Year 4, Issue 5-6


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

*Editors: Allison Wells, Jeff Wells

*Basin Bird Highlights, Leader's List, Composite Deposit:

* "Thoreau" Geo Kloppel

* Pilgrim's Progress: "Stoinking" Matt Medler

* Evans Cup: "Bird Hard" Bard Prentiss

* Stat's All: Karl "Father of the Madness" David--NOT!

* Bird Brain Correspondent: "Downtown" Caissa Willmer--TRY AGAIN!

* Animation Supervisor: Jeff Wells


Wanna know the real reason behind all the Women's World Cup hoopla?


it has nothing to do with a bunch of lady jocks kicking a ball around a


over wheatfield. Truth is, there wouldn't be such soccer fanaticism if it

weren't for...the Matts. That's right, THE Cup, the David Cup, would be the

cup featured on magazine covers, news broadcasts, and talk shows if it

weren't for the "M" word. The strategies, the adrenaline, the bin-to-bin

competition -- Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, and Matt got the crowd wound up and

then...fzzzzz. Like so much hot air slinking out of a sorry tire. What else

was the world to do?

With all that pent-up energy and no Matts to get giddy over, Mia and the


galloped into the spotlight.

Commend us for doing our part, will ya? In the midst of the merciless

slow-burn of summer, we steadfast staffers (minus Caissa -- tssk! -- and

you guessed it, Matt) bring you The Cup 4.5 & 6. We do a little kickin'

around in this issue ourselves, and you won't see Jeff prancing about in a

black sports bra just to get on the cover of Newsweek. And don't look for

us on Oprah's overstuffed couch, either.

On the other hand, you just might catch us on Springer...

@ @ @ @ @ @


@ @ @ @ @ @

WELCOME TO THE DAVID CUP CLAN: Who the heck is Ben Fambrough?

A question better answered by Matt Medler, who received a Cup commission


reeling in this latest fish and freeing him in the David Cup sea. Of

course, we could have asked Ben himself, but he might say something about

himself that's actually true, and we have The Cup's reputation to protect.

We'll say only that we think he's a student at Cornell. Other than that,

all bets are off. Welcome to The Cup, Ben. That is your name, isn't it?

RADIO KILLED THE BINOCULAR STAR? Actually, no. In fact, it may have

saved the likes of Geo Kloppel and others. Some guy at some company built

some binoculars that have some kind of radio in them. So what if it's

supposed to be for fans of less popular sports than birding (baseball,

football)? You know, so those poor duds that have seats on the moon but

like the idea of being "in the stadium" can actually see AND hear what's

going on with the game. We at The Cup prefer the image of Geo Kloppel

wandering around his vast Danby yard tracking down Golden-winged Warblers

with the fife and drums of "The Thistle and Shamrock" lilting from the

innards of his Swarovskis. No more excuses like, "I didn't go look for

Ken's Tricolored Heron at Montezuma

because Garrison Keiler was actually funny this week and I wanted to

hear the

whole show." Now, if we can just get bins with a built-in TV, Geo won't


to choose between birding and "Xena, Warrior Princess."

"SHOT" IN THE DARK: Speaking of Geo, seems Mr. Kloppel was dropped

from the subscribers list of The Shotglass last issue. What was Shot

compiler Matt Medler trying to hide from Geo? Geo's got a pretty good

idea what happened: "Possibly he only wanted to protect me from the

disappointment of discovering that I had slipped down to fourth place. Or

perhaps he was disgruntled over my failure to provide him with that West


Whip-poor-will he so eagerly anticipated - you know, he instructed me to

call him instantly when it arrived, even if it was in the middle of the

night! Apparently someone out in Etna heard one on the roof in the wee

hours and didn't even think of getting out of bed to phone him - imagine

that!" Matt, don't hold the Wells' Whip-poor-will against poor Geo. After

all, they don't call 'em goat "suckers" for nothing.

BASE REMARKS: Geo wasn't the only Cup subscriber sending along

juicy, trouble-starting notes last month. Consider this zinger from

Jeff's own brother in Boise, Idaho: "Matt: Please relay to Jeff and Allison

Wells that they seem to be slacking. I base this on their totals for the


few months. Jeff's slacking is especially alarming. Allison might need

to find a birding partner with more stamina and gusto! Thank you for

relaying this message. -- Tim Wells" Tim, if you're still out there, we

promise we'll do better...just as soon as you start sending in the "yard

totals" from your Buckin' Bagel shop. And by the way, could you

Fex Ex a half-dozen sesame bagels and a large coffee with extra caffeine?

