Year 1, Issue 11


* ^^^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^^

* ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

* ^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^^

* ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

* ^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^

* The unofficial electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy


* Editors: Allison Wells, Jeff Wells

* Dolly Grip: Jeff Wells


Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all good things to Cuppers and Cup

subscribers! For the last eleven months, you have generously put up with our

typos, willy-nilly production schedule, occasional Pilgrim's Progress

omissions, and unmerciful ribbing. You have never once complained about

Dear Tick's tough-love answers to your excruciatingly troubling questions.

Furthermore, by subscribing, you have justified our use of our mounds and

mounds of "free" time. Your generosity has, in fact, put us in a fervid

gift-giving state of mind this season. To show just how in the holiday

spirit we are here at The Cup, we're giving you all a present. And we don't

mean some slick, factory-made, store-bought piece of flash. No, no. Our

gift is home-made, the work of many hands, the product of countless hours of

tender thoughts and careful preparation. Bear in mind that this is a

home-made gift, and that home-made gifts sometimes have little imperfections

that make them all the more unique. This gift is fun AND educational, and we

made it for you with glad tidings of great joy. Our gift? It's The Cup

1.11! Now, you won't find any environmentally-incorrect gift wrap here. You

can unwrap this gift simply by reading it. If you don't unwrap it, though,

you're refusing it, and it would be impolite to refuse a gift. So unwrap

with good cheer. And again, we sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy

Holiday, and a very Happy New David Cup Year everyone!

@ @ @ @ @ @


@ @ @ @ @ @

WELCOME TO THE DAVID CUP CLAN: When we said it's never too late to join the

David Cup, we meant it, and we've got a brand new Cupper to prove it:

Margaret in Mansfield (Pennsylvania)! Margaret has already done great things

for the David Cup by expanding full-time, permanent representation of our

fine birding event to the furthest nether regions yet (we still feel

confident that some birder in Yemen or Papua New Guinea will sign up). At

the same time, Margaret earns the honor of being our only permanent

out-of-state Cupper. She's quite pleased with her total to date: "I had a

ball birding the MNWR and Basin [recently] because every bird (European

Starling, House Sparrow, etc.) was countable! I tallied 34 birds and I feel

special already!" You'll have your chance to congratulate Margaret in

person at the Cupper Supper!

IN-LISTED: Send in your lists! This is more for a little project Cup

coeditor Jeff Wells has planned than for the fact that you all can't be

trusted to add correctly (except for Steve Kelling. Kevin McGowan has

assured us he will be counting Steve's list--and checking it twice.) No

need to include number of individuals seen, just the list of species you saw

this past year and the date you first saw each species, if you noted that.

Jeff needs these by January 13th or his plan is doomed--he needs time to

work the numbers, as they say in the biz. Don't worry, you'll find out soon

enough what he's up to. Thanks in advance.

GUINNESS BOOK OF MISSING RECORDS: November saw the anniversary of the

famous Guinness Book of World Records, but don't bother running out and

buying a copy. Despite the fact that, in a year's time, Cuppers have spent

more hours in the field, traveled more miles, and made some of the funniest

typos on the Internet than any other organized group since birds became

primarily something to watch rather than eat, you won't read a thing about

the David Cup in the pages of the Guinness Book. Ask Santa for Kenn

Kaufman's Advanced Birding guide instead.

DUTY FRUITY: The editors of The Cup learned during Thanksgiving dinner

conversation that there is really only one fruit cake. Literally.

According to Cupper-in-Law Jewell Childs, Allison's mom, since no one really

eats fruit cake yet everyone seems to get them for the holidays, not only

has the recipe for fruit cake been passed from generation to generation,

neighbor to neighbor, so has the fruit cake itself! When it makes its way to

your door this holiday season, please don't pass it along to the Wells,

we've already had our turn. Wrap it in pretty pink cellophane, top it with a

shiny pink bow, and give it to Bill Evans...and look for it (instead of

doughnuts) with his hot cedar at the Thanksgiving Loon Watch at Taughannock

next year.

CUPPER SUPPER: It's confirmed! The 1st Annual Pot-Luck Cupper Supper will

take place on Saturday, January 18. After careful consideration, the Wells

figured that if they sell all their living room/dining room furniture,

holding the Cupper Supper at their place won't be a problem. No, really, a

little maneuvering will leave us with plenty of room for all--and we mean

ALL (including your family/significant other)! If you were a Cupper this

past year, you must come and pick up your prestigious David Cup Certificate

(this could be useful for getting into blues concerts at the special Cupper

discount rate and may help you gain more leeway with non-birding spouses,

since it's every bit as official as certificate.) If you've signed up for

1997, you must come to take part in the hazing ritual (pies in the face,

pushing a penny across the floor with your nose)--don't worry, just kidding.

Really, it'll be a lot of fun. In keeping with the David Cup's adventurous

spirit, here are a few things planned: stop-action scenes from "Bird Hard:

the David Cup Movie"; a David Cup Year-in-Review presentation by Cuppers

Jeff Wells, Steve Kelling, and Kevin McGowan; a Top-Ten-Reasons-To-Be-In-

The-David-Cup List; the Cuppers' Choice Awards (see ballot in this issue,

between Dear Tick and Cup Quotes), including The Cup Editors' Conferments;

and of course, the bestowing of the David Cup and McIlroy trophies. There

will also be food, drink, and a chance to put a face to the names you've

been reading on Cayugabirds! Please let us know ASAP how many in your

party will attend and what you can bring (main dish, salad, chips/bread

and/or soda, dessert...antacid). Also, since the Wells American Bistro

doesn't have a license to serve booze, please bring your own, if beer or

wine is your beverage of choice. Again, if you have any folding chairs

(lawn chairs, etc.), we'd appreciate it if you'd bring them--although we

promise to vacuum the floor beforehand, we'd like to give

as many people as possible the option of sitting in a chair. Doors

officially open at 5:00, but if you're a little early or late, we'll

probably let you in.

THROW YOUR GAUNTLET INTO THE DAVID CUP: It's that time again the start of a

new year, and with it, the start of the 2nd Annual David Cup/McIlroy Award

competition. Didn't get up the nerve to leap into the pool last year? Just

moved into town or only recently became aware of the prestigious David

Cup/McIlroy Award competitions? Well, now's your chance to join in on this

grand collective adventure. The word "competition" seems to bother some

people but if you haven't figured it out yet let's clarify what this

"competition" is really all about. It's called "community." It's an

opportunity to share your experiences, knowledge, and time with people who

care about the same things you do--people who love to spend time in the

out-of-doors thrilling at a flock of loons appearing as sparkling white

gems high up in a crystal blue sky over the Taughannock loon watch;

marveling at the sound of 30,000 geese descending into the marshes of

Montezuma; or perhaps even watching and wondering how a robin can so readily

catch worms. The David Cup/McIlroy Award competitions give us a little more

impetus to explore our environments, discover new things and new places,

learn from each other, and just plain have some fun while engaging in what

can be an engrossing hobby. Keep in mind that you don't even have to "try"

(i.e., go after every new bird that shows up). The fun is seeing how many

different species you can see within your own time/geographical limits. Just

keep track of new birds you see each month and send your totals to The Cup.

