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Year 4, Issue 1

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* The unofficial electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy birding
events
*    Editors: Allison Wells, Jeff Wells
*    Basin Bird Highlights, Leader's List, Composite Deposite: "Thoreau"
Geo Kloppel
*    Pilgrim's Progress, McIlroy Compiler: "Stoinking" Matt Medler
*    Stat's All: Karl "Father of the Madness" David
*    Evans Cup Compiler: "Bird Hard" Bard Prentiss
*    The Yard Stick Compiler: We don't know yet
*    Bird Bits: Jay "Beam Hill Me Up, Scotty" McGowan
*    Bird Brain Correspondent: "Downtown" Caissa Willmer   
*    Micriphone Tester: Jeff Wells
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Welcome to the "Father Karl, you moved to Wisconsin too soon" edition of
The Cup! Yes, it's time for the Cupper Supper Round-Up, and you know
what that means: You who weren't brave enough to enter the confines of the
Wells' Birdland Bistro will finally get the answers to burning questions
big (What pop culture references made the 1998 David Cup Top Ten List?
What rompin' stompin' blues did DJ Ken Rosenberg spin on the
CD player?) and small (Who won the David Cup this year?)
Also in this issue are the latest totals for the fast and furious
1999 season, highlights since the New Year began (and there are lots),
and more.

May this issue of The Cup sooth your curious mind, inspire you to mark your
calendars for next year's big event, and give you reason to fritter away
another precious lunch break.

Oh, and if you bird at all in the Basin, you're invited to join the fun and
fodder. We won't laugh at your totals if you know how to make a decent bean
and
cheese burrito.  Let the games begin...again.

????????????????????????????????????
           WHO SAID THAT?             ?
????????????????????????????????????

The competition doesn't stop at the birding fields. The Cupper Supper is
always frought with cut-throat challenges like this from our latest Supper...
 
Match the most quotes with the Cupper who
said it and win a fabulous prize! (All quotes
taken from 1998 issues of The Cup.)

1. "In recognition of my reputation for being dressed inappropriately
for the weather, I've decided to do all my birding this summer wearing
long underwear, a down parka, and hat and gloves."

2."On Friday, I took a day off from work for a trip around the lake.
 Unfortunately, I did not get past Aurora. ... By the time I got to the
turnoff for Long Point, one of my brand new tires (only on the car 4 days)
had gone nearly flat."

3. "I watched the siskin with our new Leica spotting scope--beautiful!"

4. "This weekend I spent most of my time birding on my property. I had
85 species by Sunday evening."

5. "As I have apparently learned to count higher than 25, I respectfully
submit my new, albeit somewhat disappointing, Tick Total."

6. "I am the greatest!  I see birds Evans doesn't even see in his dreams! 
I sting like a ichneumon wasp and fly like a woodcock!  I leap small
buildings (mostly doll houses) in a single bound (sometimes two)."

7. "The back channel was suffering a veritable infestation of Green-winged
Teal, with Gadwalls galore, and in every opening in the rushes boasting a
male Wood Duck in newly burnished baroque splendor."

8. "The glass-fronted, lighted (UV shielded, of course) display case is still
on order.  I expect it will go in the living room so that it will be the
first thing guests notice when they walk in the door."

9. "I am ever so excited and thrilled to tell you I had a Northern Shrike in
my dream last night."

10. "This morning I finally glimpsed what I'd been hearing for several days
in the grapevine-and-hawthorne thicket: a little flock of White-throated
Sparrows. How autumnal!"

11. "I understand nobody ever got to see it, because after we had all seen
it, Dad got out his BB gun and the Hoary Redpoll was never seen again."

12. "The DC trophy is sitting prominently on the dash board of my car. 
Right above the old Cheetos wrappers and Coke cans."

13. "Even if my lady left me, I'm still gonna play the hell out whatever I
play, because you play the blues to feel happy."

14. "As far as I know, I'm the only Cupper who keeps a sauna list."

