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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nervous tics. . .

With all of Joe's damned tics, I'm starting to feel like Clouseau's boss in the Pink Panther. At least the rest of us photograph our birds, like this little guy from over the weekend:


RAZL DAZL - just passed you up for 2011. Just thought I'd let you know that I'm again leading you in all categories.

5/26 - Mourning Warbler - singing male (94) - that ties me with RIBR at 23 Warblers for 2011.
5/30 - Great Blue Heron (95)

Monday, May 30, 2011

tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic,tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic,tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic,tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic, tic,tic, tic, tic,

Though I've only counted it once I'm now smitten with TWO Yellow Rails in my yard. tic, tic, tic. It's like my yardbirding world has come to a standstill. I've updated my totals (#123, #173) having added two yardbird lifers in the last week; Canada Warbler and Chestnut-sided Warbler (#173). I see Big Rig has a sizable lead -- I recall last year he led by 1 for most of summer. Obviously it's a different story this year though the fall is when the swamp lair really shines so don't get to smug up there at the top, Rig.

Dozed off listening to YELLOW RAIL #2 last night on the platform with my honey "B" only to be awoke by Spotted Sandpipers migrating over....

tic, tic, tic....weep,weep,weep.

Heard Great-cr. Flycatcher this morning from inside the house, so there's still some migration happening in the northlands.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CUDY Yard Update and #120

Here's what's been added this year to the yard (and one for life-time):

Gray-Cheeked Thrush (88)

Bay-breasted Warbler (89)
Wilson's Warbler (90)

Canada Warbler (91)
Yellow Warbler (92)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (93/120)

The Yellow-bellied Flycatcher came in to the bird bath and did a few swooping passes over the water, dipping in each time - SWEET! I managed a photo of the Gray-Cheeked at the bird bath (see below). Canada Warbler was singing this a.m. and showed at the bird bath later too. Yellow Warbler is surprisingly hard to get in my yard. My guess is that it's because it has plenty of good habitat nearby that it does not need to stick in the yard.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I couldn'ta been a contenda

I knew this moment was coming. Just smoked by JD, with more of you lunatics to soon come screamin by.

Spring migration has been appallingly slow in the yard (big surprise). Plenty of warblers transiting above without even a call note. Not even a thrush, though hoping for some night migrants tonight with the recent weather system moving out.

Time to reset priorities and hone in on that mega ...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


thats how many LTDU flew past the liar in one hour tonight. You can see it on Nexrad from the MQT station just before dusk. Check out line that develops north of Little Bay de Noc, after dark it is obliterated by birds taking off from the UP, showing a perfect outline of the south shore of Lake Superior. Another cool aspect of this flight is that after dark (10pm) the LTDUs start flying over the house (almost constant calling) so instead of going north they fly NW.

The Gaylord station recorded a massive flight after dusk, lots of translake migrants last night.

I've tried to upload video of the flight but the resolution here is not the best.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not completely WOTH-less

Itsbeen a week of birding for me, so I've lumped in some of this weeks sightings into this post. Its typical lazy birding style for me. Tuesday, before I went up to Lake Erie for a few days, I had a Black Vulture steal this perch from a TUVU in my yard.
More Pine Siskins in my yard, making this my highest grossing year ever for them. Also the day before that I took a walk out back and got my WOTH for the yard-year, as well as a NOWA (same one?) and some other good stuff like YBCH, OROR, NOPA, YTVI, YTWA. A few days ago I had a YBCU, always fun. Up at the lake I nailed down my final normally occurring warblers for my Ohio year, making this the first time I've had 38 warblers in an Ohio Spring. Here's a pic of K-dubs for you to enjoy as well. He put on a show for many in Columbus, so close I could hardly call it a chase. I should pick-up Swainson's Warbler down in WV next week on my climbing trip, still need it for OH. YYL: 109

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Couple of life yardies (Pine Warbler and Indigo Bunting)

Wish I could say the kat's on fire but that wouldn't be accurate, though the Yellow Rail is still in the yard....

