Year 9, Issues 11-12

***************************************************************** *^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^^ * ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * ^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^^^^ * ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * ^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^ *The Cup 9.11-9.12 ­ November/December 2004 *The electronic publication of the David Cup, McIlroy and various *other birding competitions. * Editor-in-Chief: Jay McGowan * House Interviewer: Mark Chao * Highlights: Jay McGowan * Current Events: Mark Chao & Jay McGowan * Cup Anagrammist ("Ptarmigan Sumac"?): Mark Chao * Bird Taste-Tester: Martin McGowan ****************************************************************** Welcome to the 2004 end-of-year edition of The Cup! In the great tradition of The Cup, this issue came out nowhere near the end of 2004, but that won't stop most of us from enjoying it anyway. Or it wouldn't if this issue contained a multiplicity of great stories, insightful articles, and useful information. But it doesn't. Get over it. It's only the Cup 9.11-9.12. ---------------------------- <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< PILGRIMS' PROGRESS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> November, December 2004 David Cup Totals 2004 is over and the winner was Jay McGowan, for the second year in a row. Scott Haber had an amazing year as well, only two species behind Jay. 1. 256, 256 JAY MCGOWAN 2. 251, 254 Scott Haber 3. 246, 247 Kevin McGowan 4. 241, 246 Mark Chao 5. 241, 243 Steve Fast 6. 234, 236 Meena Haribal 7. 234, 235 Ken Rosenberg 8. ---, 233 Mike Andersen 9. ---, 232+Bruce Tracey 10. ---, 230 Bard Prentiss 11. 227, 229 Jesse Ellis 12. 215, 215 Chris Tessaglia-Hymes 13. 211, 214 Lena Samsonenko 14. 211, 212 Mike Harvey 207, 212 Tim Lenz 16. 209, 209 Anne Marie Johnson 208, 209 Perri McGowan 18. 191, 191 Pete Hosner 19. 187, 188 Erin Hewett 20. 187, 187 Matt Medler 21. 157, 157 Mindy LaBranche 22. ---, 148 Rachel Rosenberg ---, 148 Olivia Rosenberg 23. ---, 121 Rafael Lizarralde 121, 121 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan 24. 96, 96 Martin (the Cat) McGowan 25. ---, 7 Matt Williams November, December 2004 McIlroy Award (Ithaca) Totals Ken had an easy win in Ithaca this year, but still with a great total. 209, 209 KEN ROSENBERG 172, 176 Tim Lenz 173, 175 Mark Chao 162, 164 Jay McGowan 150, 151 Kevin McGowan 147, 147 Jeff Gerbracht November, December 2004 Evans Trophy (Dryden) Totals Jay McGowan triumphed again in Dryden, with a record-breaking total(the previous high year in Dryden was 206 species, set by Ken Rosenberg in 1997.) 211, 212 JAY MCGOWAN 192, 193 Kevin McGowan 185, 185 Steve Fast 177, 177 Bard Prentiss 148, 150 Perri McGowan November, December 2004 Yard Totals ---, 141 STEVE KELLING, CAROLINE 124, 124 McGowan/Kline Family, Dryden 124, --- John Fitzpatrick, Ellis Hollow 107, 112 Pixie Senesac 77, 77 Anne Marie Johnson, Caroline November, December 2004 Lansing Competition Totals The Town of Lansing is potentially the equal of Dryden or Ithaca but is not birded as extensively. This year (for the first time ever) an actual trophy was awarded, so perhaps we can get some more competition in this town in 2005. Mark Chao posted an impressive total for 2004 and took home the trophy. 177, 180 MARK CHAO ---, 169 Kevin McGowan 144+,144+Bruce Tracey --------------------------------------------- CAYUGA LAKE BASIN LIFE LISTS (AS OF DECEMBER 2004) As in 2003, at the end of the year I asked everyone to send me their total for species seen in the Basin in their lifetime. Not everyone sent me updated numbers, so some of these totals may be slightly outdated. 299 Kevin McGowan 298 Jay McGowan 297 Meena Haribal 295 Andrew Farnsworth 294+Ken Rosenberg 288 Steve Kelling 285 Pete Hosner 284 Matt Medler 283 Jeff Wells 281 Karl David 280 Allison Wells 280 Geo Kloppel 279 Bill Evans 278 Chris Tessaglia-Hymes 278 Bard Prentiss 275 Tom Nix 275 Matt Young 272 Mike Andersen 271 Ned Brinkley 267 Jesse Ellis 267 Tim Lenz 267 Matt Sarver 266 Ryan Bakelaar 266 Bruce Tracey 264 Matt Williams 257 Mark Chao 257 Anne Marie Johnson 257 Bob Fogg 252 Jeff Gerbracht 245 Dan Lebbin 214 Mike Harvey 121 Rafael Lizarralde --------------------------------------------- $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ BASIN COMPOSITE DEPOSIT And the final total is...271, the same as in 2003! Here's the total list: Mute Swan, Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, CACKLING