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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RECR = 111

Red Crossbill was year #21 a few days ago and #111 for the yard.  A flyover RTHA was #24 for the year.  Sorry it took me two months to post but...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

So, I don't even have Internet access at the new Silly Digs, but via my smartphone. Nevertheless I am so filled with joy about my newfound independence and location that I found a way to get this inaugural checklist up.


It is indeed meager, but with the mic running tomorrow (and presumably the BCCH will a actually notice my sunflower seeds hanging in the backyard rather than ignore them), my chances of feeder of flyby RECR and EVGR (kent ticks) will increase markedly. In any event consider me back in the game boys!  


Well it's the time of year I start to get antsy and start visioning ways to extend my reach a little farther;






This year I'm going to focus on the water feature -- I've tried a bunch of stuff - but really haven't hit the groove.

I'm thinking about incorporating a drip-through system filled via a rain-barrel and circulating pump -  basically an amped up version of a pool system designed by the late Dave Tiller in the western UP and one that is wildly successful of bringing birds out of the woods (I lack both woods and warblers):

If I can convince Chris that a really good water feature outside is more important that running water inside then I might go all out and do something along these lines......THE VIDEO FROM 1:29 ONWARD WILL BLOW YOU AWAY.....enjoy

This one is pretty good too.

O.k. back to more important matters....like watching for the ice-breaker that's steaming up Green Bay  this weekend towards Escanaba help Mother Nature get the waterbirds on -- already noticing Herring Gulls arriving en masse this afternoon.  Spring On!

I'll start with a new life yard bird.....

OK. So I can't stay out for some reason - call it compulsion, obsession, addiction or just plain competition. Regardless, this is actually fun if I don't take it too seriously. Looks like we may be fewer this year which should be easier for everyone involved.

Although I haven't had the X-bills you all have I did manage 2 Hoary Redpolls an hour before leaving for Florida back on Feb 10th. They were tucked into a flock of 100 Commons visiting my feeding stations. Details here:


The only one I got photos of:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I want to play too!

No this is not from the new digs. That will begin within about 3-4 days from now, and if I get in on the Xbill party there, I am seriously hoping it will be the other species (still a much desired Kent tick)...

And is this an immature (=2nd calendar year) male then?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

X Bill

I willed this one.  Phyllis Carlson posted a question to the UP list-serve last week about what kind of seed crossbills eat at their feeders.  The response included the spectrum of what I offer with the exception of safflower.  I've never fed with safflower but said what the heck give it a try.  The RECR and WWCR at the Chase Place have been feeding on spilled sunflower.  I figured I'd give safflower a try in hopes of putting RECR to bed at the Swamp Lair and BINGO it worked.  I bought a bag yesterday and added it to the offering this morning.  This afternoon I had a pair of RECRs eating it up.  Life Yardbird #188.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Double crossed

Better than pizza - 2/13/13
Was plumbing the new olmsted yesterday and notice a flock of birds on the ground mixed in with redpolls - at first I thought they were Maui Parrotbills (based on structure) but closer inspection reveled they were Red Crossbills - a yard second.   Still need it for the Swamp Lair.

At the end of the day I went to fill feeders and under the feeder was a single white-winged Crossbill, a new yardie and a sweet little pulse of Feburary birding goodness.  #130 for the Chase Place.

As last year, I'm birding both yards which means my totals will be half ass.  Should be in the house full time by years end.  It's been a long time in rehab.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

And then there were 2

I will be moving into some new digs around Feb 20, and yes I am in boy! In the meantime, I will not be attempting to compete from my current (mega 2012) yard. So there are my totals: 0 until at least Feb 20.

Something tells me it's gonna be Kat and Puthouse duking it out in 2013 (with JOKA the obvious winner), but maybe someone else will prove me wrong.

Game on boy!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hanging with the HOREs

By size I'd say hornemanni but it appears smaller at the feeding tray (see below) 

Up to a 1/2 six pack of these noble birds.  They came in two days ago on the heals of a big snow with siskins, some CORE, and a WWCR.

....and one more just to stir up some controversy.  If you have to have a marked undertail covert it shouldn't stand out.