You guys are so toast this year.
So don't forget, I have 179 'gettables' and another 46 'left fielders' possible this year. Make that 45. I have just now returned from a late night party in Grand Rapids at 1:45AM to the chorus of a pair of countersinging GHOW in the calm dead of the night (it is probably 5 degrees out). So, I dutifully decided to do a 20 minute point count with playback for BDOW. Again, surprisingly, no luck. Not sure where the local BDOW are right now.
Then as a closing note I played a bunch of NSWO tapes (about the fifth time since Jan 1). This time, however, was one of about 5 times in my life I actually got a response, and I was completely shellshocked. Within a minute I had an obvious NSWO series of "bark" notes, the exact note I was broadcasting (my track from the Evans and O'Brien nocturnal flight call CD rom). Here is another recording of the note I am referring to:
(Click the file "Audio 49738", 21 files from the top)
I literally couldn't believe my ears as this bird responded. It was clearly flying around me trying to find the perpetrator, calling from the west and northeast (in the pines). The time it called from the closest (150 feet tops), I put my iPod touch into record mode and took a long video clip hoping to capture it, but the bird refused to vocalize while I was recording. It never sang, just gave 3 of these "bark" notes from close range, and a few notes from farther out, including at least 2 of its namesake 'saw-whet' calls, one of which was very loud.
So, to sume up: the fact that I have Red Crossbill and Northern Saw-whet Owl for 2012 as of Jan 20 is not boding well for those of you hoping to keep up with me. Time for some sleep now... And here's the eBird checklist:
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.