GOOSE, Brant, GREATER WHITE- FRONTED GOOSE, ROSS'S GOOSE, Snow Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Am. Black Duck, Gadwall, N. Pintail, Am. Wigeon, EURASIAN WIGEON, N. Shoveler, B-w Teal, G-w Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, R-n Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, L-t Duck, Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, W-w Scoter, C. Goldeneye, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, C. Merganser, R-b Merganser, Ruddy Duck, R-n Pheasant, Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, 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, SNOWY EGRET, TRICOLORED HERON, CATTLE EGRET, Green Heron, B-c Night-Heron, GLOSSY IBIS, Turkey Vulture, 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, C. Moorhen, Am. Coot, Virginia Rail, Sora, YELLOW RAIL, SANDHILL CRANE, B-b Plover, Am. Golden-Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, WILLET, Spotted Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, WHIMBREL, Hudsonian Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, RED KNOT, Sanderling, Dunlin, Pectoral Sandpiper, W-r Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, WESTERN SANDPIPER, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, RUFF, L-b Dowitcher, S-b Dowitcher, B-b Sandpiper, Am. Woodcock, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope, R-n Phalarope, PARASITIC JAEGER, Bonaparte's Gull, R-b Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Lesser B-b Gull, Great B-b Gull, Caspian Tern, C. Tern, Forster's Tern, Black Tern, BLACK GUILLEMOT, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, Y-b Cuckoo, B-b Cuckoo, L-e Owl, S-e Owl, Great Horned Owl, SNOWY OWL, Barred Owl, N. S-w Owl, E. Screech-Owl, C. Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, R-t Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, R-h Woodpecker, R-b Woodpecker, Y-b Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, N. Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, E. Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Y-b Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, E. Kingbird, N. Shrike, R-e Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, WHITE-EYED VIREO, Y-t Vireo, B-h Vireo, Blue Jay, C. Raven, Am. Crow, Fish Crow, Horned Lark, Purple Martin, N. R-w Swallow, Bank Swallow, Tree Swallow, Cliff Swallow, CAVE SWALLOW, Barn Swallow, Tufted Titmouse, B-c Chickadee, R-b Nuthatch, W-b Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, House Wren, Winter Wren, SEDGE WREN, Marsh Wren, G-c Kinglet, R-c Kinglet, B-g Gnatcatcher, E. Bluebird, Am. Robin, Wood Thrush, Veery, Swainson's Thrush, G-c Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, N. Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, Am. Pipit, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Cedar Waxwing, N. Parula, O-c Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, B-w Warbler, G-w Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, C-s Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, B-t Blue Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Y-r Warbler, B-t Green Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, B-b Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, W-e Warbler, B-&-w Warbler, Am. Redstart, Ovenbird, N. Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Mourning Warbler, C. Yellowthroat, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Hooded Warbler, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, Scarlet Tanager, N. Cardinal, R-b Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, DICKCISSEL, E. Towhee, Am. Tree Sparrow, Field Sparrow, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, Chipping Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW, Savannah Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, W-t Sparrow, W-c Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, D-e Junco, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, E. Meadowlark, Bobolink, B-h Cowbird, R-w Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, C. Grackle, Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Evening Grosbeak, Purple Finch, House Finch, Red Crossbill, W-w Crossbill, C. Redpoll, HOARY REDPOLL, Pine Siskin, Am. Goldfinch, House Sparrow. Final Total: 271 ALSO SEEN BUT NOT COUNTABLE: Trumpeter Swan, Northern Bobwhite NOTABLE (BUT NOT COUNTABLE AS A SEPARATE SPECIES) SUBSPECIES: "Eurasian" Green-winged Teal, "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler,"Oregon" Dark- eyed Junco WINNER (Jay McGowan) MISS LIST EURASIAN WIGEON, PACIFIC