New life birds as I race to 100 (currently #98) this season include a Pine Warbler (#170) on May 13 (sang one from the top of the neighbors Ash Tree before heading out) and Indigo Bunting (#171 finally) on May 14....I heard one call last year in the yard but was in a hurry at the time thinking I'd catch up with it later .... later never came until yesterday. Nice to get these overdue birds outta the way so I can bump it up a notch --- here cuckoo, here chestnut-sided Warbler, here Morning Warbler.....

Northern Waterthrush (first spring record - second yard) and Field Sparrow (2nd yard record) and Am. Woodcock (2nd record).

Not sure if I can catch Chewy or not this year, if I do it certainly won't be this spring. The guy is on fire....White-eyed Vireo, geeeez.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Today was the day for the bird bath. I did not have opportunity to get out for a complete survey...but I'm not sure it much mattered...especially when yard bird #119 showed up (also the 28th warbler species in 3 years time). I just about did a backflip! It's hard to add new warblers when already in the upper 20's - and now that's 2 new warbler additions in less than a week! See below for a photo. I also had multple male Scarlet Tanagers, Cedar Waxwings, a Baltimore Oriole, Red-eyed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Gray Catbird and a line-up of 7 warbler species (NAWA, TEWA, BTNW, AMRE, CSWA, MAGW and... isn't the suspense killing you - just LOOK BELOW!) all seen/heard from my bedroom window at or near the bird bath. I posted a few pictures of my visitors below. The pictures are all diginoc shots...so not great quality, but you'll get the idea!

Here's the line-up of year birds:

Indigo Bunting (78) - male at the feeder

Red-eyed Vireo (79)
American Redstart (80)
Chestnut-sided Warbler (81)
Magnolia Warlber (82)
and last but not least....Oh, heck, just LOOK BELOW would ya!

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Hooded Warbler (83/119)!!! Can you say "Cha-CHING!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


One of four solitary sandpipers flying over the hood this past weekend. Always a welcome sight in a waterless landscape.

2 more lifers, 8 more year birds

The yard's been roll'n lately, but I've not been posting. Here's the update:

5/5 - Blue-winged Warbler (70) - at the bath

5/6 - Palm Warbler (71), Cape May Warbler (72), Winter Wren (73), Orange-crowned Warbler (74) and Northern Waterthrush (75/117) bopping around a measly brush pile 50 yards from the only water around (my bath). That's warbler species #27 lifetime for the yard.

5/7 - Tennessee Warbler (in the bath) (76) and Eastern Bluebird (77/118) - LONG awaited - singing to the N of the house and then flying east. Weird time to pick that one up...should be active at the nest (which there are none of nearby).

RAZL - I'm going to keep you at arm's length as long as I can!

Cheap Vireo

This one quickly flew through loudly persisting multiple times that I "pick up the beer check!" The two times prior that this species visited it at least had the decency to share a drink with me. I shouldn't complain about picking up the bill for such uncommon company. Also on my tab today were BAWW, TEWA, WOTH & GCTH.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tic, tic, ticker tape parade

A nice parade of birds today beginning with Yellow Rail at 6:01 am from the lair followed shortly by Sedge Wren, then Yellow & Nashville Warbler and finally Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. #79-#83 for the year.

Pure bliss.

Constant Trickle

A constant trickle of new yard birds, the latest being a flock of White-throated Swifts chittering away (#55), three unbelievable after second-year male Bullock's Orioles in the tall cottonwoods down the street (#56), a lone hungry Cliff Swallow flyover in late evening (#57), Pine Siskin zeeeeeeeeeering from the tree over the neighbor's feeder (#58), and Black-chinned Hummingbird (#59) zipping among the neighborhood feeders (ours isn't out yet - my wife said I "need to get it up quick", which is never a problem, and something I'm looking forward to). The next month is looking good for some serious birding. I can't go up to my field site (4 hrs away) because Meredith is almost 37 weeks pregnant and I have pretty bad cell coverage up there, so I have to make do by scoring more migrants around the house. Other good non-yard species were seen/head today while kayaking the Colorado and catching catfish, so I expect the spring scores will continue! Still looking for Zone-taileds and VEFLs, ever the optimist....


