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Year 6, Issue 7

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*The electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy competition.
*  Editor-in-Chief:  Matt Medler
*  Basin Bird Highlights, Pilgrims' Progress,
*    and Formatting King:  Matt Williams
*  Grammar and Spelling Editor:  Pete Hosner
*  Voice of Reason:  Ben Fambrough

As an avid sports fan, I've been trying to find that perfect sports
metaphor for The Cup.  I thought I had it back in October, when Matt
Williams traveled to southwestern Pennsylvania for a month to work on
a hush-hush bird project.  The Basin, I thought, is the major leagues.
Or, as baseball people call it, The Show.  Williams had been
performing admirably for most of the season, leading the David Cup
from May until October, but let's face it--by mid-September he was
from my peak form.  His mechanics got all messed up.  How else to
explain spending a week at Montezuma in early September, literally
camping out in the Northern Montezuma Wetlands Complex, and not
ticking off Short-billed Dowitcher?  The inevitable came in
mid-October, when Williams received "the call."  He was being sent
down to the bush leagues of southwestern Pennsylvania (where Matt
Sarver used to be a hotshot birding phenom) to work on his form.  His
assignment was to spend the next month alone, on a cold ridge,
counting any and all birds that might fly by.

Before reporting for his new assignment, though, Williams was allowed
one last weekend in the Basin big league, and he made the most of it.
The date was October 13, 2001, and it should go down in the annals of
Cup history.  Matt Williams and Bob Fogg waged a classic heavyweight
battle, with both competitors going back and forth, trading blows, but
neither landing a knockout punch.  Matt started the day at 239, two
birds ahead of Bob.  Fogg's target birds for the day included Fox
Sparrow and Lincoln's Sparrow; Williams was after Long-billed
Dowitcher (missing both dowitchers in one year would probably force
him into permanent retirement).  The Birding Club had a trip scheduled
for Montezuma at 9 am, but these two die-hards couldn't wait that long
to start birding, so they met at Bomax Drive at 7 a.m. to look for
sparrows.  Within a short period of time, they came across a nice Fox
Sparrow.  Williams 239, Fogg 238.  And then, the big blow, and a
self-inflicted one at that.  In keeping with the true spirit of The
Cup (this is a *friendly* competition), Matt handed Bob one of his
mostsought-after birds--Lincoln's Sparrow.  Matt found the bird, and
was quick to get Bob on the subtle little beauty.  All tied up at 239.
The co-leaders then met the rest of us at Myers at 9 a.m., and Bob was
faced with a classic dilemma.  Should he go home to work on
schoolwork, as he had planned, or should he continue onward to
Montezuma with the rest of us?  The choice was obvious, as dictated by
the Law of Defensive Birding.  With Williams headed to Montezuma, Bob
had no alternative but to join us.  After all, what if a Hudsonian
Godwit, Western Sandpiper, Cattle Egret, or Orange-crowned Warbler
made an appearance at Montezuma?  Bob obviously couldn't afford to let
Williams out of his sight. Matt might pick up one of these hard-to-see
species while Bob was at home, receiving tutoring from Steve Kelling
on the mysteries of physics.  As if the Law of Defensive Birding
needed any additional support, no sooner did our group arrive at Mays
Point then somebody shouted out, "There's a godwit.  Make that two
godwits!"  The big shorebirds were right out front, for all of us to
enjoy (and tick off).  Bob and Matt had both passed the "Young Line"
of Cup listing, hitting 240 species for the year.  And then, a few
seconds later, Williams spotted a group of dowitchers (presumably
Long-billed), bumping his total up to 241, and moving him back into
the lead.  An epic day of David Cup birding.

