Resources‎ > ‎The David Cup‎ > ‎

Year 6, Issue 3


THE CUP
"Just a little drink from your loving cup,
Just a little drink and I fall down drunk."
The Rolling Stones

Welcome to the unofficial newsletter of the David Cup birding competition. Was there some glitch in your email program that surreptitiously filtered our last newsletter into your trashcan? No. We took a vacation. This boy went back down to Florida for a canoeing trip on the Peace River. We camped on the river two nights to the calls of Barred Owls and Chuck-will's-widows. By day we ventured downstream under mostly sunny skies to the accompaniment of Parulas buzzing as Swallow-tailed Kites drifted in and out of view above the meandering Peace. I racked up ten lifers on that trip and thought naught about The Cup.

Put yourself in my place. In truth, the thrill of winter birding had lost a touch of its charm. January possesses an electric excitement-the blank checklist, visions of David Cup Glory. The excitement fills one with a madness that turns freezing fingers and toes from bitter necessity into a strangely pleasurable form of self-punishment-the gleam in ones eye, the demonic grin, superficial evidence of a force overriding pain and reason. Moreover, I put in a good showing in 2000 only to be robbed of victory by a hermit from the West Danby woods! As a good friend keeps reminding me, my total was good enough to have won in any other year. So, I birded my keester off. I don't reach the famed level of excellence established in past years by Mr. January, Tom Nix, yet I have seen most species one ought by month's end. February rolls around and one is not likely to add more four or five more ticks. In short, February is a catch-up month. You can spend time tracking down that handful of species, maybe pick up one or two firsts. OR you can spend the month in contemplation and meditation, regain your strength and focus for the big push ahead: spring migration, the protracted parade of birds lasting from the end of March through May.

Of course, a relaxation of vigor means only certain defeat when it comes to the David Cup. I must now do battle with this unfortunate demon of consequence. My little vacation is over and now I've actually got to work on something. Egad! One pesky little totals compiler has taken the lead! Allow me to confess a touch of blaze attitude about his gaining a few birds on me in February. Also a little sympathy for the poor bastard who longs to be in the lead-nay, dare I say it?-deserves to be in the lead. He spent so much time and effort last year. What folly on my part. For now I find myself (and so do all of you!) royally trounced in March! Let's see what the little devil has to say for himself…

The Cup Talks to Matt Williams:

(Editor's note: for this transition issue, Medler took over interviewing duties.)

THE CUP: Boy, you really got the shaft, didn't you? After being arguably the most active birder in the Basin for the past six months, you finally find your way to the top of the David Cup mountain at the end of February, and what do we do? Cancel the February issue. No problem, though. You came out on top for March, too. Although, to be honest, nobody is really going to care about March now, since all of those flashy little warblers are coming back. Think you can make it three months in a row, and take April as well?

WILLIAMS: Well, since I do the totals, April is in the bag, regardless of what happens. I could conveniently "forget" or "misplace" the totals of anyone who might have gotten to the migrants before I did. Seriously, as long as I can get out and get a few of the migrants, April should go as well as the previous two months.

THE CUP: OK, enough fooling around. We all know that nobody cares who is in the lead at the end of January, or February, or even May. Well, maybe Tom "Mr. January" Nix does, but anyway… Do you think that you might be able to win the whole kit and caboodle? Word on the street has it that you are going to be in Ithaca until the end of July, so if you really clean up on things this spring, come back for the Muckrace in September, and then make one or two targeted trips in the fall/winter, it seems like you might be able to pull it out. People are talking about how it is an "off" year, so maybe you could steal The Cup in seven months. If not you, who do you think might win?

WILLIAMS: Oh great, ruin my secret plan! I figured that if I left the basin in July or August or December with the lead and nobody noticed, I might be able to maintain it. Now that I'm targeted, I fear that I may have to struggle to be in the top 10. Hot prospects this year are Kevin and Jay along with Ken. There must be something in that Beam Hill water…do you guys have septic systems?…and wells?…hmmm? Bob Fogg is lurking but a summer/fall push could get him into the forefront. For a while, I feared that Senior Editor Fambrough was going to give it a go but he's moving to another Great Lake basin.

THE CUP: Now, I don't know how to put this, but we understand that you have a certain "lady friend" here in Ithaca. How do you think that might affect your chances of winning The Cup?