Join this collective adventure called the David Cup! To sign up, send an

email to the editors of The Cup at

SEE YOU LATER: Next month, look for The Cup a little--maybe a lot--later

than usual. We can't imagine running the last issue of the 1996 David Cup

newsletter without a summary of the Cupper Supper, which won't take place

until January 18. Who won for "Best Dressed Cupper"? "Most Creative Cayuga

Birds Postings"? And what does that pesky little Swedish phrase Matt Medler

keeps throwing around in the Cup Quotes ("Hey dat bra!") actually mean? The

answers to those questions and more belong with the next issue, with our

special year-in-review summary. Otherwise, it would be like separating a

litter of puppies. Huh? That happens all the time? Oh. Well, then did we

mention that the editors are being forced to flee the chilly winds of

Upstate New York to warm, sunny Aruba to perform with the Ithaca Ageless

Jazz Band for ten days in January? This means that when we're usually

getting a head start on the next issue of The Cup, we'll be hopping,

shopping, lounging on the sandy beaches, gazing at Troupials, Bananaquits,

and Ruby-topaz Hummingbirds--and trying to find a way to count them for our

David Cup lists. Our apologies in advance for the delay. (Sigh) Life is


BIRD CUP BLUES: Seems no Cuppers made it to the BB King gig in Syracuse last

month. Or worse, they went but didn't send The Cup their reports. Maybe

they figure we've all had enough of BB, what with him being honored in print

ads for some airline and singing the praises of grilled chicken on TV for

Wendy's restaurants. For those of you who can never get enough of Mr. King,

he's got an autobiography out, Blues All Around Me (Avon, $23). In it he

says things like, "It angers me how scholars associate the blues strictly

with tragedy." He also shares distinguished tidbits, like that he lost his

virginity when he was six or seven and went on to father fifteen

children--with fifteen different women! That may not qualify him as Master

of his Domain, but it certainly would justify calling him the King of

the Blues.

SWAN SONG: Well, not exactly a swan song. Rather, what follows is a very

birdy holiday carol, composed by Cupper Jay McGowan, to get Cuppers in the

David Cup holiday spirit. Sing this to the tune of "The Twelve Days of

Christmas"--and don't skip the "verses" that aren't on your David Cup


Twelve Days of the David Cup

by Jay McGowan

On the first day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me,

An Osprey in a pine tree.

On the second day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me,

Two Peregrine Falcons and an Osprey in a pine tree.

On the third day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me,

Three Tufted Ducks, two Peregrine Falcons, and an Osprey in a pine tree.

On the fourth day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me,

Four Whip-poor-wills, three Tufted Ducks, two Peregrine Falcons, and an

Osprey in a pine tree.

On the fifth day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me,

FIVE SNO-WY OWLS! Four Whip-poor-wills, three Tufted Ducks, two Peregrine

Falcons, and an Osprey in a pine tree.

On the sixth day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me,

Six Upland Sandpipers, FIVE SNO-WY OWLS! Four Whip-poor-wills, three Tufted

Ducks, two Peregrine Falcons, and an Osprey in a pine tree.

On the seventh day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me,

seven Black Terns, six Upland Sandpipers, FIVE SNO-WY OWLS! Four

Whip-poor-wills, three Tufted Ducks, two Peregrine Falcons, and an Osprey in

a pine tree.

On eighth day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me, eight

Pied-billed Grebes, seven Black Terns, six Upland Sandpipers, FIVE SNO-WY

OWL! Four Whip-poor-wills, three Tufted Ducks, two Peregrine Falcons, and an

Osprey in a pine tree.

On the ninth day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me, nine Great

Egrets, eight Pied-billed Grebes, seven Black Terns, six Upland Sandpipers,

FIVE SNO-WY OWLS! Four Whip-poor-wills, three Tufted Ducks, two Peregrine

Falcons, and an Osprey in a pine tree.

On the tenth day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me, ten

Blue-winged Warblers, nine Great Egrets, eight Pied-billed Grebes, seven

Black Terns, six Upland Sandpipers, FIVE SNO-WY OWLS! Four Whip-poor-wills,

three Tufted Ducks, two Peregrine Falcons, and an Osprey in a pine tree.

On the eleventh day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me, eleven

Dark-eyed Juncos, ten Blue-winged Warblers, nine Great Egrets, eight

Pied-billed Grebes, seven Black Terns, six Upland Sandpipers, FIVE SNO-WY

OWLS! Four Whip-poor-wills, three Tufted Ducks, two Peregrine Falcons, and

an Osprey in a pine tree.

On the twelfth day of the David Cup my spotting scope gave to me, twelve

Orchard Orioles, eleven Dark-eyed Juncos, ten Blue-winged Warblers, nine

Great Egrets, eight Pied-billed Grebes, seven Black Terns, six Upland

Sandpipers, FIVE SNO-WY OWLS! Four Whip-poor-wills, three Tufted Ducks, two

Peregrine Falcon, AND AN OSPREY IN A PINE TREE!!!!!

(Jay McGowan, age ten, is a bird artist extraordinaire currently at work on

his first field guide. He has Golden-winged Warbler on his David Cup list,

a bird his father, Cupper Kevin McGowan, does not have.)

:> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :> :>

:> :>

Like the editors of The Cup, Steve Kelling was also in the giving spirit

this month. He has generously made a reappearance as Highlights Columnist!

His inexhaustible bird journal reading skills, handy-dandy on-line checklist

(be sure to e-mail in your bird records to and ability to access a month's

worth of Cayuga Lake birding in a single bound--well, we don't call him the

Trendmaster for nothing.