But, the heavyweight boxing analogy doesn't quite work either.  After
all, The Cup is not limited to two competitors.  Back in January, we
all started off with blank checklists, and everybody had an equal
chance of attaining David Cup glory (well, except maybe for Bill
Evans).  Over the course of ten months, though, Bob and Matt had
pulled ahead of the field and made it a two man race.  Then it hit me.
What better analogy for The David Cup than the most grueling event in
all of sports--the Tour de France.  All cyclists start out even on the
first day of the race, but over the course of 20+ stages and 2000
miles, the leaders gradually pull away from the "peloton," or pack.
The first few stages are easy, with pretenders often taking the
overall race lead, but when it comes time for pivotal stages like time
trials and rugged mountain climbs, the real contenders emerge, and
champions like Lance Armstrong don the "maillot jaune," or yellow
jersey, emblematic of the overall leader of the Tour.  And so it is
with The Cup.  Anybody can lead The Cup through April (see The Cup
6.4), but it is that grueling stage known as "May" that separates the
men and the women from the boys and the girls.  And then there are the
individual time trials.  How fast can you get up to Montezuma to see
that one-day wonder at Mays Point?  What about that yellow jersey
thing, though?  Ahh--the new Montezuma Muckrace V t-shirt is just the
thing we needed.  With its bold, brash yellow color, and bright red
lettering, it is the perfect attire for the David Cup leader.  I
suggest that from now on, the top Cupper wear this classic shirt any
time that he or she goes out birding.  It will be a way to say, "Yes,
I'm Kickin' Tail."  The Tour de France concludes with a short stage on
the Champs-Elysées, essentially serving as a victory lap for the Tour
champion.  I think a loop around the tennis courts at Stewart Park
would be the perfect way to end the David Cup year.  And who knows,
you might even pick up a winter finch or a white-winged gull in the
process.  Unfortunately, the Tour de France/David Cup comparison only
goes so far.  Another time-honored tradition of the Tour is for the
overall leader to receive boquets of flowers and kisses from two
French lasses (clad in yellow mini-skirts) at the end of each stage.
I'm afraid that the best that The Cup can offer is kisses from two
scruffy, blue-jean clad guys named Matt.  Now there's some incentive
for all you female Cuppers next year!

			@   @    @    @    @     @
                         NEWS, CUES, and BLUES
                       @   @    @    @     @     @

STORK SIGHTING:  So did you think that all the storks disappeared from the
Basin in early September, just before the Muckrace?  Well, they did, but
one made a return appearance to the area on October 25, to deliver Gwyneth
Grace Gerbracht to Cupper Jeff Gerbracht and his wife Whitney Wiggins. At
birth, Grace weighed 7 lb. 15 oz. and was 20" long.  Perhaps realizing that
it might be the last chance that he'd have for birdwatching for a really
long time, Jeff managed to spot a Cooper's Hawk and a Rough-legged Hawk
flying by the hospital window during the hours before Gwyneth's
arrival.  Jeff was even kind enough to point out the Rough-legged Hawk to
Whitney as she was going into labor.  That, I believe, is when he was asked
to go out to the waiting room.  With the middle name Grace, Gwyneth is
bound to be a natural with warblers when she grows older.  Congratulations,

Whitney and Jeff!

OVERFLOWING CUP:  Thanks to former Cupper Anne Kendall, I am extremely
pleased to announce the unveiling of the complete Cup Archive.  Anne has
had the foresight to save every single issue of The Cup, starting with the
original Cup 1.1, written by Allison Wells in February 1996.  And now, for
the first time ever, all the issues (all 53 of them) are available at one
For those who are relatively new to the David Cup scene, and never read The
Cup while Allison was Editor and Jeff was Best Boy, the first four years of
The Cup are required reading.  Do not go birding again until you have read
and studied each issue.  They represent an unequaled combination of great
writing and great birding.

LIVING LARGE:  Since The Cup was running a little late this month, I hope
you took the time to pick up that other quality bird publication from
Ithaca, the award-winning Living Bird.  Two of the featured articles in the
latest issue (with a beautiful Aplomado Falcon on the cover) are by Cuppers
Allison Childs Wells and Kevin and Jay McGowan.  Allison wrote about the
unique conservation efforts on the Caribbean islands of St. Lucia and St.
Vincent; these conservation success stories have helped save the two
stunning Amazona parrots endemic to each island.  Kevin and Jay's article
is really just an excuse for why they are doing so poorly in this year's
Cup.  It details their latest passion, already familiar to most
Cuppers:  "digiscoping" birds with their digital camera and Swarovski
spotting scope.  We've all seen some of these pictures on Kevin's "Bad
Photos of Good Birds" web page, but the Living Bird article also features
some good photos of good birds.  I was especially impressed by a picture of
a White-winged Becard at its nest in the Peruvian Amazon.  Still, all the
digital pictures in the world won't add to your David Cup totals
boys!  Some of you might be wondering why the former editor of The Cup, and
two former contributors, would choose to publish these articles in the
Living Bird, rather than in the prestigious Cup.  Well, we do have higher
standards here at The Cup when it comes to accepting submissions, and
sometimes, articles just don't make the cut.  Now, for an article that was
up to our high submission standards...