15. "We went to Disney World, stayed for about a week, and were
appropriately underwhelmed. Then we hit the good part of the
trip - the Everglades."

 16. "I haven't eaten breakfast. I haven't had any coffee, and all I've seen
are Canada Geese. Can I have an ibuprofen?"

17. "I am currently in a birding renaissance that I expect will lead to a
comfortable relationship with birding as a favored passion for life."

18.  "I understand Steve Kelling is the person to talk to about Basin
configuration. He told me to go ahead and count the 360 species I
picked up in South Africa."

19. "Yes, this message actually is intended for the listserv."

20. "Rumor has it, [John Bower's] snoring during a 1987 flight call outing
at Mount Pleasant can still be heard murmuring through the wooded hollows
of Tompkins County."

21. "Sorry you missed the avocet."

22. "As Ken Rosenberg once told me, if you don't think big, you won't
get the big one."

A. John Bower   B. Ann Kendall  C. Steve Kelling   D. Matt Young  
E. Caissa Willmer  F. Matt Medler   G. Jay McGowan   H. Taj Mahal  
I. Geo Kloppel   J. Nancy Dickinson   K. Karl David  L. Kevin McGowan   
M. Sleepy in Ithaca   N. Matt Sarver   O. John Fitzpatrick 
P. Stephen Davies as second-guessed by The Cup editors  Q. Jeff Wells  
R. Bill Evans  S. Elmer Fud   T. Harry Sweets Edison   U. Allison Wells 
V. Chris Tessaglia-Hymes   W. Carol Bloomgarden   X. Geo Kloppel
Y. Ken Rosenberg   Z. Jon Kloppel    ZZ Bard Prentiss

Answers: 1 K  Karl   2 B  Ann K  3) V Christ T-H  4) C Steve
5) W Carol   6) S Elmer Fud, er, A  John B  7) E Caissa  8) L Kevin
9) M Sleepy in Ithaca  10) J Nancy  11) G Jay   12) P Stephen D as
second-guessed by Cup editors 13) T Harry Sweets Edison 14) I Geo
15) Matt S  16) Y Ken  17) Z  Jon K  18) O John Fitz 19) Matt M
20) R Bill  21) ZZ Bard  22) D Matt Y

Winner: Ken Rosengberg matched an amazing 16 quotes to Cuppers!
His prize: a Donald Duck Pez dispenser with refill. Symbolic of the
"talking head" theme of the game.

     ###########################################
     #           THE NUMBERS GAME              #
     ###########################################

 In the game of Cup life, how do YOU add up?

Number of Cuppers signed up for the David Cup by January 31, 1998: 30
Numbers of Cupper signed up by December 31: 57

Number of male Cuppers: 37
Last year: 35
Number of female Cuppers: 20
Last year: 14

Number of Cuppers who can't get into Dinasaur Barb-B-Q blues
concerts because of their real age (not including Cup critters): 4

Number of Cuppers who can get into Dinasaur blues concerts
but who definitely get carded: 1 (Matt Medler)

Number of Cuppers who saw visits from the "stork" in 1998: 1 (that we
know of)   Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

Number of Cuppers who work at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: 15

Number of Cupper Critters: 6

BS   BS    BS     BS     BS 
Blues and Sentimental       BS
BS   BS   BS     BS    BS  

This time of year, the David Cup committee tends to get sentimental. But alas,
they couldn't bring themselves to choose a representative to read their State of
the Cup address at the Cupper Supper this year (all the Members were afraid
they'd get hit with flying vegie balls if they dared bring the house to tears). 
So we've reprinted  here what would have been said at the Supper if they'd had a
little more beer in them:

"To All Cuppers:

Since none on the DC committee had the guts to read this at the Supper, let us
tell you now how proud we are to be part of the wild and crazy crew that call
themselves Cuppers. You are good people, we love your spirit of adventure,
and you're darned good cooks. May 1999 be as full of birder comradery as
was 1998. Good luck with your totals in the upcoming year, and may you
at least make the DC Top Ten! Most of all, keep having fun.