LOON, SNOWY EGRET, TRICOLORED HERON, YELLOW RAIL, WILLET, RUFF, PARASITIC JAEGER, Long-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, WHITE- EYED VIREO, SEDGE WREN, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Cape May Warbler, White-winged Crossbill. RUNNER-UP (Scott Haber) MISS LIST Greater White-fronted Goose, PACIFIC LOON, EARED GREBE, YELLOW RAIL, WILLET, WHIMBREL, RED KNOT, RUFF, PARASITIC JAEGER, WHITE-EYED VIREO, CAVE SWALLOW, SEDGE WREN, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Worm-eating Warbler, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ --------------------------------------------- CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP Cupper Supper Review by Mark Chao SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP This year's Cupper Supper was held against a backdrop of falling snow at the McGowan/Kline residence on Beam Hill. It was a quiet affair, with many notable absences because of illness and recent moves. We missed everyone who couldn't make it. Still, of course, we had a great time. As always, the gathering offered fine food, lively conversation, and glimpses of Cupper personalities and talents not always evident out in the field. As if it were right here in front of me now, I can still smell and taste the food that Meena brought, a Gujarati dish called dhoklas -- steamed dal cakes served with spiced oil, coconut, and chutney. Kevin enlightened Cup novices about Dick Evans, a longtime Cayuga Bird Club leader and local birding legend, in whose honor the Evans Trophy is named. And Tim Lenz played some Liszt at the piano. It was only a few measures, idly tossed off, but enough to make it clear -- the man can really play. Aside from our long-awaited review of totals for the David Cup and associated competitions, we conducted surveys for additional awards. See below. The evening ended with a slideshow of Jay and Kevin's bird images, culled from images of 230+ species photographed in the Basin in 2004. Thanks to Kevin, Kim, Jay, and Perri for opening their home for the supper! [EDITOR'S NOTE: The Cupper Supper also hosted some great foosball matches; Jay McGowan took on Peruvian foosball champion Dan Lebbin. Each competitor won one game, but before a tie-breaker could be initiated, dinner was announced and foosball abandoned.] ------------------- CUPPER SURVEY AWARDS! Compiled by Jay McGowan Cupper Supper attendees got to vote on the recipient s of many classic awards. Here are the winners in each category: BIRD OF THE YEAR - BLACK GUILLEMOT won easily with 8 votes. Buff-breasted Sandpiper received 2 votes, and Cave Swallow and Hoary Redpoll each got 1. BIRDER OF THE YEAR - JAY MCGOWAN won with 7 votes. Mark Chao came in second with 4 and Scott Haber lagged behind with only 2. NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR - MIKE HARVEY won easily with 12 votes, with Tim Lenz [Reloaded] receiving only 2 votes. MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE 2005 DAVID CUP - TIM LENZ won with 5 votes, with Bob McGuire, Jay McGowan, and Scott Haber each receiving 3 votes. MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE 2005 MCILROY AWARD - TIM LENZ won this category as well (with 7 votes.) Ken Rosenberg received 4, and Mark Chao 3. MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE 2005 EVANS TROPHY - JAY MCGOWAN won with 6 votes, followed by Kevin McGowan with 4 votes, Steve Fast with 3, and Tringa McGowan with 1 (now how is she going to manage that, I ask you?) THOREAU AWARD - "For the most eloquent, interesting, or best-written posts." MARK CHAO cleaned up this category with 9 votes. Steve Fast received 4, and someone also voted for "none of the above." Mark's prize was a small notebook with a penguin on the cover on which to jot down witty thoughts when he is not near a computer. FAMILY TIME AWARD - "For the Cupper or Cuppers who didn't let birding get in the way of family...and vice versa." MARK CHAO won again, this time with 6 votes. Ken Rosenberg came in second with 3, followed by The McGowans with 2, and Allison and Jeff Wells, Steve Fast, and Meena (huh?), each with 1. The prize was a bottle of cosmic glue, ostensibly "to keep the family together." BEST CUPPER SPORT - For the Cupper or former Cupper who puts up with the most from his or her birding companion(s); who sits in the biggest shadow and keeps on Cupping." A new category this year. SUSIE FAST won with 8 votes, beating Perri McGowan with 5. Miyoko Chu also received one vote. Susie's prize was an artificial rock with the word "PATIENCE" inscribed on it in large, friendly letters. QUICK DRAW AWARD FOR FASTEST POSTING - This was a write-in category, so voting was more varied than in other categories. 