Steve Kelling

November: were there any highlights in November? Well, there was

the loon watch diligently manned by the indefatigable Bob Meade. Over 3,000

loons in two hours, including Red-throated Loon, and Black Scoter, Surf


thousands of ducks and more thousands of gulls were counted by Bob. Then

there was the Bill Evans Dickcissel, albeit a brief appearance at his

homesite that was never refound. And there was the Evans Orange-crowned

Warbler--on the only day Stephen Davies DOES NOT check the Newman Golf

Course woods and again not relocated. There were other exciting things

around Cayuga Lake also. Hundreds of Tundra Swans (yes, these were REAL

swans) at Montezuma, and hundreds of Brant (I watched Kevin McGowan identify

them at a distance of AT LEAST 10 miles!) But for the most part things in

late October and November seemed pretty slow. But were they? How about a

Little Blue Heron or Cattle Egret to spice things up? Or even a Northern

Three-toed Woodpecker? All were seen in or very close to the Cayuga Lake

Basin, but none by us Cuppers! Stuck in our ways, we did not expand the

search to Waterloo, Phelps and the Geneva area. Check a Basin map; most

of this area is within the Cayuga Lake Basin. There was a Little Blue Heron

in Waterloo mid-October (seen by several Eaton Bird Club members). A Cattle

Egret hung out in Phelps for several days in late October (again seen by

several Eaton Bird Club members). And a Northern Three-toed Woodpecker

appeared at Barbara Lyons feeder in late September! David Cuppers did a

great job scouring and networking on the south side of the Cayuga Lake

Basin, but were deficient in the north (other than Montezuma). Who knows

what is up there now? The Seneca Landfill has thousands of gulls. Maybe a

Thayer's, or Glaucous, and I know there is a Lesser Black Backed!

(Steve Kelling teaches the mysteries of physics to Cornell undergraduates

and is considering setting up a parasailing operation as part of a

gull-watching business at Niagara Falls [November-December only.]

Reportedly, Matt Medler and James Barry have already signed up for their

first parasail.)

100 100 100 100 100 100 100

100 100

100 CLUB

100 100 100 100 100 100 100

100 100

"Doomed to disappointment, failure knocking at every door, our heroine

desperately searches the bushes and hedge rows in a valiant effort to

accomplish her mission--access to the highly guarded 100 Club. Will she

make it before the walls close in around her? Can she make those 23

needed sightings before the jig is up--only 28 more days before...NO, NO,


--Cathy Heidenreich

200 200 200 200 200 200

2 0 0

200 200 200 200 200

"Here are my exciting totals as of Dec. 1...'Will he make 200?

Probably not.'"

--John Bower

"What are the chances of finding 25 new species in the month of December?

Slim, I suppose, so I may not bust in the door of the 200 Club after all.

But, you never know..."

--Michael Runge

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< PILGRIMS' PROGRESS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sure, it's a distance run, a real marathon. But when the race is

neck-and-neck towards the finish, it's the Cupper with the most kick at the

end that's gonna raise his/her arms in victory. Of course, s/he may

collapse from exhaustion, dehydration, loss of necessary minerals...okay, so

you may not want to kick too hard (unless, of course, you're where Karl

David is in this month's Pilgrim's Progress report). But it wouldn't hurt

to kick just a little, just enough so you can say, "I didn't give up. And

because I didn't give up, regardless of where I place in the David Cup,



252 Steve Kelling 250 Steve Kelling

251 Karl David 248 Karl David

248 Allison Wells 246 Allison Wells

242 Ken Rosenberg 241 Jeff Wells

242 Jeff Wells 239 Tom Nix

241 Tom Nix 238 Ken Rosenberg

240 Kevin McGowan 237 Kevin McGowan

237 Bard Prentiss 237 Bard Prentiss

233 Scott Mardis 233 Scott Mardis

232 Ralph Paonessa 232 Ralph Paonessa

222 Jay McGowan 219 Jay McGowan

220 Bill Evans 218 Bill Evans

216 Meena Haribal 216 Meena Haribal

212 Chris Hymes 212 Chris Hymes

204 Casey Sutton 203 Casey Sutton

197 Anne James 196 Anne James

191 John Bower 185 John Bower

177 Martha Fischer 177 Martha Fischer

175 Kurt Fox 175 Kurt Fox

175 Michael Runge 175 Michael Runge

173 Larry Springsteen 173 Larry Springsteen

170 Rob Scott 170 Rob Scott

153 Diane Tessaglia 153 Diane Tessaglia

145 Matt Medler 144 Matt Medler

141 Dan Scheiman 128 Dan Scheiman

125 Jim Lowe 125 Jim Lowe

118 Tom Lathrop 118 Tom Lathrop

82 Sarah Childs 82 Sarah Childs

77 Cathy Heidenreich 67 Cathy Heidenreich

53 Justin Childs 50 Justin Childs

34 Margaret (Lanius?)

EDITORS' NOTE: It's now official, the David Cup Committee members (the ones

we happened to run into in the field, anyway) have issued their decision:

the Trumpeter Swans will NOT be countable. Repeat: the Trumpeter Swans will

NOT be countable. If you'd like to know why, reread Steve Kelling's recent

posting about them on Cayugabirds. That pretty much sums it up.


197 Allison Wells 196 Allison Wells

184 Kevin McGowan 181 Jeff Wells

183 Bill Evans 180 Kevin McGowan

181 Jeff Wells 173 Ken Rosenberg

179 Ken Rosenberg 166 Bill Evans

170 John Bower 163 John Bower

167 Karl David 163 Scott Mardis

163 Scott Mardis 157 Karl David

157 Jay McGowan 154 Jay McGowan

153 Larry Springsteen 153 Larry Springsteen

144 Tom Nix 144 Tom Nix

143 Martha Fischer 143 Martha Fischer

134 Rob Scott 134 Rob Scott

133 Casey Sutton 133 Casey Sutton

131 Chris Hymes 131 Chris Hymes

119 Michael Runge 114 Michael Runge

113 Jim Lowe 113 Jim Lowe

73 Matt Medler 73 Matt Medler

55 Diane Tessaglia 55 Diane Tessaglia

53 Sarah Childs 50 Sarah Childs

35 Justin Childs 35 Justin Childs


C. Loon, R-t Loon, P-b Grebe, H. Grebe, R-n Grebe, D-c Cormorant,

A. Bittern, L. Bittern, G. B. Heron, G. Egret, G. Heron, B-c.

Night-Heron, Tundra Swan, M. Swan, Greater White-fronted

Goose, S. Goose, Ross' Goose, Brant, C. Goose, W. Duck,

G-w Teal, A. Black Duck, Mallard, N. Pintail, B-w Teal,

N. Shoveler, Gadwall, E. Wigeon, A. Wigeon, Canvasback,

Redhead, R-n Duck, G. Scaup, L. Scaup, Oldsquaw, Black Scoter,

Surf Scoter, W-w Scoter, C. Goldeneye, Bufflehead, H. Merganser,

C. Merganser, R-b Merganser, Ruddy Duck, T. Vulture, Osprey,

B. Eagle, N. Harrier, S-s Hawk, C. Hawk, N. Goshawk, R-s Hawk,

B-w Hawk, R-t Hawk, R-l Hawk, G. Eagle, A. Kestrel, Merlin,

Peregrine Falcon, R-n Pheasant, R. Grouse, W. Turkey, V. Rail,

Sora, C. Moorhen, A. Coot, B-b Plover, L. G. Plover, S. Plover,

Killdeer, G. Yellowlegs, L. Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted

Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Hudsonian Godwit, Marbled

Godwit, R. Turnstone, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper,

Western Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper,

Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, Stilt

Sandpiper, B-b Sandpiper, S-b Dowitcher, L-b Dowitcher, C.

