The storms and tornadic south winds that hit the yard early Monday morning took down some big trees, but also brought down some long overdue migrants. At 3am I awoke to the steadily rising grinding howl of what I contend was a tornado. After a quick check of weather maps & radar I headed for the basement. At that point it was 69 degrees in South Haven (15 miles south) and 45 here. The isobars were pretty tight. A walk through the yard carnage just after dawn Monday produced newly arrived YBSA, FOSP, SWSP, GCKI & EAPH. Sadly revealed as well was half of a 150+ year old sugar maple on the ground - formerly a major migrant attraction. At least four Fox Sparrow were enjoying the brushy rubble. Along the south boundary Golden-crowned Kinglet were flitting about in the remains of two freshly fallen 50ft. spruce.
Tuesday, a day off from work, allowed for a bit more extensive yard survey. The morning held more of the same as the day before, however a change in wind from the south in the pm delivered some additions for the year. TRES, BEKI, DCCO, WTSP, HETH & AMKE arrived along with a spectacular dark morph Western Red-tailed Hawk that circled directly overhead for several minutes. Of course, it was a point at which I neglected to have a camera in hand - DUH!
A BRCR greeted me this morning as I walked out of the house to bird in the rain. And at dusk tonight a pair of GBHE flew over. Stillaround are the territorial MERL and for a couple days there were not one, but two ORJU at the feeders at the same time.
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.