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!
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.