ROCKY MOUNTAINS HIGH!: Have you given a listen to "Bird Songs

of the Rocky Mountain States and Provinces," the new audio production

from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Library of Natural Sounds? The

CD features many bird vocalizations captured on no other audio guide. You

can sample the CD at the Lab's web site <>. The

CD is available at Wild Birds Unlimited of Sapsucker Woods (Ithaca),

(607) 266-7425, and also through the ABA and other outlets. Whether

you're planning on birding in the Rockies or just dreaming about it --

or would just like to listen to some really cool bird vocalizations,

get your copy today!

BIRD CUP BLUES AND ALL THAT JAZZ: Ever been to Nacho Mama's

Mexican Restaurant and Blues Cantina? Neither have we, but it calls itself

"The Finger Lakes Home of the Blues, Where National Recording Artists

Play!" Since Cupper Catherine Sandell was the one who dropped the flier

off at Cup Headquarters, we're assuming she's given it a taste and, more

importantly, a listen. We'll try and harangue her into writing a review for

an upcoming issue, but if you're ansy to try it yourself before then, it's

located at 93 Seneca St., Geneva. Don't worry, although the menu items

are in Spanish, there's an English translation, so you won't wonder if

"Aves" is Eskimo Curlew. It's actually starling.

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



Geo Kloppel

The people of Finland name their country, Suomi, "The Bog" or

"The Marsh". They're justified. The glacial landscape of the arctic

paradise nation is richly pocked with wetlands. Among them is Torronsuo,

a 26-square-kilometer peatbog filled in springtime with cranes, curlews,

lapwings, wood sandpipers and golden plovers. During the May mating

season the Ruffs become conspicuous there, like bright little cockerels

among the shorebirds. And it was the arresting white plumage of a

vagrant RUFF that caught the eyes of David Gooding and Mike Tetlow as

they scanned the broad, exposed bottom of the shrinking Main Pool at

MNWR on May 2nd. Happily, the transatlantic visitor was a male - a

female might have escaped notice at that season. Even the Ruff seemed

to find acceptable stand-ins for females of its own species among the

numerous Pectoral Sandpipers.

If a Ruff in breeding dress, lingering day after day, wasn't enough to

get you going, two gorgeous male EURASIAN WIGEONS were also present

on the main pool. Add a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE feeding

in the lawn at the visitors center, plus the chance to see numerous UPLAND

SANDPIPERS at the nearby Seneca Falls Fairgrounds, and you had a

birding opportunity that was almost impossible to credibly excuse yourself

from, whether you had to call in sick, cut classes, or even ride a bicycle

up the lake.

We know one birder who had to muscle the long miles to the Refuge, but

others found it was possible to view these drive-up birds in

air-conditioned comfort. A stretch of easy going with great birds is always

welcome in our potentially arduous sport. But seldom can one advance the

cause of cushy birding as decisively as Allison Wells did, detecting a

WHIP-POOR-WILL in her yard early on May 4th without even the necessity

Of getting out of bed. Jeff achieved nearly the ultimate in effortless

birding, merely rousing to an elbow in the ribs long enough to hear the

call and note the time: it was 2 AM.

Within the next several days Chris Hymes had found a LITTLE GULL at

Montezuma, Meena Haribal and David McDermitt had a KENTUCKY WARBLER

At Mundy, Kevin and Jay McGowan alerted us to a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED

GOOSE at Stewart Park, this writer enjoyed a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER

in his yard in West Danby, and Ben Fambrough showed us that AMERICAN

BITTERNS were continuing at Jennings Pond, almost as if they'd had warning

that the main pool at Montezuma was going to become inhospitably dry this

year. On the 11th Kevin found an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER in his yard

on Beam Hill. West Danby replied next day with its established specialty, a

WORM-EATING WARBLER. Exiled Cupper Karl David submitted trademark

wordplay with reference to his past glories, writing from afar with a

tale of

47 Avocets at Myers, but of course we're still waiting for our first

American Avocet of the year.

The month of May being what it is, we had plenty of other birds of




CHEEKED THRUSH and a few PHILADELPHIA VIREOS, to name just some of them.