WILLIAMS: Well, at first, I thought that she might be a hindrance to my cup efforts but I am starting to think she's good luck. She was all set to head north with me in pursuit of Meena's Black Vulture and before we even got out of Collegetown, there it was…right over the Chapter House! Common Tern and Palm Warbler were other good basin firsts that she saw with me. If she was a non-birder, I'd say my chances of winning would be reduced but I think the potential of being out of the basin from August on is the real threat to victory…that is unless I stay.

THE CUP: I was recently perusing the latest Birdscope [the Lab of Ornithology's quarterly newsletter], and came across an article by Allison Childs Wells. It's good to see that she's found some work after getting laid off here at The Cup. However, I was shocked, yes outraged, to see that she "borrowed" a classic, copyrighted Cup question, "What's in your CD player right now?" during an interview with illustrator James Coe [author of the 1994 Golden Guide, Eastern Birds]. That's ok, we'll let her have that one. A more fitting question for you is "What is on your MP3 player right now?

WILLIAMS: The Grateful Dead, Tim McGraw, and Lonesome River Band

THE CUP: Favorite color?

WILIAMS: Blue-footed Booby Blue

THE CUP: Boxers, briefs, or commando?

WILLIAMS: Boxers but only if I can't find my GI Joe Logo Briefs. What the heck is Commando? Not….oh man!

THE CUP: One last question- why haven't you found a Glossy Ibis up at Montezuma yet?

WILLIAMS: Well, I sent some scouts up on Earth Day and they came up empty. I'll have to go myself and bring a little luck with me. I hope they haven't all moved on. I haven't heard too many reports recently.

FAMBROUGH: How does it feel to be the first person to use the F-word on Cayugabirds-L? Oh, sorry. Is the interview over?

CUPS NEWS: Why did I call this a transition issue? As many of you already know, my lovely wife, Dianna, was offered a tenure track job in philosophy at John Carroll University in Cleveland. I will be parting the Basin at the end of May for a whirlwind drive around the country, returning in mid July for furious packing. Can I land a spot in the David Cup top ten by the end of May? We'll see. I may try to come back for the Muckrace. This is the last issue of The Cup under my tenure as Editor-in-chief.

THE PERFECT FORUM: So, I have this great opportunity to tell you all how indebted I am to you. The David Cup competition, The Cup (Allison's), The Cayuga Bird Club, Cayugabirds-L to some extent, The Lab and this great community of birders has made me a birder. My life has been radically and inalterably changed. Medler says The Cup is no place for mushiness-I agree. However, I would like to thank the following special people: Matt Young, for taking me around on my first "real" birding trips and having been a fine example of what birder ought to be: intense, determined and persistent. He unwittingly gave me the greatest lesson one can: there is no substitute for being in the field; do it as much as possible. Allison Wells, for creating and maintaining The Cup with a greatness we can not touch. She makes up in wit and savvy what she lacks as a birder. My dear friend Matt Medler for his constancy and patience. He, as much as anyone, witnessed my transformation. Williams for our many past trips around the lake together. And other Cup competitors such as Bill Evans, Geo and Kevin for providing instruction and inspiration. You all rule!

MORE NEWS: On April 10th, 2001 at 7:20 PM Rachel Clark gave birth to Avery Christopher Caudill, a beautiful baby indeed (I have seen the pictures). Chris (dad), we recommend you start right away: plaster the walls with tanagers! Congratulations and best wishes to the budding family.

COACH'S CORNER by Matt Medler

(Editor's note: this article appeared last year. We feel it perfectly relevant, especially for those who may not be quite so familiar with migration in this neck of the woods. Are you paying attention Mr. Fogg?)

After an especially dreary, gray, and uneventful April, two words instantly come to mind with the arrival of May: spring migration! While migration has been under way since March, May undoubtedly represents its pinnacle, with more species seen in the Basin during this month than any other month of the year. There is an understandable temptation for birders to gorge themselves on as many warblers, tanagers, and orioles as they can find at places like Dryden Lake, Sapsucker Woods, and the Mundy Wildflower Garden, but in my mind, migrants represent just one element of a five-pronged attack for May and early June. In addition to migrants, birders should focus on uncommon breeders, early-arriving breeders, marsh birds, and surprises if they hope to crack the Top 10 in the David Cup this year.