--the David Cup Committee
                                              
                                       o   o   o
                                    o  THE     o      
                                  o  WINNERS'  o
                                   o  CIRCLE  o                        
                                        o   o   o

It was down to the wire for two Cuppers this year. Would Geo Kloppel get
his Lapland Longspur in time? What birds could Matt Young possibly find in
the final days of the David Cup to secure victory?  The truth is, everyone
who tossed their totals into the ring was a winner. But the birder with the
highest total at the end of 1998 was...

                          :< )      Mighty Matt Young      ( >:
                     
                                      with a grand total of
                
                                                239

                                    Cayuga Lake Basin birds!

Congratulations to Matt, and to all Cuppers, on a great year of birding in
the Basin.
Good luck in 1998! 

THE TROPHY, DESCRIBED:   If you haven't seen the David Cup, that is reason 
enough to come to the Cupper Supper next year! It's a very special block of
wood,  carefully selected from the property of Steve Kelling, who also took the
time to carve  out that strange hole in the center that gives it the aura of a
... block of wood with a  hole in it. The name "Matt Young" will be soon be
added to the list of previous  victors sitting pretty in their gold placques.

All Cuppers present were presented with a one-of-a-kind David Cup certificate,
awarded by MATT SARVER WHO STEPPED IN BECAUSE MATT  MEDLER WAS A NO-SHOW!
Thanks, Matt (Sarver, that is). Members of  the 100 Club received a star sticker
on their certificates, and 200 Club members  also got an apple sticker that said
heart-felt things like, "Good Work" and  "Fantastic" -- it brought tears of
pride to their eyes..or was that from the  onions in the veggie balls?

McIlroy, Schmcilroy. Who cares about Ithaca? The competition is the
Etna challenge...now that the this is the town where the Wells' have settled!
Nonethless, it's with honor and esteem that this year's winner accepted the
dirty old sneaker, er, McIlroy Award (bearing her signatures and totals from
previous years):

                        ^ ^     ALLISON WELLS   ^ ^
                           V      who saw    V
                                     172
                                McIlroy Birds!

THE TROPHY, DESCRIBED: A dirty old sneaker with her signatures and totals
from previous years. Significance of the sneaker: This is supposed to be a
contest
you can win on foot.  (Trophy courtesy Jeff Wells)

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

THE EVANS CUP

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Big surprise here. Ready? The winner is. .  . .
                                    >         Ken Rosenberg        >
                                   U                                        U
                                               for his total of

                                                      198

THE TROPHY, DESCRIBED: A hand-crafted miniature Wood Duck box, like
the one named for Dick Evans at Dryden Lake.  Unfortunately, last year's
winner (Ken Rosenberg) wouldn't give it up. Ken sends apologies to himself.
(Trophy courtesy Bard Prentiss)

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
THE YARD STICK YYYY
YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Another big surprise. Can anyone compete with Ken's scoped-out bedroom
window?

                  --------           Ken Rosenberg       --------         
                                         139

THE TROPHY, DESCRIBED: A ruler (yard stick would be too predictable.
Besides, "ruler," get it? Get it? (Courtesy of the Wells)

                            ~             food          ~
                 fun     CUPPER SUPPER SUM-UP    fodder
                             ~         foolishness    ~

All though we still haven't heard from Hollywood about the our proposal two
years  ago for the David Cup movie (we even went to the trouble of telling them
which actor should play which Cupper, remember?), and though the David Cup  Rock
>n' Roll Tribute Album is still only a dream, we've gone ahead with a new plan: 
"IF Cuppers Were Best-Selling Contemporary Authors." Imagine the book they could
write together...

(Note: this was created moments before the Cupper Supper, so only includes
Cuppers expected to attend.)