Goodson relocated last year's LAWRENCE'S WARBLER along the South Hill Rec

Way, Matt Young heard an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER near Lake Como, Marva

Gingrich offered us a SANDHILL CRANE at MNWR, and for a great capper on t

he final day of May, Kevin and Jay discovered a GLOSSY IBIS at Tschache


The spring shorebird migration came to a close with a flock of 15

SANDERLINGS at Myer's Point on June 3rd. The very successful Ithaca June

Count, held on the 13th, set a few records and firsts, including 2 SOLITARY

SANDPIPERS, possibly the first fall migrants. Matt Young found NASHVILLE


Rosenberg had a single fly-over RED CROSSBILL. A SANDHILL CRANE showed


and HENSLOW'S SPARROWS continued in some old locations, and turned up in

some new ones, too. A BREWSTER'S WARBLER was found along Caswell Road.

Otherwise June was pretty humdrum. Some big storms to liven things up would

be a nice touch about now.

(Geo Kloppel makes and repairs violin bows. He'll let you know

how those radio binoculars work. That is, if you want to buy him

a pair.)

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

100 CLUB

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

SIGN ON 100 CLUB DOOR: "Where are the rest of you turkeys?"

200 200 200 200 200

2 0 0

200 200 200 200

Sign on 200 Club door: "We predict Jay McGowan will be the

next Cupper through the door. Oh, er, never mind. There he is,

over in the corner, throwing kitty treats out the window to Swift."

Geo Kloppel's BIRD 200: Least Sandpiper

Chris Tessaglia-Hymes' BIRD 200: Black Tern

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

June 1999 David Cup Totals


224 Matt Young

217 Matt Sarver

213 Geo Kloppel

209 Matt Medler

205 Kevin McGowan

204 Jay McGowan

203 Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

194 Meena Haribal

194 Ken Rosenberg

190 Steve Kelling

185 Allison Wells

184 Matt Williams

184 Jon Kloppel

183 Ben Fambrough

183 Anne Kendall

163 Jeff Wells

154 Pat Lia

157 Rachel Kloppel

157 Tringa "the Yellow-legged" Dog

146 Nancy Dickinson

138 Marty Schlabach

134 Ben Taft

127 Jim Lowe

125 Anne James

121 Brian Mingle

120 Carol Bloomgarden

119 Bard Prentiss

119 Melanie Uhlir

114 John Fitzpatrick

111 Terry Mingle

107 Aaron Kloppel

103 Catherine Sandell

102 Jeremy Mingle

100 Chris Butler

99 Sam Kelling

96 Taylor Kelling

95 Kim Kline

90 Tom Nix

79 Bill "Still making my push" Evans

73 Swift "the Catbird" McGowan

69 Perri McGowan

63 Andy "Come here my band Mectapus" Farnsworth

57 Martha Fischer

51 Teddy "I'm a better catbirder than Mimi" Wells

48 Mimi "I'm a better catbirder than Teddy" Wells

44 Ramona "I'm gonna beat the McGowan & Wells critters" Kloppel

21 Rob Scott

0 Ralph Paonessa

June 1999 McIlroy Award Totals

NOT compiled by Matt Medler

140 Kevin McGowan

138 Allison Wells

137 Jay McGowan

120 Jeff Wells

118 Ken Rosenberg

112 Matt Medler

106 Jim Lowe

66 Bill Evans

53 Martha Fischer

37 Chris Butler

June 1999 Evans Trophy Totals

NOT compiled by Jeff Wells

184 Matt Young

174 Ken Rosenberg

168 Kevin McGowan

164 Jay McGowan

135 Allison Wells

128 Matt Medler

105 Jeff Wells

97 Bard Prentiss

Lansing Listers

NOT compiled by Jeff Wells or Matt Medler

83 Kevin McGowan

44 Matt Williams

Etna Challenge

Compiled by Allison Wells

Carol, welcome to the only competition that REALLY counts!

68 Allison Wells

61 Carol "I've got an Etna Uppy and you don't" Bloomgarden

0 Matt Young

Yard Stickers

114 John Fitzpatrick, Ithaca, NY

100 Geo Kloppel, West Danby, NY

80 Kelling Family, Caroline, NY

79 McGowan/Kline Family, Dryden, NY

79 Rosenberg/James Family, Dryden, NY

63 Wells Family, Etna, NY

61 Carol Bloomgarten, Etna, NY

50 Fredericks Family, Van Etten, NY

47 Nancy Dickinson, Mecklenberg, NY

46 Jeff Holbrook, Canton, NY

38 Melanie Uhrlir, Etna, NY

Office Report

88 Wes Hochachka & friends (including Ken Rosenberg?) , Green Trailer,

Lab of O

46 Steve Kelling & friends, Tan Trailer, Lab of O

27 Allison Wells, Main Building, Lab of O

26 Melanie Uhlir, Tan Trailer, Lab of O

3 Matt Medler, Windowless cave of LNS, Lab of O


By Geo Kloppel

I don't need to introduce him, our leader has been untouchable for months.