Migrants

Everybody has warbler fever these days, so I'll start with what I consider to be our strictly migrant warblers here in the Basin: Golden-winged, Tennessee, Orange-crowned, Northern Parula, Cape May, Palm, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, and Wilson's. These are the warblers on which to concentrate during spring migration; the 23 other species of regularly occurring warblers all breed somewhere in the Basin. I think of Orange-crowned and Wilson's as being fall migrants, so I m not going to concentrate on them much here, but Wilson's is reported every spring, and an Orange-crowned showed up on Beam Hill one spring, so keep them in mind. Steve Kelling has a date with a Wilson's Warbler every spring on the Wilson Trail at Sapsucker Woods, so you might ask Steve when and where they have their annual rendezvous. Golden-winged Warbler, unfortunately, is become a more and more difficult bird to see in the Basin. This stoinker seemed to stop by Mundy Wildflower Garden every spring for a few years (with a preference for hemlocks?), but last year, I believe the only report was from Geo Kloppel's place in West Danby. Geo gets just about every species of warbler in the Basin in his yard (or nearby), so I could probably cut this segment on warblers short and just say, Camp out at Geo‚s place during the middle of May. Matt Young says he's going to turn up a breeding Northern Parula at Summer Hill this spring, and I m certainly not going to doubt him, but if you re impatient and want to see one during migration, keep doing those loops at Sapsucker Woods, Mundy, and Dryden Lake. Tennessee Warbler is a species with which, for some reason, I have had problems in the past, but Chris Tessaglia-Hymes has been kind enough to share his secret Tennessee spot- the stretch of the East Ithaca Recreation Way between Mitchell Street and Honness Lane. Cape May, Bay-breasted, and Blackpoll were all seen together at Green Hills Cemetery in Dryden last spring, and that seems like a good place to check again this year. The Ithaca City Cemetery, which was one of the spots for warblers a few years back (especially this trio), seems to have fallen upon hard times recently, but Matt Williams is going to give it some good coverage this spring, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't find at least one or two of these last three species of warblers. For Palm Warbler, keep checking Sapsucker Woods and Dryden Lake.

In addition to the warblers mentioned above, there are four other migrants that I believe are key species during the spring: Ruddy Turnstone, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Lincoln's Sparrow. Sure, you can probably see/hear all four in the fall, but sightings of these birds are sparse enough that I think they deserve special effort in the spring. To see Ruddy Turnstone, check the spit at Myers Point every morning from Memorial Day Weekend through the first week in June. If you do, you should be treated to this colorful birds (and Sanderlings) in their stunning breeding plumage, and you might pick up a few other shorebird species in the process. From my experience, it's hard to predict where the flycatchers might show up, but keep your ears open for their distinctive vocalizations, and if somebody else reports them, chase after them. As for Lincoln's Sparrow, ask Chris Tessaglia-Hymes where to find this spring migrant dirt bird. Or, just hang out by the front door of the Lab of O, and one might show up there.

Uncommon Breeders

Besides the migrant warblers I mentioned above, there are two key breeding species to concentrate on in mid to late May: Worm-eating Warbler and Prothonotary Warbler. To the best of our knowledge, these two species are very limited breeders in the Basin. Also known as the Golden Swamp Warbler, the Prothonotary breeds in wet woodlands; the classic spot for this bird in the Basin is on Armitage Road, just a few miles northwest of Mays Point at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. The Worm-eating Warbler, by contrast, prefers dry wooded hillsides for breeding. The Biodiversity Preserve in West Danby is the best known spot for this subtle, but equally beautiful warbler. It is my theory that because of the small population sizes of these two species (and the species mentioned below) in the Basin, they are not vocal as long into the season as our more common breeding warblers, and they can thus become difficult to detect by even early June. So, get out there during the last third of May to listen and look for these birds!

Two other key species that fit into my category of uncommon breeder are Acadian Flycatcher and Orchard Oriole. In an ideal birding world, one trip to the Salmon Creek area over Memorial Day Weekend would allow you to see (or at least hear) both of these birds. But things don't usually work out that way, so be prepared to make multiple visits to Salmon Creek. As a backup, Howland Island is a spot where both species have bred within the past few years. In addition, such classic birding spots as Sheldrake, Myers Point (north of Salmon Creek), and Pete's Treats ice cream stand in Union Springs have been the sites of Orchard Oriole sightings in recent years.