                  "The Cuppers of Tompkins, Cayuga, and Seneca Counties"

Author                would write for      Cupper

Stephen King                                Matt Young
James Michner                               Geo Kloppel
Jon Krakauer                                Kevin McGowan                  
Dean Koontz                                 Ken Rosenberg
Amy Tan                                     Meena Haribal
Tom Clancy                                  Karl David                    
Sebastian Junger                            Jeff Wells 
Anne Rice/Annie Dillard                      Allison Wells
Isaac Asimov (if he weren't dead)         Steve Kelling
Tobias Woolf                                Matt Medler
Raymond Carver                              Matt Sarver
Tom Woolfe                                  Tom Nix
(actually, we knew Tom was going to be driving his daughter to JFK airport, but
we couldn't resist...)
Dick Francis                                Bard Prentiss
Jacquelyn Mitchard                          Pat Lia
Anne Tyler                                  Nancy Dickinson
Nora Ephron                                 Martha Fischer
John Grisham                                John Fitzpatrick
Louis L'Amour                               Jon Kloppel
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich                      Kim Kline
Mary Higgins Clark                          Melanie Uhlir
Judith Krantz                               Caissa Willmer

                    """"
      % % %
                     ~ ~
    % ^  ^  %
                  c  "-" CUPPERS' CHOICE AWARDS    *<*   %
                    ) >  )
      & U  &
                  _ _ O _ _
      )~( 
                /   /  \    \
        ( ( \ \
               /   /    \    \
       / /)  / / 
                   \    /                  
                      v
                  

We'll tell you who won, but we won't tell you what prizes they got,
because, hey, if you weren't they, you weren't there. Besides, we're trying to
save space...

QUICK DRAW AWARD (to Cupper with fastest Cayugabirds postings):
Winner: A tie between "Jessica Olin" & Matt Young! So the prize, of
course, went to the long-suffering Jessica Olin -- the real one
(Matt Young's girl friend whose email he has made famous)

SLOW GIN PRIZE (slowest to post), now known as "The Ken Rosenberg Award":
Winner: Big surprise, again, Ken?

TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE AWARD:
Winner: Remember Matt Medler and his "za"? Of course you do.

THOREAU AWARD:
Winner: Yup. Geo.

BIRDMOBILE PRIZE (for most "distinguished" vehicle):
Winner: Bard's "Hippymobile"

SURPRISE BIRD 1999
Winner: Tie between Purple Gallinule, Blue Grosbeak, and Yellow Rail. We hope
for all three.

BIRD OF THE YEAR
Winner: Not the Curlew Sandpiper, not the Gyrfalcon, it was the
White Pelicans!

MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE YARD STICK IN 1998:
Winner: This was a write-in category, since the creator of this
year's survey Matt Medler, is a renter and therefore doesn't
appreciate the finer points of Yardbirding. John Fitzpatrick
took this prize home. We can only assume his family stuffed
the ballot box.

MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE EVANS TROPHY IN 1998:
Winner: Ken. We think. We can't remember. And we through
out the voting totals. Er, that is, Jeff did.

MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE MCILROY AWARD IN 1998:
Winner: Martha Fischer. Allison definitely remembers this one.

MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE DAVID CUP IN 1998:
Winner: Chris Tessaglia-Hymes, despite his having an infant...

BIRDER OF THE YEAR:
Winner: Geo Kloppel. (You almost got him, Geo!)

                    /       EDITORS' CHOICE AWARDS     \
                   >
       '
Yes, we did it again. We admitted that we couldn't put out The Cup
without the help of some devoted "employees." Or at least, it wouldn't
be as fun! We hereby acknowledge these regular contributors:

Highlights Column: Geo Kloppel
Got: An oriole Christmas tree ornament to hang "high" in a tree
(could be a new yard bird!)

