beats last year's by 14 days... KILL can't be too far away!?

  2. I bet those RWBL won't be singing this weekend (cold front). It never ceases to amaze me how many geese are present on your side of thh pond compared to ours. GWFG is still a county bird for me (and I've been trying now for a while).

    GAME ON.

  3. Wow! Nice kick start, Sean! I don't think the thaw has set in quite as seriously at my place yet. (I don't know for sure because I'm in FL right now.) You def have me psyched for waterfowl when I return! That confounded GWFG is still an elusive life yardbird for me.

  4. I had hopes of SACR or quality raptors (rlha or an eagle) as I scoped the western horizon for over an hour around lunch. Pretty quiet. I did have small numbers of geese steadily flying north but nothing aside from CANGs. Did pick up some year birds...AMCR, RTHA, and HOLA.


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