October, 1981
Trumansburg Middle School

Travel Talk

If your parents ever want to go for a long, scenic drive, here is a great
place to go; the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Located at the other
end of Cayuga Lake, this beautiful marshland is an added bonus to the
lovely drive around the lake.

In the peak seasons, mid-March and mid-October, there are more than 90,000
ducks and geese that stop at the swamp. In 1951, a white pelican was
spotted there, and in 1973 and last spring, a bird which normally inhabits
Europe and Asia was also seen. Even bald eagles have been known to visit

In all, there are more than 250 species of birds and about 50 species of
mammals that have been recorded at Montezuma and it is definitely a spot to
see. There is a five mile road around one of the main pools which allows an
excellent view of the wildlife.

To get to it, you go up route 89 along this side of the lake and the
entrance to the refuge is on routes 5 & 20. Have a nice drive!

Susie Barnett

(Susan Barnett works at Cornell University Press.  She received a BA from
Williams College, and an MFA in poetry, MA in English literature, and MLS
from Indiana University.  If you are confused by all those abbreviations,
they mean that Susan should probably be writing The Cup rather than two
science/engineering types named Matt.  To the best of my knowledge, only
husband (and chief David Cup rival) Greg Delisle is now allowed to call her

200          200          200           200           200
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   200             200                            200           200

Sign on 200 Club Door:  Hey!  Who let Allison Wells in here?!  Williams, I
thought I told you to "adjust" her total.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< PILGRIMS' PROGRESS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

+ = + = + = + OCTOBER 2001 TOTALS + = + = + = +
Compiled by Matt Williams

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

October 2001 David Cup Totals

243 Bob Fogg
241 Matt Williams
231 Matt Medler
230 Jay McGowan
228 Kevin McGowan
224 Pete Hosner
221 Jai Balakrishnan
221 Ken Rosenberg
216 Matt Sarver
215 Meena Haribal
214 Bruce Tracey
212 Greg Delisle
207 Jeff Gerbracht
206 Susan Barnett
201 Allison Wells
180 Jeff Wells
151 Ben Fambrough
120 Jim Lowe
121 Tringa (Woof) McGowan
  90 Martin (Meow) McGowan

October 2001 McIlroy Award Totals

155 Jai Balakrishnan
145 Bill Evans
141 Kevin McGowan
141 Ken Rosenberg
124 Matt Williams
122 Jay McGowan
115 Jim Lowe
101 Allison Wells

October 2001 Evans Trophy Totals

188 Ken Rosenberg
170 Kevin McGowan
164 Jay McGowan

Yard Totals

127 Ken Rosenberg
115 McGowan/Kline Family
  92 Nancy Dickinson

Lansing Listers

146 Bruce Tracey
130 Kevin McGowan
128 Matt Williams

Office/Classroom Totals

31 Jai Balakrishnan
17 Matt Williams
  1 Pete Hosner

To see a complete checklist of the birds seen in the Basin through October
31, and to see the few species that Bob Fogg hasn't see, go to:
                            !   KICKIN' TAIL!  !
This month we welcome first-time leader Bob Fogg to the Kickin' Tail
interview.  Bob has been one of the most active birders in the Basin all
year, but until now, he has been content to lurk in the David Cup
shadows.  With an October total of 243, though, Bob now finds himself two
birds ahead of Matt Williams with two months to go.

THE CUP: Congratulations, Bob, on finally climbing your way to the top of
the David Cup pile!  What took you so long to get here?

FOGG:  Slow and steady.  Don't want to startle the competition in the
beginning.  That way you can sneak up in the end.

THE CUP:  Despite Ben Fambrough's admirable job of profiling you in The Cup
6.1, I'm still not sure that most Cuppers know exactly who you are.  I've
heard a number of different theories- a distinguished older physics
professor, lead guitarist in a punk rock band, a former professional
wrestler.  Are any of these descriptions accurate?

FOGG: Well, let's see.  I am studying physics in school.    I'd say the
distinguished older professor is a bit off.  I also have a guitar but I
don't play it all that much any more.  I'll definitely admit that I am
built like a professional wrestler.  I could take 'em on.  Anyone wanna

THE CUP:  I think Matt Sarver used to be an Olympic-caliber Greco-Roman
wrestler.  Maybe you could take him on.