We're still not sure how far ahead the Mighty one actually is today, but he

sent in the following list of 224 species for the end of June:

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

Heron,Great Egret,Green Heron,B-c Night Heron,T & M Swan,G W-f Goose,

Snow Goose,ROSS'GOOSE,C Goose,W Duck,G-w & B-w Teal,Am Black

Duck,Mallard,N Pintail,N Shoveler,Gadwall,Eu & Am Wigeon,Canvasback,

Redhead,R-n Duck,G & L Scaup,KING EIDER,L-t Duck,Surf & W-w

Scoter,C Goldeneye,Bufflehead,H,C & Rb Merganser,Ruddy Duck,T Vulture

Osprey,Bald Eagle,NHarrier,Sharp-shinned,Cooper's & N Goshawk,B-w,R-s,R-t,

& R-l Hawk,Golden Eagle,Am Kestrel,R Grouse,W Turkey,R-n Pheasant,V-Rail,

Sora,C Moorhen,Am Coot,B-b & Semi Plover,Killdeer,G & L

Yellowlegs,Sol,Spotted,Upland,Least,Semi,W-r & Pect Sandpiper,R

Turnstone,Dunlin,RUFF,C Snipe,Am Woodcock,W Phalarope,Bonaparte's,

R-b,H,I,LB-b,G & GB-b Gull,Casp,Common,Forster's & Black Tern,R & M Dove,

B-b & Y-b Cuckoo,E-Screech,G-H,Barred,S-e & S-w Owl,Ch Swift,R-t


B Kingfisher,R-b,D,H & P Woodpecker,N Flicker,Y-Bellied Sapsucker,O-s,Y-b,

Ac,Al,Wi,L & G-c Flycatcher,E Phoebe,E W Peewee,E Kingbird,H Lark,Tree,

N.R-w,Bank,Cliff & Barn Swallow, P Martin,B Jay,Am & F Crow,Common Raven,

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

W Wren,G-c & R-c Kinglet, B-G Gnatcatcher,E Bluebird,H,W & Sw Thrush,

Veery,A Robin,G Catbird, N Mockingbird,Brown Thrasher,Am Pipit,BOHEMIAN

WAXWING, C Waxwing,N Shrike,E Starling,B-h,W,R-e & Y-t Vireo,B-w,Tenn &

Nash Warbler,N Parula,Yellow,Ch-s,Magnolia,Cape May,B-t Blue,Y-r,B-t

Green,Blackburnian,Pine,Prairie,Palm,Bay-b,Blackpoll,Cerulean & B&w

Warbler,Am Redstart,Protho & W-e Warbler,Ovenbird,L & N

Waterthrush,Mourning Warbler,C Yellowthroat,Hooded,Wilson's & Canada

Warbler,S Tanager,N Cardinal,R-b Grosbeak,I Bunting,E Towhee,Am

Tree,Chip,F,V,Sav,Grasshopper,Henslow's,Fox,Song,Swamp,W-c & W-t

Sparrow,D-e Junco,L Longspur,S Bunting,Bobolink,E Meadowlark,R-W,Rusty &

YELLOW HEADED BLACKBIRD,C Grackle,B-h Cowbird,Balt & Orchard

Oriole,H Finch,Purple Finch,Red Crossbill,Am Goldfinch,House Sparrow


Composite total as of 6/30/99: 241

Compare with 6/30/98: 243; 6/30/97: 242; 6/30/96: 240 (that was the year

in which Allison Wells set the Cup-record that still stands today: 229

species by the end of June)

Matt will undoubtedly continue on the look-out for every one of the

following birds:

Glossy Ibis,Black Scoter,Peregrine Falcon,Merlin,Sandhill

Crane,Sanderling,Short-billed Dowitcher,Little Gull,Thayer's

Gull,Long-eared Owl,Common Nighthawk,Whip-poor-will,

Gray-cheeked Thrush,Golden-winged Warbler,Kentucky Warbler,

Lincoln's Sparrow,Evening Grosbeak

I'm going to go WAY out on a limb here, and predict that no matter how hard

he searches, he doesn't stand a chance of finding them all! I guess that

about five of these will escape him; but then, he's capable of finding

replacements. I still think 240 is a possible winning tally for the year.

