Year 3, Issue 7&8


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*The electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy competition.

*  Editors: Allison Wells, Jeff Wells

*  Basin Bird Highlights: "Thoreau" Geo Kloppel

*  Pilgrim's Progress Compiler: "Stoinking" Matt Medler

*  Leader's List, Composite Deposit: "Thoreau" Geo Kloppel

*  Evans Cup Compiler: "Bird Hard" Bard Prentiss

*  The Yard Stick Compiler: Casey "Sapsucker Woods" Sutton

*  Bird Bits: Jay "Beam Hill Me Up, Scotty" McGowan

*  Stat's All: Karl "Father of the Madness" David

*  Bird Brain Correspondent: "Downtown" Caissa Willmer

*  Copyright Clerk: Jeff Wells



Oh, the harassment!  The incessant teasing--we just aren t used to that here

at The Cup.  So imagine the scene at Cup Headquarters when, upon returning

from a restful, family-filled--and very birdy--vacation to our precious Maine

in August, we got walloped with slander like this: "Slackers! How dare you

put off an issue of The Cup just for a vacation!"  "You re too cowardly to

bird the Basin, that s it, right?" and worst of the pile, "The Etna Challenge

stinks!"  We were like potoos caught in a flashlight.


Honestly, had we any idea there d be so much outrage over our blowing off

an issue of this hapharzardous publication, we d surely have not gone running

off to Maine.  No puffins, no shearwaters, gannets, or guillemots in the

rain off Pemaquid Point.  No Uppy Sandpipers atop scenic Appleton Ridge.

No frolicking in the waves at warm, sandy Goose Rocks Beach with much

missed nieces and nephews.  Oh, no.  You can bet your bins we d have been

right here, sweltering in the heat and humidity of Basin, cranking out

issue 3.7/8 for you, our loyal readers.


Mark our word, we promise never to pull that stunt again...until next time!


Till then, here s The Cup 3.7/3.8.  And when next time rolls around, we ll

make sure to have Cup mail held...and discarded.


                     @   @    @    @    @     @

                         NEWS, CUES, and BLUES

                       @   @    @    @     @     @


WELCOME TO THE DAVID CUP CLAN?: Who is that mysterious "Young" man

who suddenly began posting up a storm over the last few months?  It s Matt

Young, who would have been a Cupper long ago if he d joined the rest of the

world and gotten online earlier.  He s been birding the Basin avidly for a

long time, as his Basin totals can attest.  How does it feel, Matt, to

finally be a Cupper?: "You won t be hearing from Matt for a while.  He

fried his modem."  --Geo Kloppel


BYE-BYE BIRDER: Who are the latest Cuppers to slink out of the Basin for

good (or not so good)?  Alan "no relation to Jon as in  Into Thin Air "

Krakauer has this excuse: "I will be starting grad school at UC Berkeley

this fall! This year has been so much fun for me!  The birds have been

great--dozens of life species (shrike, redpoll, Upland Sandpiper, Henslow's

Sparrow, just to name a few), as well as great looks at birds I was not

real familiar with (CROSSBILLS!).  I could not have stumbled across half of

these without the help of all of you on the [Cayugabirds] list...Even

better is the supportive atmosphere I've found for a semi-serious birder

like myself (ok, maybe I've upgraded to semi-hardcore now). My only regret

(besides being a day late for the Gyrfalcon) is that I didn't get on this

list years ago when I first came to Cornell!"

      And, sadly, the John Bower-Bill Evans McIlroy feud has come to an end:

"I'm off to the land where dozens of Bald Eagles concentrate along salmon

runs, and auklets swim offshore - Bellingham, Washington, where I will be

starting as assistant professor at Fairhaven College, a part of Western

Washington University. Have been saying goodbye to many of the local

songbirds.  Hard to imagine living without the sounds of the Louisiana

Waterthrush, the Veery and Wood Thrush (though I will probably one day feel

that way about the songs of Dippers and Swainson's Thrush).  I will miss

them and will miss you all. And look forward to visiting soon..."

      Good luck and best wishes to Alan and John from your fellow Cuppers.

And remember: once a Cupper, always as Cupper.


DAVID AND CONQUOR: Not everyone who says they re leaving the Basin

actually leaves.  Karl David, for example.  Although we know the real

reason why (what, the Father of the Madness leave in the middle of a Basin

year? Never!), Karl offers up these non-parting words: "Now that Matt Young

has taken over from me as the birder perpetually camped out at Myers, it

would seem the appropriate time to say farewell. After all, we've already

had the farewell party ...BUT: just as anyone who took RMN seriously when

he said they wouldn't have him to kick around anymore, anyone who thinks

they're finally rid of me is wrong! I have accepted an offer I couldn't

refuse to stay at Cornell for the fall, so I'll be here through the

holidays putting the fear of God into Geo, Kevin and Jay for the Cup race!


go to Wisconsin as planned, I promise. Swear to God." Stay, Karl, stay.