THE CUP:  Back when I was in elementary school, I played a solid second
base for the Fogg's Automotive baseball team, and if you've been studying
your Cupper vehicles as closely as your Basin birds (and you should be),
you'll notice that my trusty Ford Tempo was purchased at Fogg's Auto.  Any

FOGG:  Actually I did notice.  I just forgot to ask.  The last name is the

THE CUP:  Thanks for clarifying that.

FOGG:  I have relatives with an auto repair shop in south Jersey.  That'd
be quite a haul to buy a car for you though.  Of course it could be just an
excuse to do some birding down there.

THE CUP:  That's true, but why would anybody want to go birding in southern
New Jersey?  They don't get any good birds down there, do they?

THE CUP:  The other question I've been hearing about you around The 200
Club hangout (while you're out birding, of course) is, "What kind of nerve
does this Bob Fogg guy have anyway?  He shows up in the Basin last fall
(from New Jersey, no less!), and now he's poised to win the David Cup in
his first full year in the Basin?!"  There is perhaps a sentiment that you
haven't paid your Basin dues yet, which would involve mucking around the
Basin for two, three, or say six years before even thinking about winning
the Cup. Do you have any thoughts on that?  (By the way, you can pay your
Basin dues directly to me, in cash, following the interview.)

FOGG:  Six years!  It sounds like someone needs to go out and do some

THE CUP:  Hey, careful there!  Wasn't it you who just said, "Slow and

FOGG:  In order to win any birding competition you need to spend time in
the field.  Perhaps this is the real "dues."  I'd say time spent in the
field is directly proportional to probability of winning the David
Cup.  The more you're out, the more you'll see.

THE CUP:  You better not say that too loudly.  Those are some radical
ideas.  I always thought I could win The Cup just be sitting in my LNS
studio and ticking off the birds I heard singing outside the fire door.

FOGG:  Experience is a big bonus, though.  Experience can decrease the time
required in the field, but experience itself comes from time spent.

THE CUP: Have there been any veteran Cuppers who have been instrumental in
providing you with Basin wisdom in your quest for birds this year?  I know
that I've been doing everything I can to lead you astray, but somehow, you
keep managing to tick off new species.

FOGG:  I certainly wouldn't have gotten very far without help.  This is one
of my secrets.  I would usually tag along with Matt Williams when he went
out and that way if he got anything new, so would I.

THE CUP:  Yes, he told me that he had to hold your hand in order for you to
finally hear a Henslow's Sparrow.

FOGG:  When he moved away, that gave me the opportunity to tick off a bird
here and there to put me in the lead.  I went out with others as well.  I
managed to go out with Ben Fambrough a few times in the beginning of the
year and he showed me a few spots.  Bruce Tracey showed me around in the
summer. Of course, I learned my way around Summerhill on field trips with
Matt Young.  One of the first people I met in the Basin was Nicholas
Barbarin and he was the first to show me some of the ropes.

THE CUP: I don't know if you're aware of it or not, but there is a bit of a
tradition of hotshot birders in the Cornell Physics Department.  When Steve
Kelling was in his birding prime, posting 250 species in the inaugural
David Cup in 1996, he was a lecturer in the Physics Department.  Do they
have any framed portraits of Steve in Rockefeller Hall or Clark Hall?

FOGG:  I haven't noticed, but I'll have to keep an eye out.

THE CUP:  I would imagine that they would have the Kelling portrait right
next to the one of Hans Bethe, and some of the Nobel Prize winners from the

THE CUP:  Have you developed any favorite birding spots during your short
time in the Basin?  Matt Young, for example, has embraced Summer Hill,
Chris Tessaglia-Hymes wowed us with his reports from Howland Island (before
he regressed to a "car birder" this past year), and Matt Williams put Bomax
Drive on the map.  Is there any spot that really strikes your fancy?  If
not, I hear that the Renwick Sanctuary is a happening place, so you might
want to check it out some time.  Be careful where you step, though.

FOGG:  I think I'd have to go with May's Point Pool and Benning
Marsh.  Lots of people can get bored there after a little while, but I can
just scan for hours.  It's amazing how new birds keep popping out of a new

THE CUP:  It's true.  If you spend several hours staring intently through a
spotting scope, it's amazing the things that you start to see.  I once saw
a Spoon-billed Sandpiper at Mays after peering through my scope for six
hours.  Ben Fambrough was there at the time, but he said that I probably
shouldn't tell anybody else, though.  Something about how it would be too
big a discovery, and might cause heart problems for Jeff Wells and some
other older Cuppers.

