Year 8, Issue 5

***************************************************************** *^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^^ * ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * ^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^^^^ * ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * ^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^ *The electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy competitions. * Editor-in-Chief: Jay McGowan * Guest Editors: Tringa and Martin McGowan ****************************************************************** Hello, and welcome to the reinstatement of The Cup. Enthusiasm was running low with former editors, so I decided to take charge to keep the competition going. It may not be as fun or as fancy as former Cups have been, but at least it will get the standings out there. ------------------------- Columnists? If anyone would like to write a column for (or contribute in any way to) The Cup, please let me know at ------------------------- <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< PILGRIMS' PROGRESS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> May 2002 David Cup Totals 210 Jay McGowan 206 Tim Lenz 202 Steve and Susan Fast 196 Kevin McGowan 193 Bruce Tracey 192 Pete Hosner 190 Ken Rosenberg 189 Steve Kelling 187 Bard Prentiss 186 Meena Haribal 176 Matt Medler 158 Jeff Gerbracht 152 Eric Banford 141 Mark Chao 111 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan 77 Martin (the Cat) McGowan Jay McGowan's 200th bird: Alder Flycatcher Tim Lenz's 200th bird: Ruddy Turnstone May 2003 McIlroy Award Totals 183 Tim Lenz 173 Ken Rosenberg 146 Jeff Gerbracht 143 Jay McGowan 130 Kevin McGowan May 2003 Evans Trophy Totals 172 Jay McGowan 165 Kevin McGowan 144 Bard Prentiss 111 Tringa McGowan 77 Martin McGowan May 2003 Yard Totals 129 Steve Kelling 114 McGowan/Kline Family 84 Nancy Dickinson Here's an idea: How about a "Most Species Photographed in the Basin" category? You just have to get an identifiable picture of the bird for it to count. Probably not too many Cuppers are active photographers, but it's a thought. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ COMPOSITE DEPOSIT The total number of species seen in the Cayuga Lake Basin up to the end of May is: 241 -- eight fewer than at this time last year. Notable misses for the year are Long-eared Owl, Acadian Flycatcher, Henslow's Sparrow, and the Winter Finches. Here is the list of species as I see it: R-t Loon, PACIFIC LOON, C. Loon, P-b Grebe, Horned Grebe, R-n Grebe, EARED GREBE, D-c Cormorant, Am. Bittern, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, CATTLE EGRET, Green Heron, B-c Night-Heron, GLOSSY IBIS, Turkey Vulture, Tundra Swan, Mute Swan, Snow Goose, ROSS'S GOOSE, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, G-w Teal, Am. Black Duck, Mallard, N. Pintail, B-w Teal, N. Shoveler, Gadwall, Am. Wigeon, Canvasback, Redhead, R-n Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, L-t Duck, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, W-w Scoter, C. Goldeneye, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, C. Merganser, R-b Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Osprey, Bald Eagle, N. Harrier, S-s Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, N. Goshawk, R-s Hawk, B-w Hawk, R- t Hawk, R-l Hawk, Golden Eagle, Am. Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, GYRFALCON, R-n Pheasant, Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, Virginia Rail, Sora, C. Moorhen, Am. Coot, Sandhill Crane, B-b Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, WILLET, Spotted Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, W-r Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, S-b Dowitcher, Wilson's Snipe, Am. Woodcock, Wilson's Phalarope, FRANKLIN'S GULL, LITTLE GULL, Bonaparte's Gull, R-b Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Lesser B-b Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great B-b Gull, Caspian Tern, C. Tern, Forster's Tern, Black Tern, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, B-b Cuckoo, Y-b Cuckoo, E. Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owl, SNOWY OWL, Barred Owl, S-e Owl, N. Saw- whet Owl, C. Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, R-t Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, R-b Woodpecker, R-h Woodpecker, Y-b Sapsucker, Downy Woopecker, Hairy Woodpecker, N. Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, O-s Flycatcher, E. Wood-Pewee, Y-b Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, E. Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, E. Kingbird, N. Shrike, B-h Vireo, Y-t Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, R-e Vireo, Blue Jay, Am. Crow, Fish Crow, C. Raven, Horned Lark, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, N. R-w Swallow, Bank Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, B-c Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, R-b Nuthatch, W- b Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, House Wren, Winter Wren, Marsh Wren, G-c Kinglet, R-c Kinglet, B-g Gnatcatcher, E. Bluebird, Veery, G-c Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, Am. Robin, European Starling, Gray Catbird, N. Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Am. Pipit, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Cedar Waxwing, B-w Warbler, G-w Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, O-c Warbler, Nashville Warbler, N. Parula, Yellow Warbler, C-s Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May 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-&-w Warbler, Am. Redstart, W-e Warbler, Ovenbird, N. Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Mourning Warbler, C. Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, YELLOW- BREASTED CHAT, Scarlet Tanager, E. Towhee, Am. Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, W-t Sparrow, W-c Sparrow, D-e Junco, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, N. Cardinal, R-b Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Bobolink, R-w Blackbird, E. Meadowlark, Rusty Blackbird, C. Grackle, B- h Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Finch, House Finch, Am. Goldfinch, House Sparrow. LEADER'S MISS LIST Here are the many things I have missed so far this year: Least Bittern, CATTLE EGRET, B-c Night-Heron, GLOSSY IBIS, ROSS'S GOOSE, Sandhill Crane, B-b Plover, Semipalmated Plover, L. Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, WILLET, Ruddy Turnstone, W-r Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, S-b Dowitcher, Wilson's Phalarope, LITTLE GULL, C. Tern, Forster's Tern, SNOWY OWL, Barred Owl, S-e Owl, C. Nighthawk, R-h Woodpecker, N. Shrike, G-c Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, G-w Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ BASIN BIRD HIGHLIGHTS by Jay McGowan Here's an abbreviated recap of this year's highlights to date: As usual, the Ithaca Christmas Bird Count was conducted on January 1st, tallying a total of 73 species. Highlights included Green-winged Teal, White-winged Scoter, Red-shouldered Hawk, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Chipping Sparrow (several Chipping Sparrows were around this winter). The EARED GREBE that has been present on Cayuga Lake for the last four years was seen on the 1st also, and later in the year, TWO Eared Grebes were seen in the Aurora area. A SNOWY OWL (possibly the same one seen in December '02) was seen in the Savannah Mucklands by Gerard Phillips on January 5th. On the 11th, Steve Kelling, Wes Hochachka and Ann Redelfs saw an immature gray-phase GYRFALCON at Farleys Point near Union Springs on the east side of Cayuga Lake. Kevin and Jay McGowan ran into the Gyrfalcon on the 12th, and also found a drake BARROW'S GOLDENEYE at Union Springs on the same day. Later in the month, an adult Gyrfalcon was seen, making two Gyrfalcons on Cayuga Lake in 2003. A PEREGRINE FALCON was also seen. On the 16th, Tim Lenz found a first winter LITTLE GULL at Stewart Park. Also, an out-of-Basin rarity this January was a first-winter ROSS'S GULL found at Irondequoit Bay near Rochester on the 9th. In late February and early March, a Red-necked Grebe invasion took place on Cayuga Lake; over 260 individuals were counted on the lake on one day. Ken Rosenberg saw a ROSS'S GOOSE at Stewart Park on the 16th, and more Ross's Geese were seen in the Savannah Mucklands. Also of note, although probably not countable, were several TRUMPETER SWANS that hung around near Myers