So I am out there scoping my yard's first Mute Swans (34/81), and my year's first Bald Eagle (35) when Cedar Waxwing finally flies over (36). Then I begin to hear an unfamiliar finch coming in from the north, something obviously out of place. It has to be WWCR, right? Nope, although it's close to that in cadence, the tone is weird, lacking the CORE like 'scratchiness.' Tik-tik ... tik-tik ... tik-tik ... Uhhh, Beavis, I think we have a Red Crossbill. Instead of scrambling to get out of the woods and see it (it was obstructed completely from my view), I opted to listen and see if it was going to land. It didn't, heading SSW right over my house. (Side note: I need this for Kent Co. still, which is 1.5 miles due south of my house, right where the RECR was heading; food for thought).
And that, my friends, is 37. COGO, COME, and AMCO are next, with the 3 RBME out on Whitefish Lake a more distant possibility. The arm of the lake these guys would need to go to enter my line of sight is shallow and not typically where the divers hang. The WWSC appears to have left Whitefish Lake at least a week ago, and no HOGRs remain either.
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.