THE CUP:  What birds have you enjoyed seeing or hearing the most during the
past 10 months?

FOGG:  Oh my, let's see.  I guess I'll have to start back in January with
the Barrow's Goldeneye.  That was new for me and I got some good looks.  I
think I'm going to bounce around here.  It was very nice seeing Baird's
Sandpipers in decent numbers.  The Red-necked Phalarope was kind enough to
stay for an extra day.  The Piping Plover certainly stuck around for a bit
longer than it should have... around one or two days longer than it should
have.  I enjoyed getting good looks at, and hearing, a Yellow-bellied
Flycatcher... oh wait a second, that was a pewee.  I almost forgot about
the Snowy Owls this past winter.  Seeing 4 Wood Storks in someone's back
yard in upstate New York was rather unbelievable, let alone 14 within the
next week.  When I saw a Cape May Warbler on the Muckrace, I realized I had
a shot at the David Cup.

THE CUP:  What about painful misses?  Are there any glaring omissions from
your list that keep you up at night, thinking, "If only I'd seen this,
Williams would really be eating my dust?"

FOGG:  There are a few birds I should have gotten but didn't.  Northern
Goshawk is a disappointing miss.  I'm not too disappointed about missing a
Golden Eagle but I'm sure they came through when no one was looking for
them.  (Everyone was at the Loon Watch on those days.)  Fortunately I still
have a shot at both of those birds.  Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was a miss,
but I just couldn't find any that were real.  I wished I had gotten to
Stewart Park for the Forster's Tern also.

THE CUP:  What is your strategy for holding off Williams during the last
two months?  He's two birds down at the end of October, but could still see
Black Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Brant, and Evening Grosbeak, among other
things.  Common Redpoll is still a possibility for both of you?  Are there
any other birds that you could still see?

FOGG:  I have a good strategy for this.  I'll live in the Cayuga Lake Basin
for those two months.

THE CUP:  Not a bad idea.  For a Basin newcomer, you have some really keen
insights into the fundamentals of Basin birding.

FOGG:  I could get those raptors I mentioned before.  Winter finches are
also a possibility.  It looks like they will be around this winter.  I
really hope I get a good look at a Pine Grosbeak.  Thanksgiving will see
lots of traveling and you never know what birders could find while they're
on the road.

THE CUP:  You're right- you never can tell.  I mean, a famous ornithologist
could be in the area, visiting family for Thanksgiving, and come across an
egret on the west side of the lake.  Something like that could happen.

THE CUP:  I'm a distant third place right now (but solidly ahead of Pete
"Trumpeter Swan" Hosner, I might add), so I'm already looking ahead to next
year's David Cup.  So if I arrange, err, I mean, if you manage to pull out
this year's Cup, are you still going to scout out rare birds for me next
year?  That's the deal, isn't it?  Seriously, how do you see next year's
Cup shaping up?  With all the winter finches that are starting to be seen
now, 2002 could be a good year for somebody to go after a really big total.

FOGG:  I don't know what'll happen next year.  I see myself birding more
leisurely next year in the Basin.

THE CUP:  Good.

FOGG:  I'd like to get a little birding done outside the Basin.  The David
Cup is really keeping a constraint on me right now.  When I think about
going outside the Basin to bird, I realize that I just may miss something
in the Basin.  I'll try to scout out a few things next year though.  Maybe
I'll concentrate on the local scene as well.

THE CUP:  You're right.  I don't think you should confine yourself to the
Cayuga Lake Basin.  I hear that May is a wonderful time to be in the
Adirondacks.  Maybe you should camp out up there for the month.  And when
fall migration rolls around, you should spend some time in your native New
Jersey.  See if you can turn up another Painted Bunting down there, like
you did in 2000.  Or better yet, how about a Rustic Bunting?

THE CUP:  Back to this year's competition.  You've been talking about
turning up a "good gull" before the end of the year, but you're starting to
run out of time.  Do you have any idea what it's going to be?  Steve
Kelling turned up a Laughing Gull at Stewart Park last December, and
Stephen Davies discovered a Franklin's Gull at Myers Point back in November
1997 (or was it 1998?).  How about a Black-headed Gull?  It's on the Basin
checklist, but I've never heard of any recent report of this
species.  Better yet, why don't you make history and find the Basin's first
California Gull?

