North winds for a change prompted a distant "lake watch" this morning before work. I actually can't see Lake Michigan from the yard as it is a mile away and hidden by trees, but the land to it slopes gradually downhill and waterfowl picked up by a consistent strong wind can sail high above the treeline and even fly a short ways inland. Today I was not disappointed. In the short time (45 mins) I had to scope from the west boundary of the yard I picked up 3 year yardbirds one of which was a yard lifer. Among the hundreds of waterfowl moving south I picked out one ABDU (151/188) in a flock of MALL, 35 GRSC (152) and a dozen RBME (153). Yup, as lackluster as ABDU is as a lifer it's more than welcome!
On the other hand, another great bird got away. I had my rooftop mic running as I was getting ready to get out and bird when through it came the chatter of one and possibly two White-winged Crossbill as they made their way over the house. As fast as I could get outside I could not relocate them. This was exasperating because, and correct me if I'm wrong, according to the rules of the game, this is not a countable observation due to the intervention of the mic. Hopefully, these WWCR are the start of more to come, although RECR is of greater importance to me for the yard and county.
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.