Year 9, Issues 5-6

***************************************************************** *^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^^ * ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * ^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^^^^ * ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ * ^ ^ ^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^ *The Cup 9.5-9.6 ­ May/June 2004 *The electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy competitions. * Editor-in-Chief: Jay McGowan * Highlights: Jay McGowan * Resident Interviewer: Mark Chao * Bird Taste-Tester: Martin McGowan * Acuracy chekcer: N/A ****************************************************************** Welcome to The Cup! The summer doldrums are almost at an end, with shorebirds returning and the possibility of rarities increasing daily. Those lazy, hazy days of summer were the perfect time to write an extensive, exhaustive, and thoroughly entertaining issue of The Cup. But it didn't quite happen that way. So, without further ado, here is The Cup 9.5-9.6. ---------------------------- <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< PILGRIMS' PROGRESS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> May, June 2004 David Cup Totals Despite Scott's promising April lead, somehow he just didn't make it through May and June. He is expected to make a comeback soon, though. 218, 228 Jay McGowan 215, 219 Scott Haber 206, 217 Kevin McGowan 216, ??? Steve Fast 202, 214 Bard Prentiss 201, 212 Mark Chao 204, 211 Bruce Tracey 193, 200 Ken Rosenberg 188, ??? Tim Lenz 176, 183 Anne Marie Johnson 168, 182 Chris Tessaglia-Hymes 179, ??? Meena Haribal 175, ??? Steve Kelling 160, 167 Perri McGowan 155, ??? Erin Hewett 145, 145 John Baur 144, ??? Sam Kelling 68, 143 Matt Medler 114, 137 Rachel Rosenberg 114, 137 Olivia Rosenberg ???, ??? Lena Samsonenko 103, 107 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan ???, ??? Allison Wells 85, 85 Pete Hosner 78, 81 Martin (the Cat) McGowan 69, 69 Julie Hart ??, ?? Evan Wells May, June 2004 McIlroy Award (Ithaca) Totals Ken just managed to edge out no-longer-a-resident-of-Ithaca-or-the- Cayuga-Lake-Basin-for-that-matter Tim Lenz for the McIlroy lead. Way to go Ken! 172, 174 Ken Rosenberg 160, 160 Tim Lenz 146, 153 Mark Chao 134, 141 Jeff Gerbracht 132, 134 Jay McGowan 112, 118 Kevin McGowan ???, ??? Allison Wells May, June 2004 Evans Trophy (Dryden) Totals 178, 183 Jay McGowan 165, 169 Kevin McGowan 162, ??? Steve Fast 160, 161 Bard Prentiss May, June 2004 Yard Totals 119, ??? Steve Kelling, Caroline 105, ??? John Fitzpatrick 100, 105 McGowan/Kline Family, Dryden 87, ?? Nancy Dickinson 64, 70 Anne Marie Johnson, Caroline May, June 2004 Lansing Competition Totals ---, 148 Kevin McGowan 120, 141 Mark Chao ???, ??? Bruce Tracey May, June 2004 Etna Challenge Totals 9, 624 Allison Wells* Mark Chao's 200th bird: Yellow-throated Vireo Scott Haber's 200th bird: Alder Flycatcher Jay McGowan's 200th bird: Blackpoll Warbler Kevin McGowan's 200th bird: Semipalmated Sandpiper Bard Prentiss' 200th bird: Virginia Rail Ken Rosenberg's 200th bird: Dickcissel *This is only a rough estimate, no actual totals being received. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ BASIN COMPOSITE DEPOSIT The Basin total for 2004 stood at 252 at the end of May and now stands at 253 for June (when only Dickcissel was added.) The biggest misses this year include Greater White-fronted Goose, Little Gull (the first time in quite a while no one found one in the spring), Long-eared Owl, Cape May Warbler, and Henslow's Sparrow. Here is the complete list: Canada Goose, Brant, ROSS'S GOOSE, Snow Goose, Mute Swan, Tundra Swan, 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, Ruddy Turnstone, RED KNOT, Sanderling, Dunlin, Pectoral Sandpiper, W-r Sandpiper, WESTERN SANDPIPER, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, RUFF, S-b Dowitcher, Am. Woodcock, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope, 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, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, Y-b Cuckoo, B-b Cuckoo, S-e Owl, Great Horned 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, Barn Swallow, Tufted Titmouse, B-c Chickadee, 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, 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, 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, 