If anyone can do it, it's the Mighty Chuwee!

(You already know Geo. )



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

< <

< <

< < < <

Shucks, it's been too darned hot to go traipsing across the Internet in

search of Cup Coaches. One of Jeff's predictions have already been

realized. Since his previous column, a lost Tricolored Heron made an

appearance in the Basin, although who could have predicted that Ken

Rosenberg would actually go

birding in June? Let's see if Jeff can work his magic in the

upCupping months as well...

COACH WELLS: It's shorebird time! And this year we have the added bonus of

the main pool drawdown at Montezuma. "Sure," you say, "July and August is

always shorebird time, but I can find most of the species I want to see

in the

cooler fall months. Why go out and try to identify distant peeps

through sweltering heat waves with sweat dripping into my stinging eyes?"

Here are several good reasons why you should suck it up and go

shorebirding in the heat and humidity of July and August:

1) American Avocet - Unless my memory fails me, the last three records of

this rare (and beautiful) Basin visitor were all in July. In two separate

years, single birds have appeared ever so briefly at Myer's Point - only

Cuppers present early in the morning saw the birds. However, the third


involved a bird that spent much of a day loafing on the breakwater off

the Stewart Park lighthouse. This is definitely a bird to watch for around

the lake. One was already spotted earlier in July over at Dunkirk Harbor

in the western part of the state.

2) Ruff - Sure, we've already had one in the Basin this year, but for those

who were unfortunate enough to miss the spring bird at Montezuma, now's

the time to find another (and can you really get enough of a bird this

fantastic?) Ruffs (and the female Reeves) often appear more

frequently in July and August in the northeast U.S. Many years ago, when

the main pool was drained more often, shorebirders regularly found this

species. You are less likely to see the extravagantly plumaged males, since

they may have already molted, but keep your eyes out for an oddly-shaped

silhouette among the yellowlegs.

3) Marbled Godwit - This striking bird would seem hard to misidentify unless

at a very great distance. I can't remember of a Basin record of this

species in the last ten or so years but a wondering individual from the

Midwest is not out of the question. Watch for it on the muddy shores of

the Main Pool.

4) Curlew Sandpiper - I was out-of-town when the Curlew Sandpiper was found

last year at Montezuma across from Benning Marsh so I don't remember the

exact dates. In any case, finding one will be much easier when it still

retains some breeding plumage. It happened last year - why not again?

5) How about a stint? - Stints (Rufous-necked and/or Little) are found

annually at this season in a couple of East Coast shorebird hotspots.

Usually only 1-4 birds are found each season and it is usually during

the early part of the shorebird season - that is, July and August. This

may be because unless the birds are in at least partial breeding plumage,

they are very, very difficult to identify. (They are only "very difficult"

to identify in breeding plumage). When you find a group of peeps that are

relatively close, look through them closely. Last week, a Little Stint

was in residence at Cape May for a few days.

(Jeff Wells is director of bird conservation for National Audubon of

of New York State. He's come to be known around these parts now as

"The Unbearded Man"...not to be confused with Northern Beardless





What better way to prove your name is Matt than by being featured in an

interview exclusively for The Cup, even when you aren't leading the pack?

"Kickin' Tail" brings well deserved honor and recognition to the Cupper who

has glassed, scoped, scanned, driven, climbed, dug, or right time/right


his/her way to the top of the David Cup list. We bring, for the first

time in

the KT column, Matt Sarver!

THE CUP: So what's the deal with Mr. Young? Has he gotten lost in the upper

reaches of Basin while working on the Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project?

SARVER: Young's been lost for a long time....but we won't talk about that.

No actually, he's not been in the Basin much from what I hear. I'd say

you're on the right track, there.

THE CUP: Do you think he should shave his mustache and gotee? He's looking

mighty hot with the facial hair, during rare Lab appearances.

SARVER: What, Young shave? That's like asking the Pope to play with a


board or something!

THE CUP: Then again, you could use a razor yourself. Aside from being ahead,

the most important thing about being a Cupper is looking good.

SARVER: Of course I could use a shave, but I probably won't do it.

I'm more worried right now about all the hair that's falling out

of the TOP of my head.

THE CUP: Yes, Cup spies tell us Cornell sent your mama a plumbing bill for

clogged drains during your freshman year. Are you lonely with the

other Matts also out of town -- Medler in Costa Rica, Williams in MA,

and the new fella, Victoria, traipsing all over NY, for grassland birds?

Has this broken your spirit? Is this why you aren't posting to Cayugabirds


SARVER: "I'm blue and I'm lonesome, too" - that's a song, eh?