Stat's All Column: Karl David
Got: a hat (though not presented...because Karl's in Wisconsin,
remember?) because he is a man who can wear man "hats"

Bird Bits: Jay McGowan
Got: A bird mind-teaser puzzle. (If you've read his column, you know why)

Bird Brain: Caissa Willmer
Got: A clear ball with a penguin floating perpetually upright in some sort
of clear fluid. This is symbolic of Caissa's struggle to remain "upright" in
the sea of impropriety that is The Cup

Composite Deposit and Leader's List: Geo Kloppel
Got: Not just a pen, a silver pen with a hummingbird on it

David Cup and McIlroy Compiler: Matt Medler
Got: A tally tab and, naturally, an eraser (for David Cup purposes only)

Evans Trophy Compiler: Bard Prentiss
Got: tally tab

Yard Stick Compiler: Casey Sutton
Got: Not presented due to absence. Would have been
a can of Pringles, just because he loves them

Dear Tick: Dear Tick
Got: Nothing. This is the third year in a row this irreverent columnist has
stood us up!

In recognition of his effort with the Cayugabirds Hotline, the editors
recognized  Chris Tessaglia-Hymes on behalf of all Cayugabirders. To him, we
bestowed a  bird song game. (It was either that or one of those bird clocks, and
we just couldn't get ourselves to pay for one of those!) Besides, this gift is
just right for young children...

                              2  3  4  5
                 1   DAVID CUP TOP TEN LIST   6
                            7   8  9  10

What were the 1998 Top Ten Reasons to Be in the David Cup? You
probably have more than ten, but if they're not pop-culture references,
they're useless to us. We run this little contest every year to give
Cuppers a chance to prove they know nothing about pop culture ...
because they're too busy off birding.

Remember, a fabulour prize is awarded to the Cupper who names
the most correct references:

TOP TEN REASONS TO BE IN THE DAVID CUP 1998

10. Won't stick to most dental work.
 9. In the road of life, there are passengers, and there are drivers.
 8. We treat you right.
 7. Read it. You'll see.
 6. Hot. Wow. Now.
 5. It's the daytime, non-drowsy, congested, stuffy head, sore throat,
    coughing, aching, fever, so you can get through the day medicine.
 4. Who could ask for anything more?
 3. Sometimes you feel like a nut.
 2. It's part of your complete breakfast.
And the #1 reason to be in the David Cup

THE FLAVOR LASTS AN EXTRA LONG TIME

(10. Freedent gum 9. Volkswagon 8.  Dairy Queen
7. The New Yorker magazine 6. Domino's Pizza 5.Dayquil
4. Toyota 3. Almond Joy 2. Kellogg's cereals 1. Extra Sugar-fee Gum)

Winner: Kevin McGowan! Who has a TV but says he keeps it locked up
most of the time. Yeah, right...
Prize: Extra Sugar-free Gum, of course!

Okay, enough foolishness. Let's get down to the business of birding.
Here's what's been happening within the Basin birding scene these
past few months...
 
HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS
                        HIGHLIGHTS
                        by Geo Kloppel
HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS

I know the winter-lover's theme gets a little old by mid-March, but this is
the first chance I've had this year to sing it for THE CUP!

--Geo Kloppel

     In 1987, Norwegian film director Nils Gaup gave us "PATHFINDER", the first
feature ever filmed in the native language of the Saamen, the nomadic reindeer-
herding people of Lapland. The film retells a 1000 year-old Lapp folktale, a
gripping arctic adventure set in the boreal forests and out on the high tunturi
of northernmost Scandinavia. Temperatures during production are said to have
dropped to 40 degrees below zero, but the subsequent Academy Award nomination
recognized more than supremely difficult filming conditions. The belled
reindeer-sledges, traditional "joik" music, and sauna alone make the video
rental worthwhile, and the film also boasts some of the most primal skiing and
archery you're ever likely to see, but the story outdoes it all! If it doesn't
move you to cut a hole in the ice, steam yourself ruddy and plunge into the
frigid depths, you're probably already saving for a cushy retirement in the
crowded sun-belt. Possibly you skipped some of the Basin's most invigorating
birding in favor of earning a few extra bucks for your 401K escape plan. But as
always, winter ardor seized many cuppers. Here's a recap of the hard-won
highlights of the first two months of 1999:

     We traditionally begin with the Ithaca Christmas Bird Count, which this
year located 83 species on the first of January in spite of cold winds and the
scarcity of finches. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS and the first NORTHERN SHRIKE of
the year are included in the total. Neither the expected Short-eared Owls nor
Lapland Longspurs were found that day, but waterfowl diversity boosted the
count. In the following days Marie Read relocated the Mount Pleasant SHORT-EARED
OWLS, Jon Kloppel found Short-ears in the Interlaken area, and Tom Nix got a
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS near Long Point and LAPLAND
LONGSPUR near King Ferry. Marie McRae spotted a MERLIN at home, Bill Evans found
a BONAPARTE'S GULL and a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT at Hog Hole, and yours truly heard
a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL in West Danby, where a few PURPLE FINCHES also lingered
for most of the period. Several EVENING GROSBEAKS were reported in January, but
that was it for the winter finches!

     Those who preferred to conduct their search for winter birds in greater
comfort were provided with several big opportunities in that inviting category,
the drive-up rarity. A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD was  present for days at a feeder
along route 89 in Canoga, and a number of  motor-birders got there at the right
time to see it. A female KING EIDER  took up winter residence on the south shore
at Myers Point. Winter gulls at  roost on the lake-ice near Canoga stayed mostly
out of range, but  GLAUCOUS, ICELAND and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS were 
viewable in fields near the Seneca Meadows Landfill by anyone who could 
synchronize a visit with the erratic daytime roosting of the dump-pickers. 
Although not Basin birds, a BARROW'S GOLDENEYE at Geneva again  this winter, a
RED-NECKED GREBE at Watkins Glen, and a YELLOW- BILLED LOON at the Hinckley
Reservoir lured some cuppers out  beyond the bounds. I mention them only as
evidence of the winter  hardiness of central NY birders.
    
     Chris Butler came up with another SAW-WHET OWL in the Hammond  Hill area,
and Matt Young heard one near Etna, but nothing could top John Fitzpatrick's
experience, reported at the Cupper Supper, of calling one in to perch on his
head! Matt Young filed a first GOLDEN EAGLE report of  the year. An OLDSQUAW
mingled with wintering ducks at Hog Hole, and  various half-hardy species turned
up from time to time there and at scattered  other locations. We lost snow-cover
and then regained it at intervals throughout the period, making things easy for
the manure spreaders, and each time the snow returned more LAPLAND LONGSPURS
were discovered. NORTHERN  SHRIKES appeared in the Towns of Dryden, Groton, and
Newfield, and at  sites in Cayuga County and Seneca County. We heard about a
MERLIN  escaping from the Hawk Barn at the Lab, but not whether this could be
the bird  that was reported in the vicinity of the Lab three weeks prior to the
escape-notice. Toward the end of February a single FOX SPARROW began visiting
Donna Jean Darling's feeders in Newfield. On the final evening of the month
Sandy Podulka gave us a first AMERICAN WOODCOCK. Pity the poor mud-prober  in
the deep snow and frigid temperatures that soon returned!

Progress         Progress         Progress         Progress
                     PILGRIMS' PROGRESS          
Progress        Progress          Progress         Progress

Now that The Cup is bimonthly, we didn't want to leave you without
an update on who's leading so far in this year's competitions. Not to
worry, you've got plenty of time to catch up. So read and enjoy...

January/February 1999 David Cup
Compiled by Matt Medler

     "Butler's little "paltry" comments have gotten on my nerves one time too
many, so this time we're going to share them with the whole gang.  As
for Ralph, could he be a little more obvious in his attempt to land in
the Cup Quotes?
     Who is this Matt Young guy, and when is he going to leave the Basin
so somebody else can kick some tail? 
                                                            --Matt Medler