Point in February and March. One of these had a yellow wing tag, and is thought to have been banded in Ontario. On March 17th, Ben Clock and Thorsten Balsby found a BOHEMIAN WAXWING in a flock of Cedar Waxwings at Sapsucker Woods. It was subsequently seen by others. The SANDHILL CRANES that have been around for the last few years north of Montezuma were seen again by many people. [Editor's Note: Although not in May, I think it well to mention that these cranes were successful in breeding in this area, and raised one chick, first seen on June 5th.] Gary Chapin saw a LITTLE GULL on East Road near Montezuma on March 30th. Matt Victoria found a CATTLE EGRET in Ledyard on April 2nd. On April 28th, Jay McGowan and Bard Prentiss found an adult breeding PACIFIC LOON (a first record for the Basin) with several Commons and a late Red-throated off Varick, on the west side of the lake. A few other people got to see the loon that evening, but it was not seen again. On April 30th, Meena Haribal saw a WILLET fly off from the lighthouse jetty from Stewart Park. On the same day, Jody Hildreth found 5 GLOSSY IBIS on Armitage Road near Montezuma. The Hawthorns were fairly quiet this year compared with last, but many warblers still passed through there, including BAY-BREASTED, GOLDEN- WINGED, and ORANGE-CROWNED. Anne Marie and Tim Johnson found a singing CLAY-COLORED SPARROW on Creamery Road in Caroline on the 10th of May. Matt Medler found a breeding plumaged FRANKLIN'S GULL on the spit at Myers Point on May 13th, then refound it the next day in Aurora. Matt Young heard a probable YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at the McIlroy Preserve in Summerhill on May 17th, and it was confirmed on the 20th (and may still be around now). Tim and Anne Marie Johnson saw a WILSON'S PHALAROPE at Benning Marsh on the 23rd. Several OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were seen around late in the month. A KING RAIL was reported May 27th on the sightings book at Montezuma, but this report has not been confirmed. "CUP QUOTES" The [Christmas Bird Count] compilation that evening was notable for the ice storm that caused a small turnout and forced those hearty souls who did attend to compile by candlelight. --Kevin McGowan There's a non-adult winter Glaucous Gull on the ice in front of the tennis courts at Stewart Park this morning (~10:00). It's VERY white, so when its head is tucked it looks just like a patch of snow on the ice. --Tim Lenz The GLAUCOUS GULL at Stewart Park was still there at noon today (Fri). As we left, it woke up, took flight and landed in the water offshore, next to a 1st-yr Herring Gull. --Ken Rosenberg Ken, WHICH 1st-yr Herring gull? --Jesse Ellis The brown one with the black bill, with the big white gull next to it. --Ken Rosenberg We didn't find a Yellow-rumped Warbler, but a second life bird for Jay in one day was pretty good consolation. --Kevin McGowan ...however, scanning through the gulls on the ice produced a 1st-year ICELAND GULL. It was sitting near the adult Herring Gull, Ken. --Jesse Ellis Thanks Jesse. I found the adult Herring Gull no problem, but not the Iceland. White-out conditions at noon:30 -- virtually impossible to scope. --Ken Rosenberg So it's not a Sl--y - b---ed G--l, but two Gyr's and Barrow's Goldeneye ain't a bad start for a chilly winter in the Basin! --Jesse Ellis Guess this is the winter of the Chipping Sparrow (forget the Gyrfalcons). --David Bonter ...Then finally landed up in Geneva Movieplex to look for Hedwig, the Snowy Owl of Harry Potter. --Meena Haribal Wasn't the wind incredible this morning? Sheesh...makes me glad that I don't have to migrate. --Vanessa Lane Last Friday, 14 Feb., at dawn I saw a congress of crows. I mean the collective noun, not the verb. They were in the trees along Cascadilla Creek just upstream from the Hoy Road bridge by Route 366. How many? Somewhere between a caucus and a quorum. --Dave Nutter You don't know what a hungry hawk will do. --Meena Haribal A search for the Bohemian Waxwing at Sapsucker Woods late yesterday afternoon was fruitless (although there was plenty of fruit). --Jay McGowan On this gorgeous Easter Sunday I took a walk through the Jetty Woods and was rewarded with a plump, beautiful easter egg of my own: an