Early-arriving Breeders

This group includes three species of birds that arrive back in the Basin some time in April, and for a variety of reasons, can become difficult to detect by mid to late May: Vesper Sparrow, Brown Thrasher, and Pine Warbler. My advice on these birds: if you haven't already seen them, go out after them as soon as possible, because it‚s just going to get harder and harder as spring progresses. Bay-winged Sparrow, as Vesper was previously known, has bedeviled Cup contenders for years, and this year shouldn't be any different. Brown Thrasher is a bird that has in the past eluded my Cup editor-in-chief and the office waterboy for longer than it should have. Thrashers *should* still be singing at Dryden Lake, but I haven't heard any the past few times I've been there. Perhaps it would be easier at this point to detect this bird by sight; try shrubby areas out by the Tompkins County Airport or around Tompkins-Cortland Community College. Why is Pine Warbler on this list, some of you might be asking? Well, from my own very personal experience with this bird, I've learned that it can be hard to even hear Pine Warbler by the end of May. Yes, I know that they breed at Comstock Knoll and Monkey Run North, but in a previous year, I checked both of these spots in late May and early June (early in the morning), and never had any luck. My theory is that their early arrival and breeding season, combined with a low population density, makes for low levels of song by this time of the year. I don't know how good that theory is, but that's my excuse, anyway.

Marsh Birds

Oh yes, marsh birds. Specifically, Virginia Rail, Sora, American Bittern, and Least Bittern. With the expanse of wetlands at the north end of Cayuga Lake, we know that these birds must be around. The question, then, is how to see or hear them? My answer would be to do what Cup co-leader has already done- go up to Montezuma now (right this very minute!) and spend a night listening for them. In the case of the first three species, they have already been back in the Basin for 3-5 weeks, so now is the time when they are likely to be active vocally. Least Bitterns should be back any time now, so by mid-May, the potential will exist to hear all four species on a given evening. There is also the chance of catching one or both of the bitterns rising up briefly out of the marsh at dusk or dawn, so keep your eyes open for them, and be sure that you can distinguish them with a quick look from the other herons.

Surprises

We've already had our share of nice surprises this year, but let's hope for (and work for) even more. What about another appearance from Sedge Wren in the Basin? Check out the grasslands at Finger Lakes National Forest and you might find some. Is Red-headed Woodpecker really coming back again this year? Spend some time birding Ringwood Preserve and McLean Bog, two places that hosted this species in the 1990s. Speaking of McLean Bog, do you know that there are specimens of Connecticut Warbler from this site, from June?! It's been two years now since the discovery of a Kentucky Warbler at Mundy Wildflower Garden. Will this be the year for the appearance of a Yellow-throated Warbler? As you focus on the birds I've mentioned in the categories above, keep your mind open to bigger possibilities, explore new areas, and try to make your contribution to Basin birding lore.

Highlights

By Matt Medler

After enjoying the songs of Northern Waterthrush, Yellow Warbler, and Black-and-white Warbler this morning, February seems like a (fuzzy) dream to me now, but from what I do remember, there were a few highlights from that month. With the exception of Matt Williams's discovery of (still persisting) Pine Siskins at Summer Hill during the middle of the month, it seemed like nothing was seen and nobody was out birding for most of February. Then, on the 24th, two groups of intrepid birders ventured out independently and together compiled a nice list of birds for the day (and month): Iceland, Glaucous, and Lesser Black-backed gulls (the winter gull sweep!), Short-eared Owl, and the Bird of the Month: a Greater White-fronted Goose at Myers picked out by Basin (and Cup) newcomer Jeff Gerbracht.

They say that March comes in like a lion, so who better to kick off the month than Mr. Wild and Wooly himself, Matt Young. After months of predicting right here in The Cup (and just about every other forum imaginable) that White-winged Crossbills could make an appearance in the Basin this winter/spring, Mr. Young produced, finding four crossbills in a white spruce stand at his beloved Summer Hill. He was just getting started, though. In a week of birding that reminded us why he is the only two-time David Cup Champion, Young then went on to find Long-eared and Saw-whet owls and an Oregon Junco at Summer Hill, and then capped things off on March 10 by stumbling across a Wigeon at Union Springs together with Bob Fogg. Later that same day, Bob Fogg was treated to the sight of numerous Short-eared Owls hunting over the fields in the Rafferty Road area. This species was reported sporadically at best during the first 10 weeks of 2001, but during the last three weeks of March, a group of Short-eared Owls, along with Northern Harriers and Rough-legged Hawks, put on almost daily performances for birders near Rafferty Road. My vote for the Bird of the Month goes to another member of the genus Asio, Long-eared Owl (Asio otus). Karen Edelstein's yard hosted a vocal pair of these birds during the last week of March, with the male calling for hours on end (unless Matt Sarver happened to be in the area), and the female occasionally responding with "cat calls." While many Cuppers were able to enjoy the sounds of these Long-eared Owls, unfortunately only one deserving birder, Meena (Birder of the Year?) Haribal, saw the other major highlight of the month- a Red-headed Woodpecker on Mt. Pleasant.

