I've spent the past week or so trying to turn some of the lighter (and otherwise unusual) C. Redpolls at my feeders into Hoaries. Only half-assed attempts, to be sure, because, well, none of them have actually been Hoaries. But this morning, I finally had one of those fluffy, pristine, almost all-white Hoaries at my feeder! I failed miserably in getting a photo of this gorgeous bird, mostly because I am an idiot (one memory card was at work, they other was very cleverly buried in the backpack I was on the way out the door with when I saw the bird). Yard bird number 32 for the year. And number 94 since moving in last summer. It's no Prairie Falcon (geez!), but still, cool yard bird.
Btw, I may be the only birder in the entire Lower 48 with Hoary Redpoll on my yard list, but not House Finch. Come to think of it, I may the only birder anywhere in the world with all three accipiters but no Red-tailed Hawk. . . I've got Glaucous Gull but not House Sparrow. Common Raven but not Warbling Vireo. . .
(For the U.P. crew, in my hasty message to UP Birders this afternoon, I incorrectly mentioned that I had the Hoary yesterday, mostly because it had been a long friggin' day at work, and this morning felt like yesterday. For the rest of you, I also had a Townsend's Solitaire on campus today. It's been playing hide-and-seek with birders all winter, but today it became a spring bird!)
Okay, I think that's enough blather for tonight.
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.