MAKING THE D-LIST: Have you heard?  Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is

proposing to remove the Peregrine Falcon from the Endangered Species list!

You probably recall that during the 1960s and 70s, peregrines suffered

serious population declines due to use of DDT and other pesticides (which

caused them to lay thin-shelled eggs that broke during incubation, resulting

in serious reproductive failure).   Congress passed the Endangered Species

Act in 1973 to help species in decline.  The Peregrine Falcon was listed in

the early 1970s, when the population in the eastern United States was

decimated and western populations had declined by as much as 80 to 90

percent below historical levels.  By 1975, the population reached an all

time low of 324 nesting pairs in North America. The banning of DDT, coupled

with efforts

to protect the birds' nesting sites and habitat, has led to a strong recovery.

Currently, at least 1,593 pairs breed in the U.S. and Canada, well above

the overall recovery goal of 631 pairs. Although delisting the peregrine

would remove it from the Act's protection, peregrines would still be

protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In addition, the Service will

work with state wildlife agencies to monitor the status of the species for

a minimum of five years, as required by the Endangered Species Act. If it

becomes evident during this period that the bird again needs the Act's

protection, it would be relisted.


MUCKING THINGS UP: The 2nd Annual Muckrace mucked up great success for

conservation projects at the Montezuma Wetland Complex, raising $1625.

Fourteen teams competed in the midnight-9pm birding competition on

September 12, each vying to see which could identify the most bird species

during that time.  Three teams tied for first place with 116: the

Cupper-filled Wild Birds Unlimited Goatsuckers; some hot-shot birders from

Buffalo, and the Cornell Lab of O Sapsuckers.  Rest assured, The Cup was a

proud sponsor, even if co-coordinator of the project Jeff Wells (who also

happens to be coeditor of this fine publication) forget to plug us on the

t-shirt.  (Jeff has "volunteered" to pencil in our name on your t-shirt, if

you ll bring it by his office.)  Congratulations to everyone who

participated in and supported another fun Muckrace!


THE "AD"VANTAGE: Is that Kevin McGowan in the new Polo Sport print ad?

Well, no, but it is a birder...sort of.  At last, the fashion industry is

catching on that to be truly fashionable, one must be a birder.  So, along

with a he-man in a kayak and a plaintive woodswoman, the ad series includes

a guy with a pair of bins. Of course, there s no strap on them, and we can

only guess what he s REALLY looking at...


HAWKING HAWKS:  BirdSource <> continues to

monitor migrating birds.  Warbler Watch is still gathering info on the

movements of warblers, and now the International Broad-winged Hawk Survey

is collecting reports of Broad-wings as they return to their wintering

areas in Central and South America. Animated maps show the day-to-day

movements based on reports. If you see warblers or Broad-wings, please take

a minute to enter your records into the database.  It s fun, and it s for

the birds!


BIRD CUP BLUES AND ALL THAT JAZZ: No wonder nobody went to the

Syracuse Jazz Festival.  You re all saving your "family time" for the Bermuda

Jazz Festival!  If you didn t know already, it ll take place October 16 &

17 and will feature Lee Ritenour, The Rippingtons (with bassist Russ

Freeman), Jonathan Butler (possibly related to Chris, who we re told

actually plays the euphonia), The Manhattan Transfer, Kevin Eubanks (you

know, the guy from the Tonight Show band who s always pretending to laugh

at Jay Leno s jokes).  For more info, or to buy tickets for your faithful

editors, call 1-800-BERMUDA.


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

                           BASIN BIRD HIGHLIGHTS


                                Geo Kloppel


      I received notice of the suspension by editorial fiat of the July

issue of The Cup just as I was concluding that I needed to cook up some

serious filler for that month's Basin Bird Highlights. This is hardly the

case for August, so I guess I'll thank the editors for saving me the

trouble, though it was obvious enough what THEY were cooking up. Later,


about what fine Cayuga Birds they must have missed while playing hookey, I

realized that here was a fit, almost Homeric subject for verse.

      Actually I only did this in order to taunt them, but now it seems that

I've been conscripted to write this month's Composite Deposit and Leader's

List, too! Probably the draft is just an ill-concealed attempt to betray

the sham behind my quiet, self-effacing personality, by obliging me to blow

my own trumpet about still being the leader. Anyway, with school

string-programs starting up everywhere, I'm so busy that I don't have time

to author

something more prosy, so I suppose this poem'll just have to be circulated

as the Highlights!