On the same Young-esque day that she spotted the Red-headed Woodpecker, Meena also turned up another Basin rarity (albeit with the opposite trend of the woodpecker)- the year's first Ross's Goose. After a year (2000) in which there were very few reports of this bird, Meena's sighting touched off a Ross's Goose frenzy of sorts, in which at least three other Cuppers picked out these little fellows from the large flocks of Snow Geese that passed through the Basin in the second half of March. Other new migrants passing through (or arriving in) the area during the month included (in order of appearance): Northern Shoveler, Savannah Sparrow, Red-throated Loon, Golden Eagle, American Pipit, Eastern Meadowlark, Blue-winged Teal, Wood Duck, Tree Swallow, Rusty Blackbird, Fox Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Bonaparte's Gull, and Osprey. The Red-throated Loon sighting, from the north end of Cayuga Lake, was especially noteworthy (at least in my mind) due to the fact that there were seven individuals on the water! This number is the highest single total I have ever seen for this species in the Basin, and is probably higher than the entire total for a given year in many years. Finally, March ended with another big birding day on the 31st (what, did you expect a lamb?), as wannabe Cupper Ryan Bakelaar spotted another Wigeon at the north end of Cayuga Lake, while at the very same time, the McGowan boys were busy finding a Sandhill Crane in the "Northern Montezuma" area.

+= + = + = +MARCH AND FEBRUARY 2001 TOTALS+ = + = + = +
Compiled by Matt Williams

"...churning and burning they yearn for The Cup..." - Cake

March & (February) 2001 David Cup Totals

114 (92) Matt Williams (Northern Goshawk)
104 (88) Ben Fambrough (Rusty Blackbird)
103 (86) Kevin McGowan (Blue-winged Teal)
102 (83) Bob Fogg (Tree Swallow)
102 (75) Matt Medler (Wigeon)
101 (83) Jay McGowan (Bald Eagle)
96 (70) Bruce Tracey
94 (65) Susan Barnett
91 (75) Ken Rosenberg
79 (51) Jon Kloppel
79 Steve Kelling
77 (56) Pete Hosner
77 (55) Jai Balakrishnan
73 Tom Nix
73 Allison Wells
72 Jeff Gerbracht
70 Jeff Wells
66 Meena Haribal
66 Bard Prentiss
65 Greg Delisle
64 (43) Jim Lowe
47 (29) Tringa (el perro) McGowan
31 (23) Martin (el gato) McGowan
March 2001 McIlroy Award Totals

69 (41) Kevin McGowan
66 (41) Ken Rosenberg
61 (40) Jim Lowe
57 (52) Bill Evans
56 (38) Jay McGowan
56 (48) Matt Williams
42 Allison Wells
40 Jeff Wells

March 2001 Evans Trophy Totals

59 (46) Kevin McGowan
62 (41) Ken Rosenberg
58 (38) Jay McGowan
38 Bard Prentiss
Yard Totals

44 (28) Ken Rosenberg
42 (29) Nancy Dickinson
40 (32) McGowan/Kline Family
24 Steve Kelling
1 Pete Hosner

Lansing Listers

70 (54) Kevin McGowan
67 (50) Bruce Tracey
60 (48) Matt Williams

Office/Classroom Totals

3 Matt Medler
1 Pete Hosner

#!$%#^!#^!#$^! DEAR TICK !#$%^)(^&^@$)*

DEAR TICK:

At the Cupper Supper, after non-stop harassment from Matt Williams (allegedly, the new Totals Master for The Cup), I literally shoved my totals into his pocket. Lo and behold, when the January Cup came out, my totals were not to be seen. I asked Mr. Williams about this and he had little recollection of my giving him the totals at all. Am I to surmise that he suspected my list was "dirty" and so let the slip of paper run through the wash with his laundry, to "clean it up"?

--List Laundering in Etna

Dear List Laundering-

No, you would be wrong. I reviewed archived tapes from Cupper Supper Cam that show Mr. Williams to be quite busy - how shall I put this - "getting to the bottom of things." In his imbibed state, he ate the totals. Apparently, he mistook the white slip of paper for vanilla frosting from the David Cup Cake and that was the end of that.