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, W-w Crossbill, C. Redpoll, HOARY REDPOLL, Pine Siskin, Am. Goldfinch, House Sparrow. ALSO SEEN BUT NOT COUNTABLE: Trumpeter Swan LEADER'S MISS LIST Of all those species, this month's leader missed the following birds: EURASIAN WIGEON, PACIFIC LOON, SNOWY EGRET, TRICOLORED HERON, B-c Night-Heron, YELLOW RAIL, Ruddy Turnstone, RED KNOT, Sanderling, WWESTERN SANDPIPER, RUFF, S-b Dowitcher, N. S-w Owl, R-h Woodpecker, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, Y-b Flycatcher, N. Shrike, Philadelphia Vireo, WHITE-EYED VIREO, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, O-c Warbler, B-b Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow, W-w Crossbill. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ --------------------------------------------- MAY & JUNE 2004 BASIN HIGHLIGHTS by Jay McGowan ---MAY--- As a nice start to the May rarities, Tim Lenz and Mike Andersen found a WHITE-EYED VIREO in Mundy Wildflower Gardens at the Cornell Plantations on May 1st. The warblers trickled back in the last week of April and first weeks of May. The Hawthorn Orchards were perhaps not quite as productive as usual, with only a few BAY-BREASTED WARBLERS and NORTHERN PARULAS, and Cape May or Golden-winged warblers completely absent. ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, on the other hand, were seen quite often in the hawthorns over a period of about a week, as well as at other locations. A BREWSTER'S WARBLER was seen in the hawthorns on May 7th. (Brewster's Warblers were also reported at Sapsucker Woods and at the Lindsay- Parsons Biodiversity Preserve during the month.) Tim Johnson reported a fly-over WILLET from near the Hawthorn Orchards on May 11th. Some warblers arrived back in West Danby a little before they did in Ithaca. WORM-EATING WARBLERS were back on territory there by May 7th, and a male GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, along with the spring's first reported Hooded Warbler, were seen nearby on the 8th. The SHORT-EARED OWL found near George Road in Dryden on April 30th was seen again on May 3rd but was not relocated subsequently. On May 5th, Tim Lenz saw a SANDHILL CRANE flying over Collegetown in Ithaca. Also on the 5th, Matt Young found a singing WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL at George Jr. in Dryden, but it only stayed for a few minutes. PINE SISKINS were found breeding in several areas in the Basin, including Summerhill and Ithaca. The EVENING GROSBEAK flock present at Summerhill all winter was last reported from May 3rd. On May 6th Domonic Sherony and Gary Chapin found a male EURASIAN WIGEON (the second in the Basin this year) in Tschache Pool at Montezuma, as well as the first UPLAND SANDPIPERS of the year at the fairgrounds south of Seneca Falls. On May 7th, Bob Guthrie reported a female RUFF at Benning Marsh, Montezuma. The bird was seen later that evening but was not found the next day. What WAS found the next day, however, was almost as exciting: Joe Brin found a TRICOLORED HERON and a SNOWY EGRET together in North Spring Pool (across the road from the end of the wildlife drive) at Montezuma. The Snowy Egret was seen again the next day, but the Tricolored was not refound. On the 19th, a Snowy Egret (presumably the same individual) was seen again near North Spring Pool. On May 9th, Tim and Anne Marie Johnson found a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW in the field across from their house on Creamery Road in Brooktondale. This bird is probably the same individual that sang in the same locations for much of the spring and summer last year. Later in the month, two Clay-colored Sparrows were seen in the field, and a couple of weeks later they were observed apparently feeding young. The lack of feeding the next day, however, led some to suspect that the sparrows lost their first brood. No evidence of a second brood has been observed. Mark Dettling found a male GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER singing a Blue-wing type song on the property at the end of Teeter Road in Lansing on May 10th. This bird was around until at least well into June. On May 21st, Mark Chao and Tim Lenz found a singing WORM-EATING WARBLER in the same area. A RUDDY TURNSTONE was seen at Myers Point on the 13th and another on the 24th, and five SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHERS turned up on the 14th. Allison Wells found a