(The proper tune to accompany this is "Stick To The Creature")


                      "STICK TO THE BASIN!"


To the editors:


It's tempting to dish you for dumping last issue,

    Oh didn't we miss you, Cup-editors dear!

So now in the Highlights you're lined-up in my sights,

    and YOU know that by rights you should have been here.

Oh yes, you defected, you cannot dispute,

    You might have elected to telecommute.

So here's my submission, display some contrition:

    enlarge my commission, cause I'm destitute!



So stick to the Basin, the best birds for chasin'

    are those that are gracin' our home-turf this year.

You went to the sea-coast, where you longed to be most,

    deserted your e-post for some salty pier!


Let's start with a few words about all those new birds

    our keen Cuppers skewered sometime in July.

I flagged all their writings with yellow highlightings,

    remarkable sightings were in short supply.

It's plain July offered us nothing too prime.

    It all neatly fits in this recycled rhyme:

"We tallied some breeders, filled hummingbird feeders,

    kept tabs on the leaders and bided our time."



So stick to the Basin, the best birds for chasin'

    are those that are gracin' our shorelines this year.

You went to see puffins? No time to draft rough-ins?

    The Cup rated sluffin', it's perfectly clear!


As August unloaded, the cold fronts foreboded

    that we'd be commoded with listables choice.

Sandpiper-additions made great-expeditions

    and short Myers-missions both cause to rejoice.

Beside misty mudflats The Cup-lists evolved

    as each morning's fogbank was newly dissolved.

Matt Young strove to topple his rival Geo Kloppel.

    It's sure he won't stop till the race is resolved.



So stick to the Basin, the best birds for chasin'

    are rare ones that somewhere near home must be hid.

The marks of Matt's tires were all over Myers

    while you peered at flyers off Point Pemaquid.


Now here my averred aim shall be no dull word game,

    To rhyme every bird name would be too extreme!

My duty's to list  em, cause you might've missed em,

    but I will not twist em to fit the rhyme-scheme.

With rhyming the warblers, why, yes I could cope,

    but what would I do with Wil-SON'S Phala-ROPE?

In poetic slurry a MERLIN's no worry

    but FRANKLIN'S GULL surely would lead me to grope!







    The SEMI-PALMATED and LEAST ones abound!

And when we weren't starin' at BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON,

    we nabbed a few BAIRD'S by their looks and their sound.



So stick to the Basin, the best birds for chasin'

    come visit us here while you're off on the brine.

Oh you can vacation all over the nation

    but your Basin-ration is sure to decline.


You'll scarce need reminding the consummate finding

    of August's unwinding was up in the north.

To know a Eurasian without hesitation

    demands cultivation - the Irish stepped forth.

That CURLEW SANDPIPER dropped out of the skies

    To prove Gerard Phillips has some pair of eyes!

Although he's no Cupper, you'd think at the Supper

    he ought to be up for some kind of a prize.



Yes stick to the Basin, the best birds for chasin'

    may come and then go like a flash in the pan.

So if you MUST wander far-off away yonder,

    Oh don't stay too long, come back quick as you can!


The taunt in my song is admittedly strong, yes,

    but don't get me wrong, it's delightful you're back!

Despite all the chaff, oh we owe you a laugh - "ho!"

    You've given the staff so much more time for slack.

And if you would like to vacation again,

    submit a request first, and I'll tell you when.

(I guess I should clue you, the dates offered you two

    will hinge on what's due through the Basin just then!)



So stick to the Basin, the best birds for chasin'

    are apt to arrive in the late-summer shine.

Yes, Maine can be jolly in August by golly,

    but travel is folly - the Cup's on the line!




(Final note: Earning special kudos in August were Matt Young, for

finding _TWO_ AMERICAN AVOCETs plus a Little Gull at Myers Point, and

Gary Chapin for Franklin's Gull and Cupper-to-be Gerard Phillips for that

electrifying CURLEW SANDPIPER, plus the second Whimbrel report of the

month, all at MNWR.


(Geo Kloppel makes and repairs violin bows. He was up for the Pulitzer Prize

in Poetry this year until Cup editors pulled strings.  Need you ask why?)