1 vote each was tallied for Ken Rosenberg, Jay McGowan, Steve Fast, Meena Haribal, Kevin McGowan, and Bob McGuire. Tim Lenz received 2, and Scott Haber received 3. However, there was also one vote cast for "not Scott Haber." Although this had the potential to end in a nasty brawl, with Scott and Tim both claiming the title, the editor stepped in at this point and arbitrated that the award go to Scott. His prize was an interesting egg timer that apparently only times 20 seconds at a time. It is hoped that this will motivate Scott for even faster posting. ROSENBERG AWARD FOR SLOWEST POSTING Again the results were diverse. Tim Lenz, Jay McGowan, Steve Kelling, and Tringa McGowan all received 1 vote. The result was a tie between KEN ROSENBERG (because we like to tease him) and ALLISON WELLS(presumably for her very late Western Sandpiper post), each with 4 votes. No prize was given because they didn't deserve one. ------------- Finally, a few EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARDS were given: THE MICHELEN AWARD FOR RESTAURANT REVIEW went to Steve Fast for his numerous reports on local eateries. Steve's prize was a refrigerator magnet in the shape of a cheeseburger, which Steve immediately began to take apart and critique. "Smell's like plastic," was his only comment. THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - For consistent totals throughout the lifespan of the David Cup competition. I summed the final totals of several Cuppers who have participated every year since 1996. Easily the highest was KEVIN MCGOWAN, with a total of 2160 species over the nine years for an average of 240 species. Jay McGowan placed second 2150 species, and Ken Rosenberg came in third with 2113. Just for posterity's sake, I will list the other people who have participated every year: Bard Prentiss, Meena Haribal, and Matt Medler. Steve Kelling, Allison and Jeff Wells, and Chris Tessaglia-Hymes have missed only one or two years. Kevin's prize was a cube of glass with a design inside-- signifying consistency, no doubt. !-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-! NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2004 BASIN HIGHLIGHTS by Jay McGowan !-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-! -NOVEMBER- "No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility-- No company--no nobility-- No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease. No comfortable feel in any member-- No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!" - Thomas Hood, November Well, this November wasn't quite as bad as all that. A few rare birds here and there brightened up the otherwise fairly dull time of year. The Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler found on September 30 was present at Stewart Park on October 1 and 2, but was not seen subsequently. The Black Guillemot continued to be seen in Aurora Bay until at least November 14th, with a possible sighting on the 26th. Also, the juvenile Hudsonian Godwit was seen at Montezuma until the 3rd. Winter finches were hard to find, but a COMMON REDPOLL showed up at a feeder in Ellis Hollow on November 12. Pine Siskins were seen at a few feeders throughout November and December. Evening Grosbeaks were seen in a few scattered locations around the Basin, and a male RED CROSSBILL was seen at Summerhill on November 16. Northern Shrikes were seen in many locations throughout November and December. A SNOWY OWL was found by Doug Pippen on the Main Pool at Montezuma NWR. Later in the day Tim Lenz and Mike Harvey found another Snow Owl at Tschache Pool. At least one of the owls remained until November 15th. Despite this promising beginning to Snowy Owl season, no other Snowies were reported in 2004. An immature male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was seen on Culver Road south of Ithaca on November 14 and 15. On November 21, Jesse Ellis, Thorsten Balsby, and Anya Illes found an interesting GOLDEN-PLOVER at Benning Marsh, Montezuma. They were unable to get good enough looks to rule out Pacific, and the bird was not relocated. On November 24, Roger Sleeper discovered 3 CAVE SWALLOWS flying around near shore at Stewart Park. These Basin firsts were very cooperative and allowed good views (if not stunning pictures) as they hunted for insects in the rain. They were not seen the following day. A LONG-EARED OWL was reported flying across the road at night on Sapsucker Woods