Snipe, A. Woodcock, W. Phalarope, Laughing Gull, Little

Gull, B.Gull, R-b Gull, H. Gull, Iceland Gull, L. B-b. Gull,

Glaucous Gull, G. B-b Gull, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Black

Tern, R. Dove, M. Dove, B-b Cuckoo, Y-b Cuckoo, E. Screech-

Owl, G. H. Owl, Barred Owl, L-e Owl, S-e Owl, N. S-w Owl,

Whip-poor-will, C. Nighthawk, C. Swift, R-t Hummingbird, B.

Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, R-b Woodpecker, Y-b

Sapsucker, D. Woodpecker, H. Woodpecker, N. Flicker, P.

Woodpecker, O-s. Flycatcher, E. Wood-Pewee, Y-b. Flycatcher,

Acadian Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher,

Least Flycatcher, E. Phoebe, G. C. Flycatcher, E. Kingbird,

H. Lark, P. Martin, T. Swallow, N. R-w Swallow,

Bank Swallow, C. Swallow, Barn Swallow, B. Jay, A. Crow, F.

Crow, C. Raven, B-c Chickadee, T. Titmouse, R-b Nuthatch, W-

b Nuthatch, B. Creeper, C. Wren, H. Wren, W. Wren, M. Wren,

G-c Kinglet, R-c Kinglet, B-g Gnatcatcher, E. Bluebird,

Veery, G-c Thrush, S. Thrush, H. Thrush, W. Thrush, A.

Robin, G. Catbird, N. Mockingbird, B. Thrasher, A. Pipit,

Bohemian Waxwing, C. Waxwing, N. Shrike, E. Starling, S.

Vireo, Y-t Vireo, W. Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, R-e Vireo, B-

w Warbler, G-w Warbler, T. Warbler, N. Warbler, N. Parula,

Yellow Warbler, C-s Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, C. M.

Warbler, B-t Blue Warbler, Y-r Warbler, B-t Green Warbler,

Blackburnian Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Palm

Warbler, B-b Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, B-

a-w Warbler, A. Redstart, Prothonotary Warbler, Worm-eating

Warbler, Ovenbird, N. Waterthrush, L. Waterthrush, Mourning

Warbler, C. Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler,

Canada Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Sc. Tanager, N.

Cardinal, R-b Grosbeak, I. Bunting, E. Towhee, A. T.

Sparrow, C. Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Field Sparrow, V.

Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, G. Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow,

Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow,

Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, W-t Sparrow, W-c Sparrow,

D-e Junco, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, Bobolink, R-w

Blackbird, E. Meadowlark, R. Blackbird, C. Grackle, B-h

Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, N. Oriole, P. Finch, H. Finch, R.

Crossbill, C. Redpoll, H. Redpoll, P. Siskin, A. Goldfinch,

E. Grosbeak, House Sparrow

Total: 252 species



Add to Steve's Leader's List (above) the following species

and you'll have the entire list of birds seen in January,

February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September,

October, and November:

Little Blue Heron, Cattle Egret, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron,

American Avocet, Whimbrel, Red-necked Phalarope,

Parasitic Jaeger, Forster's Tern, Three-toed Woodpecker,

White-eyed Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler,

Yellow-throated Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Dickcissel,

Yellow-headed Blackbird, Pine Grosbeak

Total: 268 species




What better way to appear poised for victory than by being featured in an

interview exclusively for The Cup? KICKIN' TAIL brings well-deserved honor

and recognition to the Cupper who has glassed, scoped, scanned, driven,

climbed, dug, taken his kids and otherwise made his/her way to the top of

the David Cup list.

After a very impressive showing last month, Steve Kelling remains the Cupper

to catch. Perhaps inspired by son Taylor's passion for magic, it would seem

that Kelling has mastered the trickiest trick of all: staying on top of the

David Cup. Although he refused to show us in slow motion just how he did

this, he did agree to answer our questions. Here's what he had to say:

THE CUP: Again, congratulations! Really, though, after an outstanding

October showing, most of us are not surprised to find you pecking away at

the top of the DC refuse mound once again. What did you do to fend off a

crazed Karl David?

KELLING: I saw two new species in November. Red-throated Loon (with Karl)

and Black Scoter (also with Karl). I really did not do much to fend off


THE CUP: Hmmm.

KELLING: (Even though I had to throw rocks at this Surf Scoter that was

sitting on land in front of me right before he came!)

THE CUP: Good for you! Where do you think the Snowy Owl will show up in the

Basin, and where else should Cuppers be looking, just in case? (Note: this

question was asked before one was reported though not relocated in


KELLING: The Main Pool at Montezuma. Or the Savannah Mucklands.

THE CUP: In order to get the Northern Saw-whet Owl last winter, a sacrifice

had to be made--and Ken Rosenberg valiantly stuck his head in the way of


hatchback door in order to oblige. What sacrifices do you think will be

necessary in order to make it to 254?

KELLING: Allison Wells has to bungy jump.

THE CUP: Hmmm.

KELLING: Karl David has to walk barefoot to Aurora. Ken Rosenberg has to

shave his head, Kevin McGowan has to give a nose music recital.

THE CUP: Maybe at the Cupper Supper!

KELLING: Tom Nix needs to eat five pounds of rutabugas (or whatever those

things are he always buys), Jeff Wells has to change his name to John


THE CUP: That could be tough, there's a woman at the Lab that has taken to

calling him Paul. Changing his name to John James might confuse things even


KELLING: Bill Evans has to BE HERE NOW or is it NOW BE HERE (he'll have to

figure it out), Bard Prentiss must do the hoochee-koochee dance in a black

tutu as he opens his next Cayuga Bird Club meeting as president.

THE CUP: Didn't he do that already?

KELLING: And Ned Brinkley has to move to New Jersey. Then I might see 254.