100      100      100      100      100      100      100       100

                                 100 CLUB

100      100       100      100       100       100       100       100


Sign on 100 Club Door:


                           "No G.E. Kloppel Poetry Allowed"


200          200          200           200           200

                                2     0    0

   200             200                            200           200


Sign on 200 Club door:

                           "No G.E. Kloppel Poetry Allowed"


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


1998 David Cup August Totals


Compiled by Matt Medler


229 Geo Kloppel

228 Matt Young

215 Ken Rosenberg

212 Kevin McGowan

211 Jay McGowan

209 Allison Wells

207 Karl David

205 Jeffrey Wells

201 Chris Butler

193 Pat Lia

192 Matt Sarver

190 Matt Medler

189 Jeff Wells

186 Meena Haribal

183 Alan Krakauer

182 Pat Lia

184 Anne Kendall

176 Steve Kelling

167 Nancy Dickinson

160 Jon Kloppel

154 John Greenly

153 Ben Taft

152 John Morris

146 Nancy Dickinson

145 Gary Chapin

141 John Fitzpatrick

139 Marty Schlabach

137 Perri McGowan

133 Steve Pantle

132 Jim Lowe

131 Kim Kline

120 Gary Chapin

115 Martha Fischer

112 Stephen Davies

102 Tom Nix

  99 Melanie Uhlir

  96 John Bower

  85 Michael Runge

  85 Caissa Willmer

  84 Carol Bloomgarden

  75 Swift McGowan (DC Kitty Cup)

  72 Anne James

  85 Ann Mathieson

  68 James "Birdy" Barry*

  57 Kylie Spooner

  54 Mimi Wells (DC Kitty Cup)

  48 Cathy Heidenreich

  46 Dave Mellinger

  43 Teddy Wells (DC Kitty Cup)

  42 Scott Mardis

  39 Kurt Fox

  35 Tom Lathrop

  34 Margaret Barker

  26 Andy Leahy

  20 Figaro (DC Kitty Cup)

   0 Ned Brinkley

   0 Ralph Paonessa*

   0 Larry Springsteen*

   0 Mira "the Bird Dog" Springsteen*


*Currently living out-of-state.  And, for some reason, proud of it.


1998 McIlroy Award August Totals


Compiled by Matt Medler


161 Allison Wells

151 Jeff Wells

132 Kevin McGowan

131 Jeff Wells

125 Karl David

112 Ken Rosenberg

110 Jay McGowan

  99 Jim Lowe

  93 Martha Fischer

  91 Matt Medler

  89 John Bower

  82 Michael Runge

  80 Anne Kendall

  74 Ben Taft

  60 Stephen Davies

  42 Dave Mellinger

   0**Bill Evans


**Nonentheless claims to be ahead.


1998 Evans Trophy August Totals


NOT compiled by Bard Prentiss


(Get onto him!)


1998 August Lansing Totals


134 Kevin McGowan

122 John Greenly


1998 August Etna Challenge!


80 Allison Wells

72 Jeff Wells

17 Casey Sutton


THE YARD STICK ----------------------------


By Casey Sutton


120 Steve Kelling, Berkshire, NY

117 Ken Rosenberg, Dryden, NY

116 Geo Kloppel

111 Kevin McGowan, Dryden, NY

110 John Fitzpatrick, Ithaca, NY

104 John Bower, Enfield, NY

  83 Nancy Dickinson, Trumansburg, NY

  80 Jeff and Allison Wells, Etna, NY

  65 Darlene and John Morabito, Auburn, NY

  64 John Greenly, Ludlowville, NY

  52 Ben Taft, Ithaca, NY

  50 Ann Mathieson, Scipio Center, NY

  44 Jeff and Allison Wells, Etna, NY

  28 Susann Argetsinger, Burdett, NY




By Geo Kloppel


Hard to believe, but I'm still in the lead! I added 17 birds between the

last issue of The Cup and the end of August, for a total of 229. The

remaining possibilities are relatively few now, but I'm still keen to

pursue them. Here's the complete list:


R-t & C Loon,P-b,H & R-n Grebe,D-c Cormorant,Am & L Bittern,

G Egret,G B & G Heron,B-c Night Heron,T & M Swan,S & C Goose,

Wood Duck,G-w Teal,AmBlack Duck,Mallard,N Pintail,B-w Teal,

N Shoveler,Gadwall,Am Wigeon,Canvasback,Redhead,R-n Duck,

G & L Scaup,Surf & W-w Scoter,C Goldeneye,Bufflehead,Hooded,

C & R-b Merganser,Ruddy Duck, Turkey Vulture,Osprey,Bald Eagle,

N Harrier,S-s & Cooper's Hawk,N Goshawk,R-s,B-w,R-t & R-l Hawk,

Am Kestrel,Merlin,Peregrine,R-n Pheasant,Ruffed Grouse,Wild Turkey,

VA Rail,C Moorhen,Am Coot,Am Golden,Bk-bellied & Semi Plover,

Killdeer,AM AVOCET,G & L Yellowlegs,Solitary,Spotted & Upland

Sandpiper,Whimbrel,R Turnstone,Sanderling,Semipalmated,Western,

Least,W-r,Baird's & Pectoral Sandpiper,Dunlin,CURLEW SANDPIPER,

Stilt Sandpiper,Short-&Long-billed Dowitcher,C Snipe,Am Woodcock ,

W's Phalarope,B's,R-b,Herring,Iceland,L B-b & G B-b Gull,Caspian,

C,F's & Black Tern,Rock & Mourning Dove,B-b & Y-b Cuckoo,

E Screech-Owl,G H,Barred,L-e,S-e & N S-w Owl,CNighthawk,W-p-w,

Chimney Swift,R-t Hummingbird,Belted Kingfisher,R-h & R-b Woodpecker,

Y-b Sapsucker,Downy & Hairy Woodpecker,N Flicker,Pileated

Woodpecker,E Wood-Pewee,Acadian,Alder,Willow & Least Flycatcher,

E Phoebe,G C Flycatcher,E Kingbird,Horned Lark,Purple Martin,Tree,

N R-w,Bank,Cliff & Barn Swallow,Blue Jay,Am & Fish Crow,C Raven,

B-c Chickadee,T Titmouse,R-b & W-b Nuthatch, Brown Creeper,Carolina,

House,Winter & Marsh Wren,G-c & R-c Kinglet, B-g Gnatcatcher,E Bluebird,

Veery,Hermit & Wood Thrush,Am Robin,Gray Catbird,N Mockingbird,

B Thrasher,Am Pipit,C Waxwing,N Shrike,Euro Starling,B-h,Y-t,Warbling,

Philly & R-e Vireo,B-w,TN &Nashville Warbler,N Parula,Yellow,C-s,

Magnolia,B-t blue,Y-r,B-t Green,Blackburnian,Pine,Prairie,B-b,Blackpoll,

Cerulean & B-and-w Warbler,Am Redstart,Prothonotary & W-e Warbler,

Ovenbird,N & LA Waterthrush,Mourning Warbler,C Yellowthroat,Hooded,

Wilson's & Canada Warbler,Scarlet Tanager,N Cardinal,R-b Grosbeak,

I Bunting,E Towhee,Am Tree, Chipping, Field, Vesper, Savannah,

Grasshopper,Henslow's,Fox,Song,Swamp & W-t Sparrow,D-e Junco,

S Bunting,Bobolink,R-w Blackbird,E Meadowlark,Rusty Blackbird,C Grackle,

B-h Cowbird,B & O Oriole,Pine Grosbeak,Purple & House Finch,Red &

W-w Crossbill,C Redpoll,Pine Siskin,Am Goldfinch,E Grosbeak,H Sparrow.





The following additions, reported by others, bring the year's Basin total

thus far to 252. I sure hope to see some of these in the months to come:


Brant,E Wigeon,Oldsquaw,Black Scoter,BLACK VULTURE,Golden

Eagle,GYRFALCON,Sora,FRANKLIN'S GULL,Little Gull,Glaucous Gull,Snowy

Owl,Olive-s & Y-b Flycatcher,G-c & Swainson's Thrush,Golden-w,Cape May &

Palm Warbler,Lincoln's & W-c Sparrow,Lapland Longspur,HOARY REDPOLL.


(You already know about Geo. Quite a poet, ain't he? *#*$%*$^#$!)



                      <  COACH'S CORNER      <

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

                     <           <

                      <         <

                        < < < <


Where is Bill Evans? Some say Cape May, NJ; others say he s off harassing

John Bower out in Washington (thereby providing himself with an excuse for

when his Basin and McTotals fall far short of his earlier prognosis).  Still

others say he s right here in the Basin, following the advice he doled

out to Cuppers last year at this time.  If it s good enough for Bill, it

may or may not be good enough for the rest of us, but we re going to

go ahead and run it anyway:


COACH EVANS: Fall migration is the home stretch in the David and

McIlroy Cup competitions, and the long-awaited period from mid-September

through mid-October is when some of our region's premier species can be

found.  Even if one is well behind the leaders in Cup competition, finding

a rarity can rev the engine of inner satisfaction to realms of victory.

Though species are equally weighted in the competition, a qualitative

difference in their value exists.  In fact, there is a ranking to the

ticks not formally recognized by the competition but one that is valid and,

in a sense, superior (i.e., it's the quality of the tick that counts!).

      For example, finding your own bird is better than seeing a "chased

bird."  No doubt, the personal experience of finding the regionally rare

American Avocet would rank higher than rushing to see the bird after

finding out about it from another birder.

      Of course, Cup bureaucrats might say that swinging this unofficial

sword of quality is the kind of psychological tactic Coach Evans must wage

when his Cup totals are so far off the pace of the leaders.  The truth is

out there!