Road on November 30. -DECEMBER- A probable CACKLING GOOSE was found on the lawn at Stewart Park on December 7. After being absent from the area most of last winter, Short-eared Owls have returned to the Rafferty Road area on the east side of Cayuga Lake. Multiple individuals were seen there at dusk by many observers in mid- and late December. Other raptors also returned to their winter haunts. The Peregrine Falcon returned to its roost on Bradfield Tower, and a Red-shouldered Hawk once again took up residence in the Sapsucker Woods area. The Aurora Bay EARED GREBE was seen again on December 22. Two days later on December 24 Mark Chao and Tim Lenz found a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE in Aurora Bay. --------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------- A MAN RAGS...ANAGRAMS by Mark Chao ---------------------------------- A recent string of Basin bird sightings has led me to startling and delightful finds of a different sort -- Cup-related anagrams from people's names. An anagram is a set of words made from the letters of another set of words. They are easy and fun to construct. Just mix letters and try to find apt word combinations. It helps to stack letters in a pyramid, like this: S C O T T H A B E R The multidirectional juxtapositions make words just leap out at you, don't they? (And come to think of it, do cats bother Scott Haber?) Alas, I have so far found it impossible to cook up any good anagrams for Jesse Ellis. Too many repeated letters, plus a stubborn J, have stuck me with sea- babble like "ESS JELLIES." I am also somewhat stumped by Bruce Tracey, whom the fashionistas may exhort to "BE RACY, CUTER", but whose name somehow resists transformation into Cup-themed words. And I have a potentially good one for Cup giant Matt Medler, but that one will have to wait for another time (no, it's not "WHELMED MATTER"). So here are my Cup anagrams for you. I've added explanatory comments where needed. Enjoy! MICHAEL ANDERSEN ===> N.E. LARIDAE MENSCH ERIC BANFORD ===> CORE BIRD FAN MELANIE DRISCOLL ===> IDEAL CLO MERLINS STEVE FAST ===> SEES FAT TV (or it might be a Golden Eagle...) BOB FOGG ===> OOF! GBBG. (Said, perhaps, after hoping for a Slaty-backed or Western Gull.) SCOTT HABER ===> SCOTER BATH (This rather silly little Cup anagram is the one that started them all. Scott's name also morphs into BEST HOT CAR, which is probably accurate, if you're comparing Scott's Jeep with other Cornell students' vehicles.) MEENA HARIBAL ===>AM HERE, IN A LAB O, MEENA HARIBAL ===> A REAL BOHEMIAN (I came up with the latter on the day Meena found a BoWax flock on campus in Feb 05.) MICHAEL GASTON HARVEY ===> HAVE CLAIM ON THAYER'S G. (I devised this after MGH's documenting a possible Thayer's Gull in Seneca Falls in Feb 05.) ERIN HEWETT ===> I WENT THERE (This anagram, though tidy, seemed too vague. Erin's name seemed to hold better potential. Inherent there are some bird names, but without enough remaining letters to make a nice complete thought. So I thought a little harder...) ERIN L. HEWETT x 4 ===> THE WILLET, THE WEE LITTLE WINTER WREN INHERENT THERE PETE HOSNER ===> PHONE TREES (This is how Pete found out about the Nov 02 Black-legged Kittiwake on Dryden Lake, I hear.) ANNE MARIE AND TIM JOHNSON ===> MAN'S INNER MOJO: ANATID HEN. (This one took a lot of work. Can you tell?) DANIEL LEBBIN ===> DABBLE IN LINE (Speaking of anatids...) TIMOTHY COLIN LENZ ===> MYTHIC ZEN LOON LIT (Note that "lit" means "alighted." If ever this were to happen in the Basin, Tim would probably be the one to witness it.) KEVIN MCGOWAN ===> K. CAN MOVE WING (But he can't fly.) JAY MCGOWAN ==> A CAGY J.M. WON (This is the story of the David Cup from the last two years. It is a bit of a cop-out to use Jay's initials in this anagram, as with Kevin's above, but that's the best I could do with the name, which is packed with unblendable consonants, including a J.) PERRI MCGOWAN ===> MEN GRIP A CROW (Kevin, is this intentional?) BOB MCGUIRE ===> ICGU MOBBER (Bob is leading a CBC field trip to Seneca Falls in March 05.) BARD PRENTISS ===> REST, BIRDS, NAP. (Any Cupper's ideal day.) KENNETH ROSENBERG ===> B-T GREEN. KENN'S HERO. LENA SAMSONENKO ===> MEN SANE? ASK LOON. (It's a valid question. Maybe the mythic Zen loon has an answer...) CHRIS TESSAGLIA-HYMES ===> LIST SCHEMES! I SAY, ARGH!!! (Cayugabirds-L czar getting frustrated with reply-to-sender controversy?) ALLISON WELLS ===> ALL IS SWELL, NO? (Not really bird-related, but still fun and fitting, I think.) JEFFREY VANCE WELLS ===> NEW JERSEY ACFL, VEFL (In case you don't get it -- the FLs are flycatchers. Nice WSB finds.) plus... MARK CHAO ==> CHARM A-OK [EDITOR'S NOTE: It has come to my attention that "Jesse Mathias Ellis" can be rearranged to spell, "I JEST: I AM SEASHELLS." Also, if you use Mark's middle name it is possible to form "CH. POSH ANAGRAM KING," perhaps a fitting title. Chao, Mark!] !