94  Matt Young     
87  Chris Tessaglia-Hymes   
86  Tom Nix       
84  Jon Kloppel   
83  Matt Medler   
83  Geo Kloppel   
80  Jay McGowan   
79  Bill Evans   
76  Chris "A paltry 76" Butler   
75  Ken Rosenberg   
73  Bard Prentiss
72  Kevin McGowan   
71  Steve Kelling
71  Allison Wells
69  Matt Sarver   
66  Matt Williams   
65  Marty Schlabach   
65  Jeff Wells
63  Andy Farnsworth   
63  Rachel Kloppel   
62  Meena Haribal   
59  Nancy Dickinson   
58  Tringa "the wonder dog" McGowan
57  Martha Fischer   
54  Kim Kline   
52  Anne Kendall   
50  Pat Lia       
45  Anne James   
26  Aaron Kloppel   
40  Jim Lowe       
37  Ben Taft       
32  Carol Bloomgarden   
32  Brian Mingle
31  Perri McGowan   
26  Melanie Uhlir   
26  Swift "the Cupper Cat" McGowan
21  Terry Mingle   
12  Teddy "wonder cat" Wells
10  Mimi "wonder cat, too" Wells
 0  Ralph "0, by golly" Paonessa

Since we're already out of order (in more ways than one),
we thought we'd plug in the Leader's List and Composite
Deposit here:

LEADER'S LIST  LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

No one will be surprised to find Matt Young out in front of the pack at
this point. True, part of his margin may evaporate in the spring, when
species scarce during the winter months become much easier to find. More
important to the year list are the key winter specialties and the rarities
he has logged. And we know from Matt's previous performance that he is no
short-sprinter, out to gain a position he will later surrender. His proven
stamina is equal to the challenge of sustaining a furious pace through the
year. That kind of capacity is a key that can unlock dreams - look for him
to turn up some nice birds in the months ahead.

C Loon, P-b & H Grebe, D-c Cormorant, GB Heron, T & M Swan,
S & C Goose, W Duck, G-w Teal, Am Black Duck, Mallard, N Pintail,
Gadwall, Am Wigeon, Canvasback, Redhead, R-n Duck, G & L Scaup,
KING EIDER, L-t Duck, C Goldeneye, Bufflehead, H, C & R-b
Merganser, Bald Eagle, N Harrier, Sharp-shinned, Cooper's & N Goshawk,
R-t & R-l Hawk, Golden Eagle, Am Kestrel, R Grouse, W Turkey,
Am Coot, R-b, H, I, LB-b, G & GB-b Gull, R & M Dove, ES, G-h,
Barred, S-e & S-w Owl, B Kingfisher, R-b, D, H & P Woodpecker,
N Flicker, H Lark, B Jay, Am & F Crow, B-c Chickadee, T Titmouse,
R-b & W-b Nuthatch, B Creeper, C & W Wren, G-c & R-c Kinglet,
E Bluebird, A Robin, N Mockingbird, C Waxwing, N Shrike, E Starling,
Y-r Warbler, N Cardinal, Am Tree, Song & W-t Sparrow, D-e Junco,
L Longspur, S Bunting, R-W, Rusty & YELLOW HEADED BLACKBIRD,
C Grackle, B-h Cowbird, H Finch, Am Goldfinch, House Sparrow

Total: 94

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
COMPOSITE DEPOSIT

As Karl "Father of the Madness" David used to remind us, nobody sees them
all, and here to prove it are a few that even Matt hadn't listed.

T Vulture, R-n Pheasant, C Raven, Bonaparte's Gull, THAYER'S GULL,
Merlin, Killdeer, Am Woodcock, Y-b Sapsucker, E Phoebe, Hermit Thrush,
C Yellowthroat, E Towhee, Swamp & Fox Sparrow, B Oriole, P Finch,
E Grosbeak
 
Composite Total: 112

For comparison, here's where we stood at the same point in previous
competition years:

1998:  113   Only one more, in spite of 8 winter finch species
1997:  122   Tom Nix all alone in the 100 club, and leading by 10 birds
1996:  102   Siskins, Pine Grosbeaks, Crossbills, but well under par!