THE CUP: Guess that means you've already made your own

sacrifice--parasailing over Niagara Falls in your quest for California Gull,

we heard. Let's talk about Christmas Bird Counts. Last year, Jeff Wells

stole out in front in the McIlroy arena thanks to the Ithaca CBC, and so

far, that was the only day he's gotten a McRuffed Grouse (his wife has been

eying that little check mark on his list ever since) and several Mcducks. So

we want to encourage Cuppers to participate. As the

Knower-of-All-Things-Birds, can you tell us which counts are when?

KELLING: The Ithaca CBC and the MNWR CBC are both on 1 Jan. Geneva also has

one, though I don't know when it is. There used to be a CBC near Aurora, but

I don't think that is still going on. So I guess there are three. I will

be doing a CBC in Thomasville, GA.

THE CUP: That'll be good for your January Cup standings--and even better for

the rest of ours. By the way, what do you want for Christmas?

KELLING: A new necktie one with a duck motif. I LOVE to look at ducks...

THE CUP: Yes, you and Ken Rosenberg. Any suggestions on what extra-special

gift to give nonbirding spouses this year, in light of the David Cup?

KELLING: Binocs and a Cayuga Lake Basin checklist--a gag gift, you know,

can't you see the humor in it?

THE CUP: WE can. Question is, will THEY? I understand Karl's not taking any

chances this year, he's buying his beloved Elaine a big, fat diamond ring

with matching earrings. And an exquisitely carved ruby cardinal pendant.

We're hoping she'll wear them to the Cupper Supper. Any chance Taylor, or

even Sam, might join the DC next year?

KELLING: Sam is really into snakes now. We are off to Florida in a couple

of weeks and we are continually reminding him to NOT pick up the

rattlesnakes. All summer long he ran around my rock garden grabbing garter

snakes...he didn't seem to mind when they puked worms up all over him. Each

morning we discuss what snakes eat. He really likes the story about

when the

anaconda tried to eat me.

THE CUP: We'd like to hear that one!

KELLING: Taylor on the other hand might join in the fracas. He is

getting pretty good with ducks. Although he is really into drawing,

especially alien monsters. He has a great ability to pick out birds over

long distances and recognize what they are.

THE CUP: That's terrific. Maybe he would concede to being a Bird Brain

sometime? We'll see you and your beloveds at the Cupper Supper, yes?

KELLING: Yes, we will be there.

THE CUP: Great! We won't mention that since you're making the trophy, you

HAVE to come. See you there!


??????????????????????? PIONEER PRIZE ????????????????????????????????


The editors of The Cup, through statistically significant birding polls and

by opening letters to Santa, have determined that recognition is in order

for the Cupper who has braved wind, rain, ice, and snow in a quest for new

David Cup birds for us all to enjoy. Equally weighty in this award category

is prompt notification to other Cuppers of said sightings, be it via e-mail,

phone line, dramatic hand signals, or by spelling it out in Christmas


Okay, this may sound really hokey, especially coming from The Cup, but we

wholeheartedly believe that ALL Cuppers should get the Pioneer Prize!

Participating in this the first year David Cup was a true adventure, a

territory nobody had previously entered into. You've all been good sports,

and everyone has been extemely fast and faithful in reporting their

findings. In short, we've seen a fine demonstration of what the David Cup

Committee had hoped the event would be all about.

We, the editors of The Cup, hereby bestow November Pioneer Prize to ALL

CUPPERS. To all, a prestigious, teal green David Cup Pencil! Of course, by

the time it's sawed up among us, it may not be long enough to sharpen...

: > : > : > : > : > : > : >


: > : > : > : > : > : > : >

Casey sends his regrets. No column this month.

(Casey Sutton, who initiated and [usually] writes this column on his own, is

a seventh grader at DeWitt Middle School. He is absolutely certain that the

Bills will win the Superbowl. THIS season. )




The David Cup: A Prehistory

By Karl David

It's still too early to tell what the David Cup's future will hold,

but it's been a highly successful first year. Okay, some grumbling

about too much competitiveness; a little second-guessing on unusual

sightings; a few cases of sleep deprivation; but in the main, an

enjoyable, positive experience for all involved. And as the leaders

inch their way over the 250 mark, I thought this might be a good time

to review 1992, which appears in retrospect to have been a kind of

exhibition season for the David Cup, a year that provided a benchmark to

measure ourselves against.

When that year ended, four spent birders gathered at my house to

tally up the results: Ned Brinkley 256, Adam Byrne 254, Karl David

245, Bill Evans 240. Ned and Adam (a.k.a. Batman and Robin), usually

birding together, had consciously gone for a Basin BigYear right

from the start, and as I slowly caught on it caught me up in its

wake. As is his custom, Bill disappeared during the spring migration

and showed just how much ground can be made up from June on--not to

mention the booster shot of fresh enthusiasm ("Ah, the perfect day

for a vagrant flycatcher!") his return provided. And, although he

mostly went his own way, a young Cornell birder new on the scene--

Andy Farnsworth--provided some key sightings, in particular a

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the Savannah Mucklands in late August. But

don't mention that bird to Ned -- he was foolishly chasing some

rarity in Virginia and missed it. It's a sore subject with him to

this day.

Some time afterwards Ned, ever the perfect southern gentleman,

removed two single-observer sightings from his list, making 254 the

magic number and Adam the co-holder of the unofficial record. The

late Dick Evans (former Cayuga Bird Club President) had once posited

250 as the upper limit for a Basin Big Year, and Ned and Adam, pushed

by Bill and yours truly, had shown that total to be more than possible.

Although the David Cup will generate its own measuring sticks, I should

point out that we made a decision not to count Mute Swan that year,

even though we all saw it. There was still a general feeling back

then that the origin of any Mute Swan found here was suspect. That's

still true of course, but now most of us feel as comfortable

including it as we do Ring-necked Pheasant or Rock Dove (aside: I

don't know why some people throw European Starling or House Sparrow

into the discussion at this point--that last starling you saw is no

more likely to be an escape or a release than the last robin).

So, to "level the playing field," I think we should hold 255 up as

the "magic number." Whether we reach it or not hardly matters; both

1992 and 1996 are going to go down as amazing years in Basin birding


To wrap it up, some comparisons between what was seen four years ago

vs. now: 1992 rarities missing (so far!) in 1996 included: Eared

Grebe, White Pelican, Black Vulture, Gyrfalcon, Red Knot, Ruff,

Black-headed Gull, Snowy Owl (don't count it out yet!), Western

Kingbird, Sedge Wren, Kentucky Warbler and Brewer's Blackbird.