WESTERN SANDPIPER on the spit on the 15th (but neglected to post it to the list until two days after the fact.) On the evening of the 20th, Ken Rosenberg found a WHIMBREL settling down to roost on the spit. It remained until the next morning and well into the day. Other birds around Myers included DUNLIN, SEMIPALMATED AND LEAST SANDPIPERS, SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, FORSTER'S TERN, COMMON NIGHTHAWK, and CLIFF SWALLOW. An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was seen at Sapsucker Woods on May 14th, and ACADIAN FLYCATCHERS were found again at the traditional spot off Ford Hill Road in Lansing on the 23rd. The YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT seen at the end of April in the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve in West Danby was seen again on May 16th and remained into June. Worm-eating Warblers were also present at this location. A GLOSSY IBIS was seen on the 15th at the Lime Hollow Nature Center. The first SWAINSON'S and GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES of the year were heard as night migrants over Ithaca on the 19th. The next morning both species were seen in the Hawthorn Orchard. Mark Dettling, Fred Werner, and Christine Sousa found a WILSON'S PHALAROPE at Benning Marsh at Montezuma on May 19th. On the 26th, a CATTLE EGRET was reported from the main drive, and on the 27th Bob Guthrie reported seeing a flock of 32 WHIMBREL flying over the main pool at Montezuma. A BRANT was found feeding with Canada Geese at Stewart Park on May 25th and stayed for several days. On May 30th, Ken Rosenberg found a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT along the Cayuga Inlet in Ithaca, and a singing NORTHERN PARULA at Robert Treman State Park. Scott Haber found a WESTERN SANDPIPER in the George Road wetlands on the 30th. Also on the 30th, Bob Spahn discovered many shorebirds at the Know-Marcellus Marsh (off East Road or Towpath Road) near Montezuma, including WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, SANDERLING, and 3 AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVERS. The next day, David Neveu found 2 RED KNOTS at this location, in addition to a Ruddy Turnstone and other shorebirds. The knots were not seen at this location the next day, however. ---JUNE--- A male DICKCISSEL was found near the Reynolds Game Farm on Stevenson Road on June 2nd. The bird, which was singing an atypical song vigorously from a fence along the east edge of the farm, stayed for several days and allowed close looks. It appeared to be an immature male, for although it was quite yellow on the chest and showed the other plumage characteristics of an adult, it had only a black spot where the extensive black bib would normally be on an adult male. The SANDHILL CRANES bred again near Carncross Road north of Montezuma. Two juveniles were seen with adults in early June. A GLOSSY IBIS was found at Benning Marsh on June 8th and remained in the area well into July. Both AMERICAN and LEAST BITTERNS were seen at Montezuma, as well as many Black Terns and one or two Caspian Terns. COMMON TERNS were often seen over the main pool as well, and a Common Tern nest with one egg was reported from Tschache Pool on the June 24th. On the 26th, a BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON was seen on the main pool, the first sighting of this species since April. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! KICKIN' TAIL! ! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Kickin' Tail is back (not that it was ever really gone, of course.) Former Cup editor Matt Medler was aghast at my suggestion of a different article temporarily replacing Kickin' Tail as a means of interviewing new cuppers. In a tactful but imperious message to the editor, Medler made his wishes clear: Kickin' Tail is mandatory. "[Kickin' Tail] is more than a moderately (or whatever adjective you used) cherished Cup tradition," Medler wrote. So Kickin' Tail returns. And now, The Cup (ably represented by Mark Chao) interviews Scott Haber, who took the lead for the month of April, only to be beaten by Jay two months in a row. Scott remains in second place, however, and is well placed to reclaim the lead in the fall. The Cup: Congratulations on your April Cup lead! You've made quite an ascent to the top of the standings, in your very first year of competing for the Cup. How have you been doing it? Scott: By listening to Cup Coach/McIlroy Nazi Tim Lenz's drill- sergeant-like motivational speeches, and (Coach from afar) Pete Hosner's Basin birding tips -- that is, until he disappeared to Panama, or Wyoming or Costa Rica. Also, I like to add a pinch of neglecting important academic responsibilities, and a dash of being one of the few Cornell freshmen in possession (legally) of a car. The Cup: I see quite an interesting subplot with this year's contest - - not only do we have great young birders vying for the Cup, we have a competition among Hall-of-Fame-caliber coaches too. I wonder if Jay McGowan ever calls his Cup Coach a Nazi behind his back. So do you think you can hold the lead? Scott: It's doubtful with Jay breathing down my neck so closely. I also have a gut feeling that one of the old(er)-timers will make a late season push (a McGowan other than Jay, or a Rosenberg perhaps?). The Cup: What has been your best Cup moment of the year? Scott: Tim Lenz refusing to show me where the Woodleton Boardwalk at the Lab of O was, so I could get my Cup-Northern Waterthrush. Being the McIlroy Nazi he is, Tim would not let me cross the road into Dryden and insisted I find a McWaterthrush within the Ithaca portion of Sapsucker Woods. I also always seemed to pick up new Cup birds whenever Lena Samsonenko was too bogged down with schoolwork to go birding. The Cup: Only the Cup could turn Tim into a dictatorial oppressor -- and I'd imagine that only the Cup could turn spite into a source of pleasure for a nice young man like you. Maybe we should have warned John Baur's wife before we talked him into participating. In any case...what species are you targeting this summer? Scott: I'd like to find a new Henslow's Sparrow spot for the Basin, and the Teeter Road Worm-eating can't disappoint me for much longer, or else I'll have to find one at the Biodiversity Preserve. I also have to get up to Montezuma eventually and knock off bitterns, Cerulean Warbler, and Upland Sandpiper. The Cup: I hope that you don't mean "knock off" in the Tony Soprano way. You are from Jersey, aren't you? Scott: Actually, NJ gets an undeserved bad rap. The Turnpike does have its interesting smells, but I've seen Black Bear, Timber Rattlesnake, and Prickly Pear Cactus all living wild in the state. I've lived my entire 19 years in a small town called Tenafly, along the Palisades over the Hudson River, about 7 miles north of New York city. The Cup: How the heck did a Prickly Pear Cactus get to Jersey? Maybe a seed got pooped out by a stray White-winged Dove. Let me ask, since several of our Cup stalwarts also bird Jersey hard each spring, have you ever done a New Jersey Big Day? And have you seen any rarities there that stand out in your memory? Scott: I did the World Series of Birding in 2002 with 3 fellow young birder friends of mine...we got 169 species, good enough (back then) for 2nd place in the youth division. As far as rarities in NJ, I've seen Ruff, Mississippi Kite, Purple Gallinule, Calliope Hummingbird, and Swainson's Warbler; but I've actually had many more successful rarity chases in the state of New York. The Cup: What are your best New York and/or Basin finds? Scott: I found a singing northern Parula in the middle of January on the Central Park CBC 3 years ago, but as far as Basin finds, I'm pretty proud of the Eurasian Green-winged Teal (although that might be a refind) and the recent Western Sandpiper. The Cup: Scott, how did you become a birder? Scott: Thanks to my 7th-grade science teacher, Dennis Minsky, a former wildlife biologist for the USFWS who studied terns. He did a unit on birds with us during the semester, and although most of my friends considered it dorky or weird, I was hooked. (Note: one or more of the previous sentences might have been copied and pasted from one of my Cornell admissions application essays). The Cup: You've been working as a field assistant in David Winkler's study of local Tree Swallows this summer. What's the study about? And how has the experience been for you? Scott: This is actually my 4th summer as field assistant on the Ithaca Tree Swallow project under Dr. Winkler. Our research topics are many and varied, and stem from both Dr. Winkler's interests, and those of his undergraduate and grad students. This summer's activities included: running swallows through a flight performance tunnel to quantify their flight abilities and correlate this with their