THE CUP: Plagiarized.

SAR VER: Appropriate for the weekend that Phish plays Oswego, but I'm

not going since nobody seems willing to get off of their keysters and go

with me. Oddly enough, I haven't even met "Matty V" yet!

THE CUP: Intentional, probably. Scaredy cat.

SARVER: As for why I sailed off the edge of the local birding world, that

would have something to do with the fact that I haven't gone birding in

over a

month - call it burnout, call it apathy, or call it lazy, but I haven't

had the time or energy to seek out all those rare Basin breeders.

THE CUP: How ever will you explain this to Matt Medler (who will receive the

news with great joy -- he aims to slide in ahead of you at all cost --except

giving up Costa Rica, of course).

SARVER: I boasted earlier that I thought I had a legitimate shot at the

record this year, but I've let that all go down the toilet now. (Is that

technically known as Evans syndrome?) I'm working full-time with Prof.

Bernd Blossey's Purple Looserstrife biocontrol project, and I've actually

spent some time out of the Basin for that. In fact, I'm leaving tomorrow

for another week at Fort Drum.

THE CUP: Well, at least you're working for a good cause. Long live native

grasses! So you didn't go looking for Ken's Tricolored Heron?

SARVER: If I hadn't been five or six hours away in PA, that might

have been the spark to get me back on my listing horse for the year.

Unfortunately, I was at home for the week.

THE CUP: How does that song go? "Go on home, your mama's calling you"

If this were a real, bona fide KT interview, as opposed to us killing a

little space because Young's had enough glory for a while, what would you

like to say?

SARVER: The government is implanting chips in our heads to control our


thought and action. Soon, we won't even be sure whether the birds we see

are real. We must do something before it's too late!! Meet me at the

flagpole at midnight with rope and baseball bats.....

THE CUP: Is that all? How about something a little more scandalous.

What's in your CD player?

SARVER: Let's see - well most of my music is on vinyl these days. Much

cheaper, sounds better, too. But I think my CD player might currently hold

a Thelonious Monk album, as well as two classics by Uncle Tom,

"Wildflowers" and "Full Moon Fever", "Beyond this Point" the debut

album of local funk-masters Nozmo King, with some old-school Beastie Boys

Phish's "Story of the Ghost", and/or Old and In the Way's bluegrass

release from '73 entitled "High Lonesome Sound" after Peter Rowan's

classic tune.

THE CUP: Sounds like you're having an identity crisis.

SARVER: I just picked up a nice selection of albums at a yard sale this

morning: Beatles, Dead, Nat King Cole, The Chieftains, etc. By the way, I'd

also LOVE to be at the Winterhawk bluegrass festival over in the Berkshires

this weekend.

THE CUP: Say "hi" to Heather Dunbar for us. When will you be submitting

one of your poems to The Cup's Bird Verse column?

SARVER: I've never really written any poems specifically about birds, so

probably not any time soon.

THE CUP: They don' have to be "bird poems." BORING! Just include some

reference to birds or birding. That goes for the rest of you, too, Geo


Meanwhile, who's your favorite poet? And don't say Geo Kloppel. And

definitely don't say Ralph Paonessa.

SARVER: Favorite poet is probably one of the editor's cats - they've got


good material, I hear. Actually something like Shakespeare, Milton,

Keats, Ammons, Thoreau, or a few others would be in the running. My

local favorite is Cornell MFA grad Angela Shaw.

THE CUP: Umm, Ammons is local. I went to a New Orleans-style dinner at

his house a while back. His wife, Phyllis, is a phenomenal cook. But you'd

have to shave to make that scene. You also have to actually write (and not

be afraid to publish) poems...

SARVER: Maybe this is the time to make the threat of [CENSORED].

THE CUP: Sorry, Matt. Looks like The Cup censors board wouldn't let that

one pass. There are kids who read this, you know. What'll be your next new

Basin bird this year?

THE CUP: Probably something I see in December. No, actually, it'll either

be a shorebird that I haven't gotten yet, or Red-shouldered Hawk, which I


to go find one of these days.