What's it mean? Not much, probably. 1996 turned out to be a great year for
the composite (268), and 1997 was almost as good (267), but in 1998 we
ended down (259). So if there's any defensible conclusion on this skimpy
evidence, maybe it's that we shouldn't prejudge what sort of year we have
ahead.

January/February McIlroy Standings
Compiled by Matt Medler

Well, I have to hand it to Bill.  He's off somewhere out
of the Basin (bushwacking in Borneo?), and he still has the lead
in Ithaca.  Will somebody please catch him before he gets back
in town?
                                                            --Matt Medler

66  Bill Evans   
56  Allison Wells
53  Martha Fischer   
52  Jay McGowan   
49  Kevin McGowan   
48  Ken Rosenberg   
44  Matt Medler   
40  Jeff Wells
34  Jim Lowe       

Evans Standings
Compiled by Bard Prentiss ... and Matt Medler?

"Who birds in Dryden anyway?"
                                             --Matt Medler
53  Matt Young   
50  Ken Rosenberg   
43  Jay McGowan   
42  Kevin McGowan   
38  Bard Prentiss   
 35  Allison Wells
32  Jeff Wells

Etna Standings
Compiled by Allison Wells

21 Allison Wells

Lansing Listers
Compiled by Matt Medler

59  Kevin McGowan   
52  Jay McGowan   
44  Matt Williams   

Yard Stick
Compiled by somebody


33 Ken Rosenberg, Anne James & family, Dryden, NY
30 Geo Kloppel, Pat Lia & family, West Danby, NY
28 Kevin McGowan, Kim Kline & family, Dryden, NY
19 Jeff and Allison Wells, Mimi & Teddy Etna, NY

Office Window
Compiled by Allison Wells

"Don't expect Allison Wells to give Ken a run in this category.
But hey, at least she has an office window, right Matt Medler?"

                                                             --Allison Wells

33  Ken Rosenberg
15 Allison Wells
 0  Matt Medler

BATTLE OF THE TRAILERS

Here's where the real competition is this year! Two trailers, yards apart,
Perpendicular to each other. One's green (sort of), one's tan (sort of).
Which one will rule the Cornell Lab of Ornithology?  So far, it's...

33 Green Trailer (captained by Ken Rosenberg)
30  Tan trailer (captained by Steve Kelling)


          ^                                           ~
         ~ ~                                         / \
         x x                                         6 6
          ?                                             ^ 
          V                                           U  

         Highlights from the Supper That Was

*definitely the David Cup Monopoly Game invented and assembled by
Jay McGowan. A precise likeness of the board game favorite based on
the David Cup! It's amazing, you've got to see it to believe it. Maybe we
can have a David Cup Monopoly party...

* the smart-allect remarks about Matt "I'll definitely be back from
Massachusetts in time for the Cupper Supper" Medler. Matt, we still love you!

* Ken's collection of blues tapes (all bootlegged, of course)

* John Fitzpatrick's recounting of the saw-whet owl that landed on his
 head the night before. No kidding!  It was tooting in his yard, he tooted
back,
and the owl flew in for a quick light. If life were always so good!

* the initiation of the Wells' new ping-pong table by the kids (Sam &
Taylor Kelling, Jay McGowan, Dylan Fitzpatrick, Jeremy
Mingle ... and Allison Wells)

* the look on Chris-Tessaglia-Hymes' face when he won for Amost likely to win
the DC in 1998"

* the David Cup cake, decorated with a "Curlew Sandpiper" by Jay McGowan

* the thank you letter from Manomet Bird Observatory's Birder's Exchange
program for The Cup's donation of bins to the Audubon conservation trip to
the Dominican Republic

* finally getting to see what Jon Kloppel looks like

* Kevin McGowan's beer (even if he didn't make it himself)

* the collage of photos from Cupper Suppers past, thanks to roving
photographer
Ken Rosenberg

* the food, of course!

* the birder comradery that filled our home. See you here at the Bistro
next year!  

May Your Cup Runneth Over,

Allison and Jeff