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, April 26, 2013

Pole position

Gosh, I havent been in the lead on this thing in, like, three years.

HUGEMUNGO movement of geese last evening -- outta 2-5K birds I finally pulled down a SNGO.  Other delights included Forster's Tern and Orange-crowned Warbler.  Definitely a Chase-man now.  I've only been to the swamp liar once this spring sans scope.  I am so laa-zy.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More stormfront love

Boy my roof is fun during a late April rain. 3 of these are yard lifers.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another storm, another bevy of yard lifers

After last night's epic monsoon conditions, I finally made a point to get atop my new roof for the first time since moving in in late February. Sillydigs did not let me down. First, an by far most importantly, as I was setting up my ladder, I looked up to see a large shorebird flock about .5 miles high. I quickly realized I was looking at Pluvialis. They had no dark in the axillaries. I ran inside for my DSLR, and they were still overhead when I got out. By the time I got the manual settings ready they were behind the neighbor's sycamore and I never saw them again. DAMN! Having only ever seen AMGP at 2 locations in the county, seeing a flock of 40-45 of them FROM MY YARD was mind blowing, and dare I say it, a bit epic?

I proceeded to the roof which produced additional epicocity in my extremely suburban setting. Next up was a large flock of BOGU. Then life yardbird BARS (including several possible CLSW and PUMA candidates up real high), then NOHA, and right as another heavy cylinder of rain hit, 2 COLO pumping NE to outrun the storm right on the front edge of the rain column. Oh the agony.

Takehome message of the day for yardbirders: right about the time the weather gets so shitty that you no longer want to stay outside, is exactly the time you need to watch the sky more carefully and STAY OUTSIDE! Downpours and low-flying waterbirds and shorebirds go together like Silly and Putty.


The Portage is filling up with dabblers -- expecting a "***mega***".  Meanwhile, I had "***FOY***" Greater Yellowlegs - though I could only "***h.o.***" the bird so I whipped out my 4" iPhone and started up my iBird Pro 6.1 -- I played calls of GRYE and after a spell I saw 2 birds - one a yellowlegs - fly over my house away from the the lake.  After 2 minutes - and sparse calling indicating it was nearby - the yellowlegs and "other" bird flew back over the house and buzzed down to the pond.  I'm not sure, but I think it may have landed on my roof (the back side is a big flat roof) when it was out of view.  The yellowlegs landed and his little buddy turns out was a Wilson's Phalarope.  I put my iPhriend in camera mode and digiscoped a couple of images before they flew off.  How "***EPIC***" is that?????

Friday, April 12, 2013

ugh..... worst spring ever

well, I counted them up. I'm at 22 species for the yard. My roomie has had also had a Great Horned Owl which has so far eluded me. The only new species I've had in a month(!) was a robin that showed up a couple of days ago.

Yep.... that be all the news from lake wobbegone

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

duck, duck, goose

the chase place is filling up with ducks.  yesterday i had a flock of 1200 ltdu along with as smathering of all the regular dabblers.  its so much easier than the swamp liar.  50 for the year.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A flurry of migrants

Radar looked really good last night, and indeed many birds reached GR by daybreak. EAPH and FOSP were new today (as was my first confirmed HAWO sighting for my grassy, urban yard, a pair), with BRCR and GCKI being present yesterday as well.

The RSHA was surprisingly not a flyby migrant, but came out of the woodlot to my SE and fly at eye level through the yard, presumably a resting migrant looking for hunting/resting space. Finally, the TUSW was a nocturnal migrant (thanks mic!)

1Hairy Woodpecker1 SillyDigsUS-MI08 Apr 2013
2Eastern Phoebe1SillyDigsUS-MI08 Apr 2013
3Fox Sparrow1 SillyDigsUS-MI08 Apr 2013
4Brown Creeper1 SillyDigsUS-MI07 Apr 2013
5Golden-crowned Kinglet1 SillyDigsUS-MI07 Apr 2013
6Red-shouldered Hawk1 SillyDigsUS-MI05 Apr 2013
7Tundra Swan1 SillyDigsUS-MI03 Apr 2013

Earth to UPers- where are you guys???