The most conspicuous misses were Prothonotary and

Worm-eating Warblers (Bill had not yet applied his considerable

ratiocinative powers to the deduction of the latter's presence). As

for winter irruptors, Bohemian Waxwing, Pine Grosbeak, White-winged

Crossbill and Hoary Redpoll were missed (and only Adam had Common

Redpoll). Both years saw birds such as Eurasian Wigeon and

Dickcissel recorded, and it appears likely that both will feature

Cattle Egret as an omission.

The Bird of the Year in 1992? Clearly, it has to be one all four of

us saw. In fact, my candidate was seen by most active observers in

the Basin at the time. I nominate Gyrfalcon for the honor. The memory

of that bird soaring over Cayuga Marsh ("Karl! It's right over your

head!" I can still recall Ned exclaiming) on a cold, snowy March day

still thrills me, as I'm sure it does everyone who saw it.

And hey--there's still several weeks left in 1996 to make it a

first-year David Cup bird. So let's get out there and find it!

(Karl David [a.k.a., "the Father of the Madness"] teaches math at Wells

College in Aurora. This past fall he devised ways of convincing science

professors to let him "chaperone" their field trips to Montezuma; he's

currently scheming for ways to incorporate jaunts to Aurora Bay into his

math courses.)

(If you have an opinion about the art, science, and/or esthetics of birding

or birding-related topics, write it up for the Scrawl of Fame.)



< <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

< <

< <

< < < <

He had the first word as Cup Coach, who better to have the last? Over the

past few months, his mantra, "Time in the field," has been repeated (in some

cases, bemoaned) by Cuppers everywhere. In this, the last Coach's Corner of

the year, Coach Kevin McGowan again pulls no punches. You better take

notes, the final exam is scheduled for December 31--and they'll be no

grading on a curve, no make ups, and definitely no retakes.

COACH MCGOWAN: Coaching in December should be easy; the battle plans should

be obvious. The first thing to note is that the battle actually may already

be over. In most years I add NO new species to my year list in December.

The strategies in this last month have to be fairly individual-specific.

Ask yourself, "What species am I missing that are still around?"

Are you missing any migrants? Too bad. Migration is essentially over; kiss

those babies goodbye. Any warblers, shorebirds, or other passersby that you

didn't get before this time are pretty hopeless causes now. True, you

could get lucky and stumble on a Pine Warbler at a feeder in the snow, but

you can't count on anything like that. The only migrant-like birds you have

any hope for are some waterbirds, like scoters or grebes, but even they will

be hard to come by.

Are you missing any permanent residents? If so, you still have some hope

and your strategy should be pretty obvious. If you don't have Ruffed

Grouse, you need to get out and hike some scrubby, grousy areas. If you're

missing Barred Owl, you have to get out at night and hope to hear one

calling somewhere in the more southern hilly parts of the Basin. Duh!

If you have all the permanent residents covered, how about the winter

visitors? Some winter visitors are fairly predictable. You know what kind

of habitat Short-eared Owls like, so go watch those fields at dusk. We will

have SOME of them in the Basin this year; just where is not quite as

predictable. Now is your chance to pick up those white-winged gulls you

missed last February. Check out Seneca Landfill, and spend time scoping the

gulls that congregate at Stewart Park every evening. Snow Buntings and

Lapland Longspurs are out in the fields somewhere. Check the standby spots

like Center Road or King Road. Look for manured fields, especially when

there is some snow cover on the ground.

Other winter visitors are less predictable. These can be extremely

frustrating to find in off years, but on the flip side, they offer those

last rays of hope in a rapidly waning year. We all want every year to be a

winter finch year, so we're hoping for White-winged Crossbills and Pine

Grosbeaks to show up. Check the spruce groves with cones and watch the

fruit-bearing trees. This is a Snowy Owl winter. Snowies are being seen

all over the country, even in areas south of us. Several dozen are in New

York state right now, so why not the Basin? Cruise the back roads and check

out the fields for big, white birds. (But watch out for gulls and white

garbage. My first Snowy Owl was a McDonald's bag.) Check the edges of the

main pool at Montezuma and watch along the lake shore. But you never know

where these guys might turn up. They have been seen on the Cornell campus,

and even on the clock/thermometer sign at the Triphammer Mall!

And what about the real vagrants? Check those feeders. Harris' Sparrow and

Varied Thrush have been here before, and could come again. Boreal Owl isn't

on the Basin list, but it undoubtedly occurs here, and some have been seen

in the eastern states this year. Check those small pine groves, looking for

whitewash and listening for mobbing chickadees. Maybe you'll find a

consolation Northern Saw-whet Owl instead.

There is some hope for December. That is one of the most fun things about

birding, namely, that you just never know what might turn up when. Although

you can maximize your chances of seeing rare but predictable things, weird

birds do turn up. So keep hoping and keep watching. And plan for the next


I hope that you learned something by participating in the David Cup this

year. I know I did. So now that you've done it once, you should be better

prepared to do it again. Go over your notes and see where you missed out.

What predictable birds did you miss? Why did you miss them? (Out of town

those weeks? Too lazy in the fall to go birding? Too wimpy to go out in

cold weather?) Will you do better next time? How many birds on your list

did you see only once or twice? You got lucky with those. How will you

make sure you see them again next year? We had a fair number of "good" or

rare birds this year. Don't count on Marbled Godwit or American Avocet

again next year (but keep looking for them!). But, we will have some more

good things next year, too. Especially if we have the excitement and

activity that we did this year. An amazing number of people saw an amazing

number of birds this year. Enthusiasm (that put alert people into the

field) and communication (that spread the word and got people on rare birds)

were responsible for this being an exceptional year for birding in the

Cayuga Lake Basin. There is no reason why we cannot do it again.

(Kevin McGowan is Associate Curator of the Cornell Vertebrate Collections.

He does not have Golden-winged Warbler on his David Cup list, although his

ten-year-old son Jay does.)


mmmmmmmmmmmmmm McILROY MUSINGS mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


(An open letter to Santa from our McIlroy leader, Allison Wells:)

Dear Santa:

What I really want for Christmas this year is for my McIlroy list to reach

200. I'm almost there, Santa. I've been working hard, but I need your

help. I've been very, very good, so I know you've probably been planning on

giving me a Jeep Cherokee or an all-expenses-paid trip to Aruba in January.

But Santa, a Snowy Owl and a Barrow's Goldeneye (both in McIlroy territory)

would make me very happy. A McNorthern Shrike, McBarred or McGreat Horned

Owl would also be appreciated. Santa, I know how much you enjoy rewarding

good girls and boys, so if you really, really want to, you can make my 200th

McIlroy bird a Laughing Gull. And throw in the trip to Aruba, too.

Thanks, Santa. I'll be sure to leave you milk and cookies, though please

don't be upset if my two cats, Mimi and Teddy, drink the milk before you get

here. They don't believe in you.