Some time ago, there was discussion on Cayugabirds about what to

call various groups of animals, including birds, wasn't there? Anyway,

we just found this in The Cup mailbox. It's from a post to


A worm of robins

A paddling of ducks

A Dan of quail

A cord of wood thrushes

A litter of catbirds

A string of kites

An asylum of loons

A rattle of kingfishers

A heraldry of kingbirds

A college of cardinals

A race of swifts

A ball of waxwings

A scoop of pelicans

A gulp of swallows

A hanky of mourning doves

A donkey of pintails

A splattering of starlings

A knee-slapper of laughing gulls

A barber of redpolls

A schnozzola of grosbeaks

A dash of bitterns

A decoration of buntings

An Internet of chats

A zipper of flycatchers

A road crew of shovelers

A cable of falcons (for Outer Bankers)

A fishing line of knots

A tank of petrel (a British term)

Okay, okay, so Caissa Wilmer could have done better with one hand behind

her back. We just wanted to get rid of the ghastly thing once and for all!

Now, on a more pressing note, this from Ralph Paonessa, who's still out

there lurking somewhere in Birdland:

Dear Editors of The Cup;

O Rapture! The Cup has arrived. These moments are all too

far and few Between (or whatever). But today, I heard

something that stopped me cold in my tracks (as cold as

I could get in the 95 degree desert heat, anyway):

There is another!!

A "The Cup," that is. And all this time, I thought that THE

"The Cup" was our last hope. Now I understand what Yoda

was saying to Obi-Wan in his intonations (insquawkations).

The other The Cup to which the dyslexic Jedi Midget

Master referred is none other than a new film, made on

location in Tibet. It is the true story of Buddhist monks

who will stop at nothing in their quest to watch World

Cup Soccer on TV. If you think I'm making this

up (moi?!?!), I actually heard it on BBC World Report

(who did not even mention the movie's putative namesake).

Shangri La, Myers Point -- could these be two opposite

poles of the same force? Karl David and the Dalai Lama B

the same person? Food for thought, anyway.

May The Cup Be With You!

Ralph Paonessa

EDITORS' NOTE: Be assured, The Cup will be pressing charges.

If you'd like to contribute to our fund to hire hot-shot lawyer

Jackie Chiles, please send cash to Cup Headquarters, or make

check payable to Allison and/or Jeff Wells.

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

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

write it up for the Scrawl of Fame.)


mmmmmmmmmmmm McILROY MUSINGS mmmmmmmmmmm


ALLISON: Remember the good old days? Vinyl records, Pong, and when

you were ahead in the McIlroy?

JEFF: Me? You must really be feeling the pressure, being a three-time

returning champ.

ALLISON: Why do you think I dumped that pot of spaghetti over your

head last night, just because I love you?

JEFF: I thought maybe you were trying to keep me from seeing a Blue

Grosbeak at our feeder.

ALLISON: No, birds like that only show up at the McGowan's feeder.

Speaking of which, Kevin would be well pleased to hear us bickering like

this. You know, divide and conquer.

JEFF: I'm more concerned about what this all says about us.

ALLISON: You're afraid the passion is gone?

JEFF: Well, when was the last time we got crazy?

ALLISON: What about that trip to Montezuma, the triple-doozy?!

JEFF: Yeah, but it was all planned. We knew exactly what we were going to


ALLISON: I know what you mean. Where's the spontaneity, the free-spirited

get-aways, the giddy anticipation...

JEFF: Okay, let's not get too carried away.

ALLISON: Worst of all, we don't have any kids to blame it on.

JEFF (looking very sly): That's right...we don't.

ALLISON: Oh, my! You're not suggesting (giggle).

JEFF (Gives an Elvis growl): Caswell Road. Tonight. After dark.

ALLISON (tossing her head back in girlish delight): You think?

JEFF: I'll bring the sign for the window: "If the car's a-parkin', we're

Henslow Sparrowing, not meadowlarkin'!"



Caissa was very, very bad this time around.

No Bird Brain for you!

(Caissa Willmer is a Senior Staff Writer for the Cornell Office of

Development and theater critic for the Ithaca Times.)




Hey, Sarver, we're waiting...




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...


Being both a birder and a gardener, the month of May tugs in both

directions. Spring migration is in full swing (is that a music

metaphor?) and most risk of frost is past. But, I'm not asking for

advice on that dilemma, because I am sure of a birder-biased response. I

find my own balance between the two. Many of my first-of-the-year birds

are heard or seen while planting the broccoli or weeding the perennial

bed. In another attempt to extend the integration of my two pasttimes,

though, I have not met with success. It is in this arena that I welcome


advice. You see, the last couple of years I have planted birdseed in my

garden but as yet the yield has not included birds. Just like other seed

packets which feature pictures of carrots and tomotoes, the bag of

birdseed has a variety of colorful birds prominently displayed, but

inspite of careful cultivation, I have not been able to grow birds in my

garden. What am I doing wrong?