      Below are species that top my list of rarities to be found in the

Cayuga Lake Basin during the mid-September through mid-October period,

along with strategies for finding them:


1) Dickcissels are on the move late-September through mid-October, and

though they migrate at night, they are prone to continuing their migration

in the morning.  Cayuga Lake acts as a catcher's mitt for diurnal-migrant

songbirds in fall migration (robins, jays, waxwings, etc.).  As the

eastern lake shore curves southeastward, many southbound birds don't want

to cross the lake for fear of being picked off by a Merlin or sharpy, so

they fly along the shore and round the lake's south end, flying over the

Ithaca City Golf Course and Stewart Park.  Listening for the distinctive

call note of the Dickcissel (example on the Stokes audio field guide)

at these locations or along the eastern Cayuga Lake shoreline in the

morning hours during favorable migration weather could very well yield a



2) LeConte's Sparrow is a potential fall migrant through the Cayuga Lake

Basin.  Typically, they select upland hayfields with long grass as

stopover sites.  For example, the extensive fields where a Sedge Wren

was found two summers ago is excellent LeConte's habitat.  The best time to

check this habitat for a migrant LeConte's is during the first week or so of

October.  One strategy might be to get a line of birders (each birder

standing maybe 20 yards apart) and sweep through fields of this long grass

habitat listening for the thin, high-pitched, down-slurred contact call of

LeConte's (also on Stoke's audio guide).  Pishing is often successful to

bring this species up into view.  If enough acreage is covered, I wouldn't be

surprised if another rarity turned up--a Yellow Rail!  Both these species

are probably regular fall migrants through the Cayuga Lake Basin but their

habitat rarely gets covered.


3) Connecticut Warbler is one of the most savored fall migrant wood

warblers passing through the Cayuga Lake Basin, and it is well known that

mid-September is the peak time for finding them.  Local wisdom tells us

to search patches of Jewel Weed for this gem of a skulker.  Yet a few

years ago I spoke with Paul Kerlinger, then director of the Cape May Bird

Observatory.  He said that for years at Cape May, their banding operations

captured very few Connecticuts and they didn't understand why because the

species was seen regularly in morning flight at the Higbee dike migration

count.  Then one year they put some nets across hedgerows and banded over

50 Connecticuts in three weeks, by far their highest season total.  Maybe

we would have better luck finding this species if we checked hedgerows

with Jewel Weed.


Keep digging!


(Bill Evans is a Lab Associate at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

He has heard the "voice of God" while conducting his night-migration work.)



                            !   KICKIN' TAIL!  !



What better way to prove that you can stay on top of your game, even when Cup

editors show they can t stay on top of theirs, 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, or oded his way to the top of the David Cup list.


THE CUP: It was looking mighty close for a while this month.  Were you

working up a sweat about that upstart Matt Young catching up to you?


KLOPPEL: Matt's got all my enthusiasm and then some, plus the advantages of

youth and a more extensive life-list! He was a force to be reckoned with. I

knew that desperado measures were called for, and when his car died I saw my



THE CUP: We thought you said it was his modem that got fried? Ah, same diff.


KLOPPEL: I cleaned out the back seat of my Volvo, which was still crammed

with all my Howland Island gear from July (bicycles, head nets, saddlebags,

waterbottles and more), creating a space just big enough to stuff a body

into, then I called him up and innocently asked if he'd like to go birding

with me... (pregnant pause) We had a great time, and became birding

buddies. Matt's challenge is a nice change. The competition has been

somewhat tame lately.


THE CUP: Hear that, Kev?


KLOPPEL: But I expected my comfortable margin to evaporate in the fall,

and various participants to be poised for a sprint. Some are doing this now:

Lists are filling up with the warblers that so many Cuppers missed in the

spring, the shorebird migration has peaked, and the Muckracers have done

their big day. The head-table at the 200 Club is going to become crowded.

It only seats ten, you know.


THE CUP: We can always drag people away from it at random, like we did

last year. Poor Matt Medler.


KLOPPEL: Frankly I'll be pleased if I can retain my place there for the

remaining months, and not be obliged to relocate to a lower seat at one of

the side tables as various seasoned Cuppers overtake me.


THE CUP: You say that all the time, yet Rosenberg, Kelling, not even Father

Karl ever seem to pull it off.


KLOPPEL: Not that I ever sought to take the Cup myself, mind you! What,

after all, would I do with the thing? It was hardly a serviceable

receptacle for beer


THE CUP: Hey, we thought Karl did okay with it two years back.  Sure, we

were sponging up the rug for a month after the Cupper Supper, but he did

manage to get a drop or two in his mouth.


KLOPPEL --even before perching for six months on Stephen Davies' dashboard.