As many of you already know, Bard Prentiss was recently elected to the

prestigious position of President of the Cayuga Bird Club. In tribute to his

success, we honored Bard by making him the Bird Brain for The Cup 1.11.

Amazingly, Bard agreed to an interview. Now we're thinking, if we can get

Bard Prentiss, surely we can get former president (and birder) Jimmy


WE SAID: Congratulations! What's your vision for the Cayuga Bird Club now

that you've taken over as Chief of State?

HE SAID: I'm still working on the vision thing. I don't want to even think

about bridges to the next century or returning to the glorious 50's. They

are both a little scary to contemplate. My vision remains a bit nebulous

and I very much welcome any visions from other Bird Club members who wish

to share them. I guess I'd really just like the Club to continue in its

long tradition as a wonderfully diverse group of people who like to do bird

stuff. We do have a few bumps to smooth out, like adapting to our new

meeting format. Working on that, plus assisting in the planning of

newsletters and programs, the Christmas Count, the UNA bird census, the

June Count, etc., should at least begin to keep me occupied during

non-birding hours.

WE SAID: What made you decide to take on the role of CBC president?

HE SAID: I was asked nicely and saw it as an interesting challenge. Also, it

comes at a time in my life when I might otherwise have fewer opportunities

for the kinds of stimulation that such an office can provide.

WE SAID: How long have you lived in the Basin?

HE SAID: Since January 1964. A very long time.

WE SAID: What's your favorite place to go birding in the Basin (not


the most species-productive place, but simply the most enjoyable for you?)

HE SAID: I thought long and hard on this one and I don't really have one. I

guess it's wherever I am birding at the time. I like the Dryden Linnier

Park from Weber Street to Willow Crossing, 3.5 miles, a lot.

WE SAID: Have you birded areas outside the Basin, and if so, where?

HE SAID: Cave Creek Canyon, AZ. The hills outside of Santa Fe, NM., New

Brunswick, the Adirondacks, etc.

WE SAID: How did you first get interested in birds/birding?

HE SAID: I have been casually interested in birds ever since my parents took

me birding in Elmira, in the early 40's. They mysteriously stopped

birding when we left Elmira, and other things natural--trees, wildflowers,

mammals, reptiles and especially butterflies--took precedence for me until

about 1991. At that point I probably knew about 100 species of birds by

sight. In '91, I watched a Cooper's Hawk take a Rock Dove and then eat it in

the snow. That made a real impression on me, and I started paying more

attention to birds generally. Meeting and watching Ned, Adam, Bill and

Bernie id spots in the sky, at the hawk watch on Mt. Pleasant, helped a lot

too, as did joining the Cayuga Bird Club.

WE SAID: Do you have a favorite bird?

HE SAID: As a confirmed predator, I like all the raptors a lot.

WE SAID: We understand you recently retired. What was your profession


this grand event? What was the David Cup's role in this decision?

HE SAID: I retired from teaching Art and Art Education, and chairing the

Department of Art and Art History, at SUNY Cortland. Although the David Cup

was yet to be born, more time for birding was an important consideration in

support of retirement.

WE SAID: Why did you decide to join the race for the David Cup?

HE SAID: I just sort of fell into it. I was talking to Tom Nix and he

encouraged me to sign up. It sounded like fun. I figured it would get me

out more and I had nothing to loose so I jumped in. I'm very glad I did. I

am a better birder for it and have made lots of new friends. It's the most

friendy, least cut-throat, sharingest competition I have ever been a part


WE SAID: You will be attending the Cupper Supper, won't you? With your


HE SAID: Yes to both parts.

WE SAID: Thanks, Bard.

HE SAID: Bird hard.




Because birders suffer so many unique trials and tribulations, The Cup has

graciously provided Cuppers with a kind, sensitive and intuitive columnist,

Dear Tick, to answer even the most profound questions, like these...


Tried to think of a Dear Tick on the drive in this morning. The best

I could come up with was rigging a Rube Goldberg contraption on the

Wood Duck box in Union Springs so that snow would fall on the screech

owl when it came out, in which case it would be a snowy owl and could

be counted as such. Is that going anywhere, or should I scrap it?

--Driving Myself Crazy along Cayuga Lake

Dear Crazy:

Since your mindless scribble above is all I received from you, I guess that

means you "scrapped it." Too bad. Your creativity was so ingenious--and is

such a fine example of your desperation--that I would have given you the


(Send your questions for Dear Tick to The Cup at

vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote



vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote

Here's your chance to reflect on your experience and observations as a

Cupper in the 1st Annual David Cup/McIlroy birding competitions. Consider

what you've read in The Cup. Consider what you've read on Cayugabirds.

Consider what you've seen, heard, and learned. Now, if you're a Cupper,

cast your vote for the 1st Annual Cuppers' Choice Awards! Trophies will be

given out for each category at the Cupper Supper at the Wells' on January

18th. (By the way, e-mail the editors if you need directions.) Simply copy

this ballot form, paste it into a new message addressed to The Cup

(, and type in your nominees! All votes will be kept

confidential except when bribery prevails. NOTE: You may make up your own

write-in category, but you must supply your own trophy. Votes must be

received by January 13th, 1997. Have fun!

QUICK DRAW AWARD (to the fastest Cupper to post his/her sightings on


SLOW GIN AWARD (to the slowest Cupper to post sightings):

STRIKE OUT AWARD (to the Cupper who tried for certain birds but missed the

most times):

BEST DRESSED (not most appropriate for the weather, but who looked the


MOST MEMORABLE CAYUGABIRDS TYPO (what was the typo and who made it, to the

best of your recollection):

FAMILY TIME PRIZE (for the Cupper who demonstrated the best example of

birding time as "family time". Please give the example.):

THOREAU AWARD (for the Cupper with the most creative postings--artistic,

humorous, etc.--be sure to specify):

TREKIE AWARD (most number of miles Cupped):

HOMEBODY AWARD (least number of miles Cupped):

UNDYING PATIENCE PRIZE (to the Cupper who spent the most time offering

insights, answering questions, etc., on Cayugabirds):

TEAM SPIRIT PRIZE (to the Cupper who best kept Cuppers going to the end!):



(Mail this ballot with your answers to:

""""""""" CUP QUOTES """"""""

Great job on the latest Cup! It has that certain ... je ne sais quoi.

Tres oiseaux!"

--Ralph Paonessa

"A stitch!"

--Greg Budney

"Another outstanding edition I'm sure - wait what's this! Another quote of

mine is published! This could definitely improve my application for

promotion to Full Professor in 1998!"