AMERICAN BITTERN. --Tim Lenz ...But the highlight of the morning was seeing an adult male MERLIN swoop out of nowhere and snag a singing male Goldfinch from its perch. The goldfinch sort of had it coming I think, it was singing so loud, and it was right out in the open. --Tim Lenz So I was 10 minutes late for this bird [the Willet]. If only I'd skipped breakfast, or woke up a bit earlier, or drove a little bit faster. --Tim Lenz Boat traffic started to pick up as I left, which flushed a lot of the birds on the jetty. However, they may just be foraging out in the middle of the lake, so it's possible they will retern. --Tim Lenz The cemetery was deceptively birdy, but the migrants were a bit scarce. --Mike Andersen ...and, as I drove out, a Common Raven. My!...they ARE big when one's just been watching warblers!! --Marie Read They're finally back! At least 3 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS were "pit-up zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"-ing in the field on W. King Rd. in south Ithaca. One of them was very close to the road but I still never got to see it. These birds are very secretive, like Lincoln's Sparrow X 3. --Tim Lenz While walking the Dryden Lake Trail late this afternoon, I was fortunately caught in a heavy rainstorm. --Steve Fast It will be phenomenal in the Hawthorn Orchard over the next several days. --Chris Tessaglia-Hymes Neotropical migrants will continue to trickle in, but don't expect to see the phenomenal numbers for several more days (until after the hawthorns open up). --Chris Tessaglia-Hymes There's a possibility of more birds tomorrow morning, and then a trickle of birds over the next week, depending on weather. --Chris Tessaglia-Hymes So, I have no idea what is in store for the Hawthorn Orchard giving the forecasted weather conditions over the next week. --Chris Tessaglia-Hymes An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER! Hey Tim, if I can find this drab little flitter, have faith--you'll get it yet. --Steve Fast He said it [the refound Franklin's Gull] is on the near shore perched on a ladder or dock or something like that (the reception wasn't great). --Mike Andersen Morgan Road, Town of Savannah (in Region 5, I believe): 2 singing VESPER SPARROWS 1 singing HORNED LARK 0 SHOREBIRDS 0 SHOREBIRD HABITAT--the area by the DEC building at the end of Morgan Road is disappointingly dry and devoid of shorebirds --Matt Medler I went to the Hawthorns early this evening to look for the Philadelphia Vireo that everybody has been seeing. Instead, I saw the PRAIRIE WARBLER that everybody has been hearing. --Tim Lenz After our third winery, we found ourselves listening to a YELLOW- BELLIED FLYCATCHER, HOODED WARBLER and two MAGNOLIA WARBLERS at the Cayuga Nature Center. Having spit everything he tasted (as all professional wine tasters do), Mr. Hosner was sharper than I on the flycatcher ID. --Mike Andersen P.S. Since arriving home in downtown Ithaca, I've managed to hear two Yellow-billed Cuckoos--both singing at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, where Annika Sörenstam has just finished a nice round of golf (+1). --Matt Medler I spent a good part of the afternoon at the Ringwood Preserve where I got lost, hence this late post. --Steve Fast I birded alone, just me and my buddy Carl Zeiss. --Matt Medler As I headed out on the spit and started seeing birds, I felt like I was singing a line from a George Thorogood song: "One DUNLIN. One SANDERLING. One TURNSTONE." Then, of course, three bad-to-the-bone SPOTTED SANDPIPERS had to arrive on the scene and ruin the whole theme. --Matt Medler The highlight (literally) of the morning for me was a backlit Ovenbird looking quite incandescent, raising his crown feathers while pealing his song. --Mark Chao The highlight of the day for me yesterday, though, was seeing PURPLE MARTINS in the Purple Martin box at Montezuma! After participating in the early Muckraces (where the money went to buy that box) and seeing the box be used by Tree Swallows for several years, I cannot say how excited I was to see a stunning male martin and at least two females in the box. It was great! --Matt Medler The weather was excellent (if you like nice weather)... --Jay McGowan May Your Cup Runneth Over, - Jay