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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

3 URLs

http://ebird.org/ebird/site/yard# (click year tab)


Starting to get fun!

(PS- Just now as dusk went down I had a flyby SORA giving the upslurred 'tuwee' note, and late this afternoon I added BANS to the swallow list, mixed in with the same swarm over Whitefish lake which hosted CLSW).

Long Over Due Yard Lifer

At long last EWPW (93/191) was singing tonight as I stepped out of the house. It was great to have this on top of the CWWI I went after last night a few miles north. East south east winds today also added a few year yardbirds: BWHA, CHSW & PIWA.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More nocturnal VIRA action above my house- this time caught by my rooftop mic

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I like the newby's.  Yesterday had a small kettle of BWHA at the Chase Place -- my first BWHAs in the spring.  I chased back to the Swamp Lair and had a conglomeration of 50 that formed a couple of kettles and headed off N and NW.   A quick trip to the deck produced a lovely PEFA - #182 for the lair.

The night before I scored Short-eared Owl out in the marsh which is sweet given that I have seen exactly 1 each spring and fall season.

Still well behind the Put Hut but trying to stay in the game-o-la.  #68 and #62 (Chase and Lair, respectively).  Picked up a BRCR this morning at the Chase Place.  The EABL layed her first egg yesterday....

Life proceeds.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


The key is: when you're on the phone with a fellow birder, step outside...


Thursday, April 19, 2012

moving along nicely

Purple Martins are now in the boxes on Whitefish Lake, offering my first yard lifer of the day today. Also was happy to see this arrival at the feeder:
and this gentleman singing in the neighbor's yard
A final yard lifer addition, mixed between the various Buteos and TUVUs and BAEAs was this very high flock:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The joy and the heartache

Probably the most difficult battle to stomach in my current yard is the juxtaposition of the knowledge that many of the awesome birds present on Whitefish Lake are not likely to be scored from my yard, simply because they don't often (ever?) enter the sliver of the lake I can view. Plus, many of these species drop in on the lake very briefly then leave. Trick is, since I can't see the middle of the lake without driving over there, I never know if they're still actually on the lake as I sit in my yard hoping and waiting. So is the solution to continue standing there, or to keep driving over to the lake to make sure the bird is still there?

Case in point: on my way out of town I stopped by the lake yesterday around 5PM, and found this:

(this is the first time I've ever seen a Sterna on the water, and man do they look weird!). Problem in this case was I could not return to my yard as I had to leave town for a talk I was giving. OUCH. I did watch the bird forage for a while to see if it went into my bay, and it did not. The FOTE is no longer present this morning, but it has been replaced by 3 BOGU, 3 PUMA, and many GRSC, & 2 HOGR, all of which would be life yardbirds. Of course, there are at least 420 RUDU too, another yard lifer, but they are all on the extreme north end of the lake and never enter my bay. Finally, I had a flock of 20 DCCO out there last week which would also be a yard lifer.

Anyway, one can imagine I will likely be fighting this battle a lot over the next month, with left fielders like CATE, BLTE, scoters?, HOGR, and who knows what else. The joy and the agony...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Might want to check for pigs flying today


For clarification, this pic is not of the one in my yard (it wouldn't oblige much to my consternation), i had it yesterday in Kent Co. But somehow the YBSA vine got
interrupted or this sapsucker missed out on the message to avoid my yard at all
costs. What's next, Burrowing Owl?

why with 350+ of these present within 1/2 mile of my house it took so long, I don't know

Saturday, April 14, 2012

American Bittern

Had a vastly cool new yard bird early this evening: American Bittern. From the back end of our property, I heard it calling from a bog on the golf course (greywalls) that abuts our property, about 100 yards away. Even managed to get a crummy shot, which I'll post on Monday.

between a cat and his mouse

Wowie Zowie! Yard chores got me a yard lifer tonight! Hot damn if a female Hooded Merganser didn't buzz right down my street this evening! I always kinda hoped one would grace the Haas Tract, but ducks have always been kinda weak here on the Hill.

A pair of territorial phoebes also gave me a year tick, I was surprised that it took this long. Also mad props to the Fox Sparrow that has been singing non-stop for 10 days now behind the feeders. God I do love that song, a quintessential spring sound for me, and if it wasn't for Cassin's Sparrows in the rain (or possibly Lincoln's Sparrows in the bog...), Fox Sparrow song is my favorite of the emberizids.

So... I can't help but point out (Putty's lead not-withstanding), I've weaseled my way into 4th place. And with a yard lifer to boot- just made my day! 143 species at the Haas Tract, I wonder if I will get another???

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mid-April + south winds + thermals = hawks

After many days of nothing new (and boring blog), it is finally happening. I have light SW winds and moderately warm temps, and have noticed TUVUs and RTHAs playing around in the thermals quite a bit, so decided to watch the south horizon for a while. Was rewarded pretty much instantly with :

OSPR (98/119)
NOHA (99)
BWHA (100/120)

and then just now at the feeder (101/121):
GOD I love spring. Oh yeah, yesterday's NRWS was 97/118 and today's BARS 102/122. And I also discovered a new species of Parid in the yard too: Poecile leucocaudata

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Time to warm up the mics

Just flipped the mic on on a whim (10:45PM) and was shocked to instantly hear kiddick, kiddick, kiddick, above the house. Ran outside and the VIRA (96/117) continued singing as it flew somewhere to the east. Wow.

Radar is dead tonight so it's a bit surprising. Guess it's time for some nocturnal roof sitting...

Monday, April 9, 2012

a slow trickle

added 4 of these (93/116) just now:

and finally had a displaying WISN (94) over Amazie Lake. Thought I might have heard PIWA but couldn't clinch it with all the distant SWSP and singing DEJUs to confuse the matter.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

shorebird time

Greater Yellowlegs kicked off the "true" shorebirds yesterday at the Chase Place. Here's one spot I should be able to hold my own against the big boys.

Good movement of Canada Goose yesterday, but with 500 birds just couldn't come up with a "special" goose. It's perplexing really.

Also, scored AMBI from the Swamp Lair (that place is getting dusty).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Well i survived

a 9 day jaunt away from home with flying colors, and after much anticipation of new year yearbirds, have just produced MYWA (90) and PBGR (91/115). There are certainly more birds waiting for me, but now I shall unpack and regroup.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Great Day On The Homestead

This is one of the best days I've ever had in the yard. Unfortunately, no photos of the NOGO or WWCR.


Hey SIPU!: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S10331821


BRCR was new for the year yesterday.