I briefly indulged in a day-dream that I might install a flashing light

(blue) in it and keep it on MY dashboard, held at the ready for signaling

motorists that they should yield to my emergency bird-response vehicle. But

everyone by now has noticed that those who once win the Cup relax the pace



THE CUP: Or they go and do something like get married and leave the Basin.


KLOPPEL: In fact, a lot of those who DON'T win the Cup ease-up after a

serious try. You can tell they've read their Kenn Kaufmann, and know that a

big year is actually only a good beginning or a refreshing interlude - once

it's over, win or lose, it's time to go back, take one's time and enjoy

getting to know the birds better.


THE CUP: Aw, what does Kaufmann know about birding? Anyway, what did

you do all last month, since you didn't have The Cup to mull over?


KLOPPEL: C'mon! I never spend any time to speak of on that [witness the poem

in this month s Highlights!] But I do think about the game at times,

mulling over the development of the play, or the philosophy behind the

rules. Take the rule against "trading" birds, for example. At first glance,

it looks like the organizers intended the lists to realistically reflect

individual experience - to list a bird, participants must encounter it in

person. But as I thought more about it I came to see that the rules of the

David Cup competition are superior to mere realism. "Realism" is

corporations trading the Pollution Credit Allowances doled out to them like

monopoly-money in anticipation of toxic events.


THE CUP: Uh, Geo-


KLOPPEL: It's the courts bartering immunity in exchange for evidence.


THE CUP: [Embarrassed laugh] That s right, Geo.  Now--


KLOPPEL: It's the twenty-year wait before chemical products demonstrated

to cause extensive wildlife mortality stand a significant chance of being

banned by legislation.


THE CUP: Geo! There, that s better, now. (Sorry, ladies and gentlemen)


KLOPPEL: By Cup rules, I'm not permitted to barter a few birds with my

fellow Cuppers? Now that's IDEALISM! But even though I can't pick up a

few birds in trade, I CAN tap the skills and enthusiasm of fellow birders,

and that's a big part of the beauty of the game and the genius of the Cup



THE CUP: Amen!


KLOPPEL: I owe many of my best August birds to my fellow Cuppers.

August is a busy month in the shop because schools are preparing to

open, and people want to get their bows refurbished. But after work, chasing

shorebirds and early migrants was what I was mostly about, and I eventually

added 13 species, including two American Avocets (thanks to Matt Young,

who telephoned me from the point!), Sanderling, Western Sandpiper (thanks to

Ken & Steve for showing me this one, though I take credit myself for

tailing them to May's Point), Baird's Sandpiper (thanks to John Hall),

Curlew Sandpiper (Thanks to Gerard Phillips, and to the folks who spread

the news promptly), Whimbrel (entirely my own find, but I'm glad Gerard saw

one a few days later. I've been meaning to ask him if he had company, which

would liberate another "free bird" in my list, but nobody has seen him

lately, and there's a rumor circulating that he had to get a job. What a

waste!), Stilt Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Long-billed Dowitcher,

and Peregrine Falcon.


THE CUP: Sure, rub it in some more.  Okay let s have it out: [Posed

pre-highlights poem...] Is there anything you'd like to say to the editors

for blowing off the last favor of a vacation?!


KLOPPEL:  Ah, they'll get a good ribbing, alright, but I don't blame them for

taking off. I know they had some really nice days, and saw some birds of

which I'm envious. In fact I came very near to making a trip to Maine

myself, but in the end I decided to let Pat go off without me. Even if I

had been there, I probably couldn't have prevented her field guide and

Cup-list from going overboard. They now lie at the bottom of Casco Bay.


THE CUP: What a shame.  But think of what a nice find they ll be to some

unsuspecting scuba diver some day.


KLOPPEL: List-reconstruction is a good exercise for her! As for the editors,

who are far more efficient birders than I am, I'm expecting that many of the

Basin birds I worked so hard for will now fall quickly to them. But not ALL

of them, I trust.


THE CUP: One can only hope. What was your favorite birding moment this

past month?


KLOPPEL: There were many great moments. Most were shared by others, like the

convocation to view male and female avocets at Myers Point, and the great

gathering on the dike at MNWR for the Curlew Sandpiper. That would have

been unbeatable for favorite moment, until the evening I came all alone

upon a Whimbrel at Mays Point. Not nearly as splendid a find as Gerard's,

but it's just a fabulous feeling to discover a lifer that's instantly

recognizable, that you don't have to study closely in order to convince

yourself you have a new bird. Only eight minutes I allowed myself to drink

in the sight before heading for a telephone, but how memorable!


KLOPPEL: You re a good guy. Okay, we're asking you this only because you'll

hit us up in the Highlights column again if we don't: What s in your CD




solo performances by more than 20 fiddlers from the vicinity of the village

of Kaustinen, Finland.


THE CUP: That s what s in ours!