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! KICKIN' TAIL! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cup Interviewer Mark Chao has a quick chat with 2004 David Cup champion Jay McGowan. THE CUP: Congratulations on your win, with the second-highest winning total in Cup history! JAY: Thanks! THE CUP: Tell us about your frame of mind over the last two months of the year, as you worked to maintain your lead over Scott. JAY: I must admit that Scott's proximity in the standings influenced my birding zeal, though it didn't actually help me gain any species near the end of the year. My last three species (Snowy Owl, Northern Shrike, and Cave Swallow) I think I still would have gotten even if I had not been in such a close race. THE CUP: How would you rank the following as factors in your victory -- will, skill, experience, flexibility with time, mobility, luck? JAY: They are all very important of course...I guess if I have to rank them, offhand I would say: flexibility, luck, will, mobility, skill, experience. I think flexibility with time is very important for a successful big year, and I certainly had it to some degree last year, since I didn't have classes every day. Almost any aspect of birding can be attributed to luck (sometimes it's just more obvious than other times--I'm thinking of some of Pete's 2002 experiences here.) I think I had my share of luck in 2004, though it didn't always feel like it. Will is very necessary, and luckily my birding passion supplies my will with or without competition. Mobility is also an important factor, and one that I gained from 2003, when I did not have my driver's license. As for skill and experience, while they both play a central role in the competition, aren't always the most important things. That's just my feeling at the moment. If I think about it longer I will probably change my mind. THE CUP: You have joined Matt Young as the second back-to-back David Cup winner in the history of the competition. Do you have the will to go for an unprecedented "three-peat"? JAY: It's possible, but I have a feeling someone else will have the spirit to take the lead this year. Still, I will be around, so don't rule me out. I'm getting off to a slow start in 2005, but we'll see how things go in the spring. If not this year, perhaps later. Three back-to-back wins would be nice... THE CUP: Can you size up the competition? Who, in your mind, are this year's contenders, and what do they bring to the table? JAY: Tim Lenz was voted most likely to win this year, and I think he could certainly do it if he has the determination. Bob McGuire is off to a roaring start, and he may keep it up throughout the year, even though this is his first year in the David Cup. Scott Haber is always a possibility; he might feel like a comeback after his narrow loss last year. Mike Andersen is also a possibility. He seems to be getting out a lot so far this year. THE CUP: Last year you also smashed the all-time Evans Trophy total, for the town of Dryden. How does that achievement measure up to your Cup wins? JAY: Well, nothing beats winning the David Cup, but a Dryden record is exhilarating. My total also ties the highest ever town list (set by Tim Lenz in Ithaca last year.) THE CUP: What were your best Dryden finds? And what were the highlights of your Basin year on the whole? JAY: The highlights of my Basin year of course included the rarities. The guillemot and the Cave Swallows were great, and also enjoyed the two sets of Red Knots. The Whimbrel was new for my Basin list as well. I had a lot of good birds in Dryden this year, really too many to enumerate--but I'm going to anyway. In addition the major rarities that turned up in Dryden (Cattle Egret, Cackling Goose, Common Teal, Wilson's Phalarope, Red-headed Woodpecker, Dickcissel, Hoary Redpoll), I saw quite a few birds that are uncommon in Dryden. In case you were wondering, these included Tundra Swan, Brant, American Bittern, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Sora, Black-bellied Plover, American Golden-Plover, White-rumped and Baird's sandpipers, Long-billed and Short-billed dowitchers, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black Tern, Olive-sided Flycatcher, all