--Disappointed in Newfield

Dear Disappointed;

Don't be! You sound like an expert gardener (i.e., you keep a keen

eye and ear out for birds as you toil away in your little earthly plot).

Therefore I suspect that you're doing everything correctly with your

birdseed plantings. Bear in mind, though, that birds ripen at night, so

you're probably just missing them. If you want to enjoy the feathers

of your labor, you must sit up into the wee hours with an ear to the

sky listening for "zweep"s and "tseep"s as the birds take to the air

after sprouting from your garden. Bill Evans has had particular

success with this; in fact, if he hadn't been growing and releasing

birds himself, he wouldn't have nearly the collection of nocturnal

calls he currently has. I suggest you mentor with Bill. Just remember:

Bill never sleeps.


Yes, I remembered to count up all the species I remembered to count, and

according to my memory, I remember that I've got a total of 120 species for

the Basin, and 61 species for my Etna and yard lists (I don't remember if

they're separate or not). Of course there's no way I can remember which

species was my 100th, since I never (nearly never) remember to keep track.

You'd think that with a wonky memory like mine, I'd at least try to

remember to write things down, but that interferes with the thing itself

I'm trying to remember, and hence I forget. Got it? Now what was that I

was gonna say? I forgot.

--Forget-me-not in Etna

Dear Forget-me-not:

Fortunately, you have the likes of Dear Tick to tell you precisely what

you were going to say. And here it is: "You deserve a lot of credit for

putting up with the silly nonsense you have to put up with in your column.

We come to you with our plights and gripes as bad as Achilles and you are

always so kind and generous in response. You should get a big raise.In

fact, I'm going to head up a committee to see that that happens, if I have

to go to each and every Cupper individually for donations. Unfortunately, I

can't remember who any of them are..." Smart alleck.

(Send your questions for Dear Tick to The Cup at

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

"After two more visits and a lot of patience....goodness, it was hot

by 8:00 this morning..."

--Ben Fambrough

"My few Memorial weekend birding tidbits were highlighted by a singing

Henslow's Sparrow at the 'traditional' Caswell Rd fields. I was rewarded

with crippling Swarovski 60-x looks as the little guy 'tsi-licked' from the

top of a weed at 6 am Monday."

--Ken Rosenberg

"No, I'm not trying to best Ken in the better-late-than-never category,

but I haven't been around the office for more than a few nanoseconds all

week due to having my head crammed with matrix algebra and related

statistical machinery. Anyway, on a hike along the Abbott Loop of the

Finger Lakes Trail we heard an Acadian Flycatcher last Sunday."

--Wes Hochachka

"I thought this was interesting that Matt V. and I had a nearly identical

shorebird count from Benning Marsh."

--Matt Young

"It's all part of the Matt Mystique."

--Ben Taft

"I thought I'd say hi, send along my totals and tell you about la pura

vida aquí en Costa Rica. I've been having a great time here.

Here are some of the highlights: Thicket Tinamou, King Vulture,

Crane Hawk, Mangrove Black-Hawk, Laughing Falcon, Great Currasow,

Double-striped Thick-Knee."

--Matt Medler

"P.S. Don't forget to dock me for rubbing it in about all the good birds

I'm seeing."

--okay, so the editors added the P.S.

"The weather conditions were right, we had a great number of participants

who spent the entire day in the field, and the result was the highest

species count (134) and birds tallied (23,544) for an Ithaca June Count."

--Steve Kelling

"Just a couple hundred feet north of the sharp eastward bend, at which

the road-name changes to Gunderman, a single Henslow's Sparrow

was singing in the moonlight."

--Geo Kloppel

"Come commiserate with fellow birders about warbler neck and other

avian-induced aches and pains tonight at the Cayuga Bird Club


--Margaret Barker

"Just yesterday I was considering posting an ode to all the joyous new life

around the farm - the young bluebirds everywhere being fed by their doting

parents, the fox grazing on wild strawberries, the peeping from all the

trees as nests are attended to, the activity at three swallow-filled

nestboxes, deer with their fawns glowing red in the sunshine, the croaking

of green herons in the spruce grove, the scolding of orioles chasing jays,

the busy drinking and dipping at the birdbath, the hungry woodpeckers at

the apples and oranges, the constant singing of vireos, waxwings, and

wrens, the ticking of chimney swifts circling the house..."

--Nancy Dickinson

May Your Cup Runneth Over

Allison and Jeff