DEAR TICK:

I was wakened recently in the middle of the night by a Great Horned Owl's hoot. I needed this for my list, and so did my spouse. When I tried to wake him, he groaned, semi-acknowledged the hooting bird, that dropped back into his stupor of sleep. The next morning, when I mentioned the owl, he has no recollection. Can he still count this bird, if he heard it in the night but then had no memory of it by morning?

--Prowling for Owls in Ithaca

Dear Prowling-

This is not unlike the Steve Kelling mode of counting. Recall that Kelling often goes many, many months with less than impressive totals, then - POOF! - something apparently jars him back into "remembering" all sorts of species and suddenly he's back in the prestigious Top Ten. I suspect that your spouse will one day experience the same "recall" that Kelling does. Perhaps all of this discussion will prompt you to "recall" a Northern Hawk-Owl out your office window?

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

What an interesting month we had on Cayugabirds-L in February. Many hot tempers and ill-perceived and conceived notions lay abuses upon a sincere, kind and devoted friend of mine. Matt Medler suffered undue harassment and misinterpretation by less than thoughtful folks who maligned him with inaccurate words like czar and tyrant. What would those subscribers do if ever faced with real tyranny? They did an injustice to not only my friend, but also those less fortunate around the world who suffer under real tyranny. I could sample a few choice quotes from the perpetrators as they dished out their revolution by jumping ship. However, it ain't too pretty and the best quote of the month came in direct opposition to them. The Cup salutes Kevin McGowan for his short and sweet admonishment:

What is wrong with you people? Are you all so thin-skinned that you have to make giant statements about the perceived wrongs you've been done? Lighten up! It appears that the listowner is pledging to. Flame off, Kevin McGowan

Of course, Cayugabirds-L has become a place of happy anarchy with spring migration providing it magical, unavoidable cure. We now return to our regularly scheduled Cup Quotes.

Kevin is the man!!!

Matt Medler

Since my January totals apparently went through the wash with Matt Williams' dirty laundry, I'm submitting them to all three of yas this time:

Allison Wells

Well, I haven't heard definitely from our Editor-in-chef but I'm assuming that the next Cup you receive will be a combined Feb-March masterpiece. Since March is gone already, send me your David Cup and other totals...you know what they are.

Matt Williams

We'll post more details about our day tomorrow. Right now it's off to the Rongo to catch Mectapus (featuring former Basin legend Andy Farnsworth).

Matt (one of 'em)

There's currently a NORTHERN SHRIKE behind the Lab of O's trailers. Straight back on the trails, stay left of the three forks (dead end trail with the feeders). Just after the fork, it's on the right in a tree. I originally saw it fly over the trailers with a bird screeching in it's talons, but can not find where it stashed it prey! The chickadees and titmice are freaking out!

Eric Banford

I then started playing the White-winged Crossbill tape that Medler had made me for my birthday (the recordings from the Chubb). Within a couple of minutes, 4 WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS (1 male and 3 females) CAME FLYING IN ACTING VERY, VERY AGGRESSIVELY. I couldn't believe it. The birds were circling and dive-bombing me throughout. At one point the male landed in the road next to the tape player. Again, surprisingly, they were nearly silent. They were acting very secretive. The male did briefly and softly counter-sing at one point. I was able to witness the birds for a good 45 minutes before I drove off.

Matt Young

Today I had a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL in breeding plumage.

Bob Fogg

Wagner Maple Porter seems appropriate to the season, its rich, dark head topping off my pint glass nicely. As I savor the first sip, I stare out through the swirling white, and a solitary flash of red catches my eye. A male cardinal alights on a tree in our back yard, his brilliant plumage that much more intense against the snowy canvas. A sudden gust blinds me to the outside world, and when the snow finally clears, the cardinal is gone. Another long sip, I turn the logs in the fire and return to my work refreshed, renewed!

Eric Banford

People make mistakes. No shit…You do not have my permission to post these comments to the listserv.

Bruce Roberston

By the way, I vote we change the settings back to reply to sender. :)

Bruce Roberston --right on Bruce! We do too. ;)

[T]he imminent arrival of spring can surely be counted on to ease the hearts of birders! Just thinking about it got my endorphins flowing this afternoon, and looking down at my workbench I see the result: I carved a really beautiful head on this viola bow! It's rare for birding to have any positive impact on my work. I wish you all the same.

Geo Kloppel

EDITORS' CORNER

Editor-in-Chief and Food and Beverage Director: Ben Fambrough

Senior and Contributing Editor: Matt Medler

Totals Compiler: Matt Williams

Editor Emeritus: Allison Wells