five eastern empidonax (including Acadian), Cliff Swallow, and Orange-crowned Warbler, among others. The list of my Dryden misses contains only a couple of seemingly reliable species and comprises mostly more difficult birds. Some of the possibilities that I failed to see include Black Scoter, Red-necked Grebe, Red-shouldered Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Glaucous Gull, Marsh Wren, Lapland Longspur, Orchard Oriole, and Evening Grosbeak. Canvasback and Redhead are both super-rare in Dryden, so I'm not surprised at missing those. Other than that, aside from a few incidental sightings of other Dryden accidentals (Western Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone), I really didn't miss that much. The George Road wetlands contributed a lot to my high total. 17 species of shorebird is hard to beat. This hotspot more than made up for a mediocre Dryden Lake year. Oh, did you have more non-Dryden-related questions? I'm sorry, go on. THE CUP: It's OK. We like hearing about birds. Did you witness any especially interesting, unusual, or previously-unseen bird behavior? JAY: We had an interesting day in April watching gulls play with various balls. A Herring and a Great Black-blacked on the dock at Stewart Park taking turns with several tennis balls in various states of decay. The black-backed would even bounce the balls on the dock and then retrieve them from the water when they rolled off. The same day we saw a Herring Gull with another worn tennis ball at Myers Point. It just stood with the ball in its bill. THE CUP: Get any outstanding photos that you want to brag about? JAY: I managed to get some really nice shots of redpolls, Common and Hoary, this past winter. I had a rather poor year with warblers, though; I didn't try as hard to get shots of them as in past years. Let's see, what else...Kevin got some beautiful shots of the Dickcissel in June. We both got identifiable Cave Swallow photos too; they're not great pictures, but still a bit impressive given the situation. I managed to get some rather nice Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow shots from the south end of the lake; we have had trouble photographing this species in the past, but these were more cooperative than past ones. THE CUP: Remind us -- how old are you? JAY: Eighteen as of last July. THE CUP: And at what age did you first participate in the David Cup? JAY: I have participated in the David Cup every year since its inception in 1996, when I was nine and a half. I saw 224 species the first year. THE CUP: Now you no longer stand alone as the kid among adults in our birding community. But you must have a pretty firm hold on the record for greatest proportion of one's life spent looking for birds in the Basin. (I wonder who's second -- maybe Matt Medler or Chris Tessaglia-Hymes?) JAY: I expect so...a quick calculation shows that I have spent 48.64% of my life (as of December 31, 2004) actually participating in the David Cup, and that's not counting the time when I was birding in the Basin before the Cup started. In fact, on July 2nd, 2005, I will have spent exactly *half* my life in the David Cup. I should have a party or something. THE CUP: Party at Jay's house!! Mark your calendars... --------------------------------------------- 2004 DAVID CUP WORD SEARCH Once again I have constructed and attached a word search for any of you who enjoy that kind of thing. It has the names of most of the rarities that showed up in 2004 hidden horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. --------------------------------------------- "CUP...QUOTES" Today's exploration of Ithaca's new 'big box' stores showed me only one exciting item: a Belted Kingfisher sitting on a wire beside the new inlet bridge near Lowe's. I thought he should have migrated by now? But perhaps the bright lights and hot deals persuaded him it would stay warm there. --Nancy Dickinson I'm getting very tired of scanning through hundreds of Canada Geese trying to hallucinate a tiny one. --Ken Rosenberg Linen, towel laundry --Scott Haber Sorry for the previous blank email to the list. When I'm trying to type reminders to myself while trying to finish up homework at 4AM, odd things show up in the "To:" field. --Scott Haber Amid all this lexicographic exploration, another interesting fact occurred to me: "Scott Haber" is an anagram for "Scoter Bath." Scott, is this intentional? --Mark Chao Goody! Back-to-back Redpoll years. --Chris Tessaglia-Hymes --------------------------------------------------------- May Your Cup Runneth Over, - Jay