breeding success; trying out dummy radio transmitters on the swallows to see if a future study using actual radios to track the post-breeding movements of the swallows, would be feasible; and continuing to contribute to a worldwide data set known as Golondrinas de las Americas (more info at which seeks to produce a huge database of life history information regarding swallow species all over the world, using standardized protocols and methods. I'm also doing a bit of my own research this summer, collecting feather samples from the swallows to see if any trace elements can be detected through later analysis, which will allow us to make ecological connections between the swallows' breeding and roosting sites. The Cup: Do you have any idea yet what you want to do after Cornell? Scott: I'd like to follow the Pete Hosner model of fine living: avoid grad school, be a bird bum, and somehow be oddly well versed in fine wines and exotic fishes (well, maybe I'll just leave the last two to Pete). The Cup: Do you have a girlfriend? Scott: Unfortunately not at the moment. I've gone both routes: Having a birder girlfriend, and trying to convert a non-birder girlfriend. Neither was very successful. The Cup: How often do you think of each of the following: schoolwork, food, women, and birds? Scott: Not as much as I should, sometimes, sometimes (of course this level of awareness rises dramatically when I'm in the vicinity of Pete's Treats), and more than I should. The Cup: Has any of the Pete's staffers slipped you her phone number with your curly fries yet? Scott: I believe that's only happened to Ryan Bakelaar so far...I'm still hoping. The Cup: Do you have any other interests or passions besides birds? Scott: I wouldn't say I have any other passions besides birding, but my other hobbies include: any general outdoor activities, and music... both listening, and performance as a percussionist, although I was more involved in performance in my high school days. The Cup: What's in your MP3 player now? Scott: I'm not high-tech enough for an MP3 player, but in my CD player right now is "The Very Best of The Who." The Cup: I'm not tryin' to cause a big s-s-s-sensation -- but you're talkin' 'bout Steve Fast's g-g-g-generation. What's your favorite color? Scott: The red of a Red-faced Warbler's face. The Cup: Your favorite 3 warbler species? Scott: Blackburnian, Golden-Winged, Cerulean. The Cup: Name a bird species that you feel is underappreciated, and tell what you like about it. Scott: Gadwall - I think it's a gorgeous duck, although some consider its grays and browns to be "dull". The Cup: Ah! You are a man of taste! Your most coveted Basin bird not yet seen? Scott: Eared Grebe or Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow. The Cup: Do you have any closing words for Jay or for our loyal Cup readers? Scott: To Jay: Don't beat me too badly. To loyal Cup readers: If you see my wonderfully eco-friendly silver Jeep tromping over the snow-covered basketball courts at Myers or rampaging through a random cornfield in pursuit of something with feathers, feel free to flag me down and introduce yourself. And to any members of law enforcement who are also Cup readers, the above incident might be fictional. ---------------------------------------- "CUP...QUOTES" I was walking along the small creek, not expecting to see anything too special, when I heard a warbler singing in the distance. After some fruitless searching, I noticed some motion in a bush right in front of me, and to my great surprise, found a dazzling male MAGNOLIA WARBLER deep in the dense twigs. The song that I thought was distant was actually his, uttered sotto voce; he hardly opened his bill, but I could see his body vibrating as the sound came forth. It was as if he was rehearsing in privacy backstage before curtain. He remained right there before me for several minutes -- I could see every feather. --Mark Chao From this sublime moment, things then turned ridiculous, as an American Robin flying about 30 feet overhead dropped a guano "smart-bomb" on my sleeve. There were some black beetle wings in it, but the other contents were too thoroughly digested to be identified. --Mark Chao Hey, I've been better lately. --Ken Rosenberg, referring to his increased number of somewhat timely postings ...and watched a pair of YELLOW WARBLERS. The female kept flying just in front of the male, wherever he went, with her mouth open as if