I have to admit that I was expecting PUMA or BARS to be the second swallow tick of the year for me here. This afternoon at 430PM I had four Northern Rough-winged Swallows foraging with 25+ TRES over the ponds at The Wetlands. They seemed to be perching more than the TRES but were calling quite a bit. This sighting is a record early arrival for me personally in the midwest by 9 days (from my folks place in WI) and beats last years arrival here by 10 days. Those southern winds are welcome to knock a few more early arrivals our way! Also had my FOY RBWO here (surprisingly scarce - only my 11th record, with most coming last April when they are more vocal). These two ticks bring me up to 54 for the year. It was also cool watching AMCOs vocalize and then get territorial with each other (I watched a pair fight for over 5 minutes).
Still waiting on spizella and SWSP to show up and the ATSP and FOSP to move on. One more warm front?
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.