Friday, May 6, 2011

near MEGA....tic,tic.....tic,tic,tic

While leaving the yard briefly to hunt down a signing OCWA I heard a Yellow Rail calling in a sedge edge along the Portage Marsh probably 100 meters from my "yard official". It give 3 series of calls lasting about 8 seconds each. No luck hearing it from the lair....but still what a fun bird to have outside the backdoor. I'm hoping with the wet spring we have had that this is a potential breeding site. Just beyond the YERA I heard the grunting of a VIRA -- a bird that I heard on the 4th along with the whinny of a distant Sora, though I'm holding out for a better "look" at the Sora before adding it to the menagerie.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Whip me a will


It was so close and so loud I thought Haas was messing with my mind in the bushes. Only the second Will from the yard - the one last year was only a couple of distant "poor wills" barely audible. Not really a bird I'd expect but hey I'm not complaining....Fun to learn that it was exactly one day earlier than last year's installment. Also had a Lincoln's Sparrow in the yard - a day later than last year.

Today's installments include DCCO and WCSP (3 days later than last year) for #75 on the year.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Temporary Fix

Photographed are a couple of the highlights from the last two days. The RHWO came repeatedly for seeds this afternoon until dusk. The LISP actually showed up on Sat, but really got visible when I revamped the water feature which it can't seem to get enough of.

BGGN arrived on Sat as did WCSP & COYE. As anticipated, with the forecast south winds, yesterday delivered well with NAWA, WIWR, GCFL, LEFL, BANS, OVEN & CSWA. Besides woody at right today brought
a PIWO, OSPR & CARW. Hope this continues, 'cause I don't like going through withdrawals!


Birding was a little slow in my yard today (might have to do with the fact I woke up at 1:30pm) but I walked out back along the creek and heard my friend the NOWA call out. I got to watch him as he bopped around the oxbow area. Pretty cool, but not what prompted me to post. The bird I saw along the creek on my way back was just down right cool and made me exclaim "wow!" aloud. I was not expecting to see a MARSH WREN right along the creek! this elusive bird gave me great looks as it poked around the stream edge at no less than 15 feet away at times. It was pretty cool. I know some of you have this sp. before but it was a good Yard lifer for me today. Also had GCFL and some other cool stuff, NAWA, YTWA, MYWA(YRWA), CMWA (f) but overall slow birding otherwise. Last night the Barred Owls were hootin' it up. 65 species for the day, 95 for the year. Follow my list on eBird if you care, I'm on the yard totals list beta thingy.

Clay-colored Sparrow and Osprey

White-crowned Sparrow was #39. Best bird today was Clay-colored Sparrow. An Osprey graced The Cheddarlands with it's bad-a-ness.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Oasis (in) Effect!

I had fall-out type conditions today in the yard. At every turn I was finding new birds...kind of felt like the boardwalk at Magee to be honost. I woke to Blackburnian Warbler singing from the large red oak in my back yard and finished at dusk with a Scarlet Tanager dancing in the grass at the base of the same tree. I also had 3 male and 1 female Rose-breasted Grosbeak hanging around feeding and bathing all day and one brief water hole visit by a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (never seen that before).
All told I had a 45 species day with 18 new year birds!!!
Here's the additions:

Blackburnian Warbler (52)
Blue-headed Vireo
White-crowned Sparrow
House Wren
Great-crested Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Turkey Vulture (long time coming)
Bald Eagle (59/116) - finally scored this with a high soaring imm. bird
Pine Warbler (2nd yard record)
Baltimore Oriole
Wood Thrush
Warbling Vireo
Swainson's Thrush
Gray Catbird
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Scarlet Tanager (69)

Here's some pictures to drool over:

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Grosbeaks and Warblers

I had 2 male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at the feeder at one time today. I managed to snap this slick shot as one flew off.
I also had 3 warbler species in the yard: Yellow-rumped, Nashville and Black-and-white (51). Considering Caleb's previous post, I may be adding a few on Sunday!

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