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.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Surprise midsummer pickup

So yesterday on my run I was fairly shocked to find an adult RHWO in the yards along the SW shore of Whitefish Lake. The habitat there is not suitable for breeding, and I have never recorded that species anywhere in that area before, so presumably it is some kind of late summer dispersal and not an actual breeding record.

Today I got the idea to try scanning across the lake at the one (of about 20) houses along that stretch which I can actually see from my house, and sure enough within 5 minutes the dang thing flew right into view, landed in a tree for about 3 minutes, then flew back to the south! This is a bird I labelled as possible in the last post, and as 'gettable' in the yearlist projection tab, so one I am happy to salvage.

I realize that June is a plateau of sorts in our yearly progress chart. Are any of you getting anything new in the past 2-3 weeks since migration ended?

Looking forward

Seeing as this is my 'year to shine' (I'll certainly never live in such a good yardbirding context again after 2012), I am trying to plan for maximizing my yardlist and doing some serious cleanup as fall migration gets closer. Looking ahead, here are the species I need to hit over the next 6 months in order to try to top Kat's life yard list (hehehe...), including notes on likelihood (L= likely, P= possible, T= tough).

RUDU (likely in Oct/Nov on Whitefish Lake) L
GRSC (tough, late fall on Whitefish) P
HOGR (Whitefish/Amazie in fall) L
LEBI (NFC in August my best bet?) T
GREG (summer flyby; late summer on Amazie) P
PEFA (very tough fall migrant or hanging on Whitefish Lake) T
UPSA (Jul/Aug flyby, inc. nocturnal) T
LEYE (late fall flyby, inc. nocturnal) P
GLGU (winter lucky flyby) T
ICGU (winter lucky flyby) T
LBBG (winter lucky flyby) T
GBBG (winter lucky flyby) T
THGU (winter lucky flyby) T
BLTE- late summer on Whitefish Lake? T
FOTE- late summer on Whitefish Lake? T
COTE- late summer on Whitefish Lake? T
YBCU- worst summer in years, none around, not likely T
RHWO- likely late summer early fall. One yesterday on w. shore of Whitefish. P
YBFL- late Aug, likely with effort P
ALFL- late Aug, likely  by whistled call note, L
OSFL: late Aug very tough T
PHVI- Sept, very likely L
WIWR- late fall, likely P
SEWR- very unlikely T
MAWR- very unlikely T
HETH- gimme, NFC or Oct in yard L
GWWA- tough but possible, late Aug T
OCWA- likely late fall L
CSWA- gimme in Sept L
BLBW- near gimme in Sept P
OVEN- WTF!?!? Water feature in Aug/Sept best chance L
MOWA- possible in late Aug, early Sept P
WIWA- late Aug/early Sept- near gimme L
CAWA- late Aug/early Sept- near gimme P
SAVS- gimme Oct NFC L
GRSP- tough late Sept/early Oct NFC T
DICK- tons around, as good a year as I can hope for, NFC in Aug/Sept P

So to summarize my remaining possibilities for 2012 are as follows:
Likely: 10
Possible: 10
Tough: 17

Not to mention the fact that many other species could be included in the tough category (OROR, WEME, LEOW, etc), so it's the least informative of the 3 categories I've created. But let's just say I get all of my likelies, and half of my possibles, I would end the year at 181. Chalk in a few more left fielders and could I possibly approach 190????

Fun times. Would love to see a similar analysis from the rest of you, even if very cursory.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Post hoc yardlifer

Ah, so confused...entering some ebird "data" realized a RUTU at the end of May (28th) from the lair was #185 for the yard.

On Saturday had a couple of new birds at Chase Place including a pair of Virginia Rails that showed well from the backyard and a Marsh Wren within ear-shot.  I think as the cattails mature these birds are moving in because they definitely weren't around in May (Marsh Wren in particular was nearby but in wetter habitat).  Also offshore a Black Tern - made me think of our hero.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New yard bird

New yard bird today: House Finch. Not just new for the year, but *new*. Male and female. Happy Father's Day to me. . . I've had multiple Hoary Redpolls before I got my first yard H. Finch. Life in the North Woods.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Growing old

Chris is "encouraging" me purge, which means I'm rifling through a midden of papers looking for stuff I can cull to the recyclers.  In doing so I came upon a "Lot List" of birds I kept for the yard where I grew up in suburban Detroit.  There are 55 species on the list with the first date for a RBNU of 11/7/81 and the last is a BBCU on 5/4/83.  The most memorable birds are Golden-winged Warblers (5/10/82), Bay-breasted Warbler (5/23/82), and Gray-cheeked Thrush (5/11/83).  I also have my mom's old kitchen cabinet door that I recorded my bird records on from 1983-2010 (whenever I visited) - it probably adds another 20 species or so.  The only groaner bird was a (probable) Cerulean Warbler that sang from the top of a neighbor's oak several times before flying off.  In 40 years my family has been in that house I only recall a few nesting birds -- robin, Blue Jay, Gray Catbird and cardinal.  The yard had some nice tall old trees (oak and walnut) but backed up to a busy 6 lane highway. The neighbor was a nature lover and squatted his property shortly after WWII - he had no lawn just oak-walnut forest (we converted most of ours to trees too).  Crazy to think Ive been birding that yard for over 30 years.