--Margaret in


"It was a great Cup! The amount of energy the two of you put in this

is an asset to the entire birding community. Thanks-"

--Steve Kelling

"While waiting for the bus near the Greyhound Station (in Ithaca) between

7:50 and 8:05 am, I saw perhaps 400 loons. The interesting thing was that

they were swirling around in a confused manner, apparently concerned that

the lake

had ended."

--Michael Runge

"Sunday Nov 10, 3:00 pm, Barnes Hall, Cornell Chamber Singers; Scott

Tucker, conductor. On a Lark includes French choruses from Bernstein: The

Lark, Janequin: Le Chant des Oyseaux and works by other ornithologically

correct composers."

--Meena Haribal

"Bump me up one notch to 145 on the David Cup list... Ha det bra!"

--Matt Medler

"Uh-oh. Ken has tied me in the David Cup, and Kevin has moved past me--way

past me--in the McIlroy! Bill Evans is ahead of me now, too!"

--Jeff Wells

"Totals for November. Same as that for October, probably it will be same

for December also."

--Meena Haribal

"I hit that wall again. Nothing new for November."

--Bard Prentiss

"Don't forget the Cayuga Bird Club's *First Annual Cider and Donuts

Thanksgiving Day Morning Loon Watch* event that will take place this

Thursday. Be at Taughannock Park 15 minutes before dawn to watch a

potentially wonderful flight of migrating loons and enjoy the company and

refreshments provided by watcher Bill Evans. Dress WARMLY!!! (This can't be

emphasized enough!

--Laura Stenzler

"To all you hardy souls who contemplate visiting the Taughannock Loonwatch

on Thanksgiving morning, I, Bill Evans, provider of hot cider and donuts, do

hereby personally guarantee that at least 50 Loons will be seen from the

Taughannock Loon Watch between 6:30AM-9:30AM. If such a total is not

equaled or exceeded, I will be traditionally bound to perform a Swan dive

(in pike position) off the end of the pier into Cayuga's crystal depths."

--Bill Evans

"Okay, I'm not a Basin Dweller, but your teaser is just too intriguing.

Please send the latest Cup!"

--Randi Minetor

"Speaking of loons for Thanksgiving. . .as a write this I am watching a

Red-throated Loon swim north up Cayuga Lake just off my dock. I live about

one mile south of Taughannock State Park, so anyone interested in seeing


bird might want to scan south off that area this afternoon. Or, birders are

always welcome to bird from my dock as well."

--Andy Farnsworth

"On the Main Pool [at Montezuma], we had a few Wigeon, a Gadwall or two, and

a pair of male Pintail. The best birds of the day were a pair of


Scoters off Long Point. At May's Point we noted that the number of

Ross' Gulls was only about 1/3 as many as last year.:) (1/3 * 0 = 0)."

--Scott Mardis

"On Saturday we (Tom Nix, Stephen Davies, Sharon Skelly, Willi D'anna and

another individual whose name is lost in the mud of my brain) observed 11

species of gulls along the Niagara River...Believe it or not it was very

pleasant both birdwise and weatherwise on the river."

--Steve Kelling

"At 8:00 this morning a flock of about thirty dark-winged scoters went

by headed south at Myers Point. I think they were all or mostly

Black Scoters, although one or two Surf Scoters (which I still need!)

admittedly could hide undetected in a group this size. But I prefer

not to think about that possibility."

--Karl David

"By the way, my sister is NOT ahead of me in the football pool, my mother

and I are tied for the lead!"

--Casey Sutton

(see byline, Casey's Call, The Cup


"After leaving the Thanksgiving Loon Watch (did Bill Evans ever take his


dive?), we scoped a large flock of CANADA GEESE (1000's) offshore from

Canoga on Route 89 at around 9 a.m. In this group were at least two adult

and one immature white phase SNOW GEESE. Hanging out with them was a fourth

adult-plumaged Snow-Goose-like bird, but it was noticeably smaller. Because

of the distance and the fog on the lake, I couldn't make out any details

before we had to leave. Could the prodigal ROSS'S GOOSE have returned?"

--Ralph Paonessa

"How do I get a copy of The Cup? I'm not in the Ithaca area, but

Corning, NY, isn't that far away either."

--James P. Manley

"Is the McIlroy Cup limited to birds seen within Ithaca city limits?"

--Margaret in Mansfield, PA

"The McIlroy Award boundaries are...strictly speaking...those of the City of

Ithaca, but allowances have been made for the environs of Sapsucker Woods,

which extend somewhat outside strict city limits. There's been a lot of give

and take on this one..."

--Caissa Willmer

"...I believe that certain areas [of the McIlroy map] have been designated

Ithaca which are in fact gerrymandering!! I hear that next year the map

drawn for the town of Ithaca (the map used for the McIllroy Cup) will

include Rte 13 to Dryden, then up Beam Hill Rd., then down to Dryden Lake,

then over Hammond Hill, then briefly to Montezuma, with a stop at Montauk

along the way."

--Steve Kelling

"Thanks for all the neat info! I had numerous replies to my query about

boundaries and have a much better idea (sort of) about the David &

McIlroy Cups I read about in The Cup. I will plan on finding the book

about Birding in the Basin, too. I'm thinking of asking Allison & Jeff

about having a separate contest for out-of-state birders on the

Cayugabirds list (which would limit my competition greatly!) HA HA. I am

always amazed to read the variety of species found in this area."

--Margaret in Mansfield, PA

"I'm hooked. Please send me a copy [of The Cup]. Thanks."

--Linda Buttel

"Ah, umm, my mom is now ahead--way ahead, by five games--in the football

pool. And my sister's in second place. Jeff and I are tied for third.

Allison, you're in last place."

--Casey Sutton

"To follow up on the Wells' bluebird report- the roads that go down to the

lake along the stretch between Myers and Millikan Station have been good

hunting for wintering bluebirds fairly regularly in recent years. Yes-

what a treat to see and hear them against a bleak winter background!"

--John Greenly

"[Dennis], being from Sweden, didn't realize how rare a sighting of

Anhinga was, and so didn't make all the phone calls we would have liked.

(He didn't expect to see Great Egret here either.) It is unlikely, however,

that even if he had called anyone would have gotten on the bird, as he saw

it fly away and never saw it again. A number of Anhingas were reported in

the Northeast during that time, so it is highly probable that he was correct

in its identification. What else have we missed this year?"

--Kevin McGowan

"A flock of nearly 300 Brant just, 3:50pm,flew over Dryden lake. They were

all calling and only 75/100 yds up. Awesome!! I only wish they had landed.

Tomorrow should be a great day."

--Bard Prentiss

May Your Cup Runneth Over,

Allison and Jeff