KLOPPEL These were selected from the archives of a much larger recording

project recently conducted by the KANSANMUSIIKKI INSTUTUUTTI, the

national Folk Music Institute, originally undertaken in order to document

stylistic individualities before the standardizing influence of written

music and large joint performances quietly obliterates them. Kaustinen is the

historic center of Finnish fiddling and home of the greatest annual

folk-music festival in Scandinavia, as well as the national Folk Music

Institute. They produce a lot of great stuff there! But I swear that the

next time I go to Finland I'm taking my birding gear, not just my fiddle.


THE CUP: Meanwhile, we d like to borrow that CD...




                              By Jay McGowan



Jay blew us off this month.  His Big Daddy was in South Africa,

remember? So he wasn t online.  Forgive him. But not Bard.



                        STAT'S ALL, FOLKS

                          By Karl David



Father Karl is always the first to send in his totals at the beginning of

the new month. He s also never missed sending in a Stat s All column since

its inception.  What are the chances that he d finally let his die-hard Cup

fans down after a month off, even! You do the math


(Karl David is [still] a mathematics professor on sabbatical at Cornell.

His lack of a column this month could in fact be the result of the Wells

faulty at-home email.  Or maybe not.)



                               SCRAWL OF FAME



(If you have an opinion--or insider information--about the art,

science, and/or esthetics of birding or birding-related topics,

write it up for the Scrawl of Fame.)



mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm    McILROY MUSINGS   mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm



We told you, to heck with McIlroy Award (even though our champion still

leads!). Let s talk about the Etna Challenge...


THE CUP (Allison): Why Etna?


WELLS (Allison): I ve conquered Ithaca not once but twice.  I decided to move

out of town so someone else could have a chance at McGlory.  Etna s the

perfect place to move on to because no one else birds here except Chris and

Diane Tessaglia-Hymes, and they re expecting a baby soon.


THE CUP (Allison): We heard Bill Evans bought you that house as a strategy to

get you out of Ithaca. Can you confirm this?


WELLS (Allison): No, that s a rumor.  He did offer to buy us a house, but

it was in Cleveland.  We decided ultimately to stay in the Basin.  This

particular house nearly abuts the grassland area where the Henslow s

Sparrows bred until it got too shrubby the last few years.  There were

Upland Sandpipers practically in the backyard here last year.  Plus,

there s a

tennis court just up the street.


THE CUP (Allison): What does a tennis court have to do with the Etna



WELLS (Allison): I ve kicked Matt Medler around on it pretty bad.  He s got

a nice dropshot, but it doesn t compete with my serve.  This humbles

Matt and siphons his confidence in all of the competitions. Of course, until

he gets his priorities straight and stops running off to the Adirondacks at

the drop of a hat, he ll never be a competitor, anyway.  Bill, on the other

hand, has been inviting himself to dinner quite often, but we ve been able

to put him off so far.


THE CUP (Allison): What s your "best" Etna bird so far?


WELLS (Allison):  We heard a Yellow-billed Cuckoo earlier in the summer, a

nice surprise.  The very day I put up the bird feeder (June), a Pine Siskin

made a visit. Oh, when the house inspector made his tour last January, a

flock of 32 Evening Grosbeaks flew over the house.  (That clinched it as

our dream house, even though it has no plumbing and the electricity is

shorting out even as I write.)


THE CUP (Allison):  Hey, you can t let silly things like modern conveniences

interfere with a good yard list.


WELLS (Allison): We ve also had Common Raven and Northern Goshawk

from our yard.  And it s a nice location to listen to night migrants.


THE CUP (Allison):  Do you think you can break 100?


WELLS (Allison):  In Etna?  Uunless you count the stream that runs through

our neighbor's yard after particularly heavy rain, we're lakeless. Even

though we re technically in Dryden, we re still a tad too far to see Dryden

Lake from our rooftop -about six miles away.  Of course, this would be no

probelm for Ken Rosenberg.


THE CUP (Allison):  Good luck in the Etna Challenge. It s been good talking

with you.


WELLS (Allison):  Thank you, it was a pleasure talking with you, too.



                     BIRD BRAIN OF THE MONTH

                       By Caissa Willmer



      This month's Bird Brain rose from a bed of illness and exhaustion to

answer the questions put to him about his birding persona. The exhaustion

was generated by his efforts as a member of the Goatsuckers team in

Montezuma Muck Race '98--a team that tied for first place with 116 species.

This month's Bird Brain is one of the many ornithological Matts that seem

to be drawn to Cornell and the Lab of O--this time, it's Matt Sarver,

recent winner of the Lillian Stoner Award, which will be taking him off to

the upcoming Federation of New York State Bird Clubs' conference.