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.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Sometimes when the cuckoo's crying
When the moon is halfway down
Sometimes when the night is dying
I take me out and I wander round
I wander round

That's pretty much how it happened early this morning when I let Karma out for a potty.

This incarnate was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, which was the second for the liar.  Still waiting for the Other One.

Friday, August 2, 2013

yardbird manna

Was doing a perimeter check in the Portage Marsh on July 30th - when I spied a jaeger standing offshore on a sandbar.  I dutifully turned and walked back to my yard "proper" (about a 20 minute round trip) before hoofing it out to Portage Point to try to ID (I'd rather have a jaeger sp. for the yard than a species specific jaeger -- even given the decent probability of a state bird in LTJA).

By the time I got to the point the jaeger was gone and while scanning I heard something calling behind me which when I turned around was about 10 feet over my head; a subadult Long-tailed Jaeger.  The bird made multiple dive bombs of Lilly (jaeger bait) and I calling consistently.  I felt Native Alaskan with my dog Stickeen (a John Muir reference).  It was surreal given the behavior, time of year, and the fact I was on the north shore of Lake Michigan and not the north slope of Alaska.  The bird greeted us the next morning and provided a morning and afternoon of pure bliss as it tooled around Portage Point and Bay and harassed everything under the sun.  At some point, while watching with Chris Vogel, he spotted another jaeger  offshore -- similar in all respects to a LTJA but a touch too far to confirm ID.  I was hoping for a breeding pair.