she was begging for food. I did not see him give her anything, however. Typical male. --Steve Fast Yesterday at the intersection of Campus Road and Central Avenue on the Cornell campus, I observed a catbird on one of the traffic signals. The light is one of the vertical models with visors. The catbird was standing on the visor of the bottom light in front of the amber lens of the middle light. When the amber lens was off, he was pecking at it, presumably seeing his image. When the light came on, he faced the other way only to resume pecking when the light switched. --Mike Duttweiler I have learned now that I need to always have a camera with me. I mean, I already never go anywhere without my binoculars, baseball cap, and a field guide, so a camera isn't much more. And it's much smaller than the scope which also needs to be included. Oh,wait, there's that sound recording equipment, that would be soooo handy instead of having to remember what I hear to compare with the CDs. And playback equipment, so I can hear those CDs on site. And I need one of those fancy frequency slicers like Bard Prentiss has been using - caint' barely hear a Brown Creeper these days. If I keep this up I'll be a HABU - Human Autonomous Birding Unit, or almost, except for the autonomous part; I'm married. Leaving any of it behind will ensure that I come across The Rare Bird which can only be positively ID'ed with whatever I didn't bring. --Asher Hockett As I entered the refuge, a painted turtle was crossing the road and as soon he saw my car put his inside and froze. So I had to get out and put him off the road and also told him that this was stupid behavior, if other cars pass by thinking he is dead might drive over him. --Meena Haribal I'll stick my neck out a little and suggest that tonight and tomorrow night should result in some significant pushes of migrants into our area... --Chris Tessaglia-Hymes the weather didn't really pan out --Chris Tessaglia-Hymes I saw a Red-Tailed Hawk carrying a grey squirrel this morning. Despite a slight diversion, the bird seed is making it to the birds. --Roger Sleeper ...and a couple dozen Ring-billed Gulls, including at least 4 breeding adults. This may have been the first time that I've a good look at breeding R-b Gulls. I must confess that they give me the creeps -- their blood-red gapes and eye rings make them look like evil clowns, like the Joker in the first Batman movie. --Mark Chao The best, perhaps, was a calling YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (I think somewhere near the nw corner -- sorry, I was pretty lost in there)... --Ken Rosenberg Anyway, this is probably my final post for the time being to CAYUGABIRDS-L, as I'm moving on to the "real world" back in Nevada and elsewhere. There's too many people to thank here for all of the things I've learned about birds. It's always great to see so many people out in the field, and I don't think there's anywhere else in the world where so many birders are congregated in such a small area! It's been a blast. --Tim Lenz On Tuesday afternoon, I asked my little son Tilden what he wanted to do. "Me want dig earthworms pillbugs millipedes. House not have 'nough rocks. Want go Myers," he said. How could I refuse? --Mark Chao I was hoping to see Green Frogs again today, yes they were at the same spot last time I saw them. To me they look like non-breeding plumaged Chestnut-sided warblers. --Meena Haribal I tried about 100' upstream and it was there-the WORM-EATING WARBLER. Although I listened to it singing for another 1/2 hr., it was going hither and yon while I was going yon and hither, so didn't see it. --Steve Fast No basin sightings to report, as the local Marsh Warblers (newly arrived) and yard-list White Storks and Nightingale are even more out- of-basin than Steve Kelling's yard... --Wesley Hochachka I haven't take Cornell math classes for nothing...2 males + 3 females = 5 blackpolls, not 4. Sorry... (pulling out my Calculus textbook again) --Scott Haber [The Dickcissel] really seem to chase those Song Sparrows, and to me it does not look like an aggressive behavior, who knows may be this summer we will have Songcissels! --Meena Haribal I think Summerhill (being biased a bit) probably does have the basin's largest population. --Matt Young This is the Captain Kirk of Dickcissels, not the John Robinson of Dickcissels. --John Van Niel -------------------- May Your Cup Runneth Over, - Jay