FOGG:  California Gull would be very nice.  I have a feeling that a
California Gull could easily hide with all the Ring-billed and Herring
Gulls that congregate in the winter.  Turning one up is another story.  I'd
be more optimistic about a Thayer's Gull though.  I've never seen one, but
I would really like to.  Hopefully not a sketchy one.

THE CUP:  I thought all Thayer's Gulls were sketchy.

THE CUP:  Have you been seeing any birds at your feeder lately?  I know you
put one up recently, and were excited by the prospects.  What are you

FOGG:  Ahhh, yes.  I recently put up a thistle feeder because the @*^& deer
are eating everything I put out in the regular tube feeder.  I was really
excited at the prospect of redpolls. I do have a single goldfinch coming
now.  The chickadees have recently found it too.  If I was around more
often I'd maybe see more birds.

THE CUP:  OK, on to the obligatory first-time leader questions.  What is
your favorite color?
FOGG:  Violet-green.

THE CUP:  Very nice.

THE CUP:  What's in your CD player at the moment?

FOGG:  Social Distortion.

THE CUP:  Who is your favorite Matt?

FOGG:  That depends on who wins the David Cup.

THE CUP:  With an answer like that, I can make sure that it's not you.

THE CUP:  Kowa or Swarovski?

FOGG:  Swarovski.

THE CUP:  Finally, you mentioned something about malodorous breath in your
interview with Ben back in January.  Does your breath still smell like cat
food?  That's what you said in your last interview, wasn't it?

FOGG:  No.  I said my cat's breath smells like cat food.  I'm disappointed
with the lack of Simpson's knowledge here.  Any comments?

THE CUP:  Doh!

:>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>
                             BASIN BIRD HIGHLIGHTS
                                  Matt Williams
October 2001

         While this month started out pretty slowly, with only the late
shorebirds and a few winter finches trickling in, things sure picked up and
birders got out and did what they do best.  Lots of good waterfowl
(scoters, Brant, Long-tailed Ducks) were seen on several occasions,
especially at the Loon Watch. But the action didn't stop there. Many
Cuppers didn't ignore the importance of land birding and were rewarded with
a few bonus ticks.
In reviewing the reports from the first few days of the month, I was
tempted to nominate Jeff and Allison Wells as Birders of the Month.  They
wasted no time and headed to Montezuma on the 1st to find a GREATER
WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, a PEREGRINE FALCON and plenty of falcon food,
GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 5 DUNLIN.  Then, on the 3rd, they didn't even have
to leave their Etna yard to see 3 EVENING GROSBEAKS.  The dynamic Wells duo
soon quieted down and let others share in the glory of seeing good birds.
         Matts Medler and Sarver found a DUNLIN (that they made sure was
not a Curlew Sandpiper) at Myers Pt. on the 3rd.  Also on the 3rd, Chris
a RUSTY BLACKBIRD at the Lab of O.  On the 4th, at the same location, he
added MARSH WREN (He promised me a Sedge but didn't deliver!), GRAY-CHEEKED
THRUSH, INDIGO BUNTING and PURPLE FINCH.  On the 4th, Greg Delisle found
one of those cooperative BRANT near the tennis courts at Stewart Park.
Susan Barnett found a RING-NECKED PHEASANT near Cass Park on the 5th.  Jai
Balakrishnan was right across the inlet, trying to add to his McIlroy total
at the Lighthouse Woods that morning and he flushed a GREAT HORNED OWL and
saw a BLUE-HEADED VIREO.  Jai also turned up a LINCOLN'S SPARROW at Bomax
Drive on the 6th.
         Bob Fogg relocated the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE on the 5th and
SANDPIPER at May's Point.  The "good" geese were multiplying because 3
BRANT were seen at Stewart Park on the 6th and then on the 7th a few Eaton
birders found 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTEDS at Mays Point.
         Also on the 7th, Ken Rosenberg found a female LESSER SCAUP on
Dryden Lake and then watched a PEREGRINE FALCON and a MERLIN cruise
overhead.  On Cayuga Lake, Ken found 4 RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and saw a
possible PHALAROPE ("most likely a RED") fly up the lake.  He alse found a
flock of 15 TREE SWALLOWS flying high over the south end.
On the 9th, Jeff Gerbracht found a REDHEAD and 2 RUDDY DUCKS off of Stewart
Park.  Another EVENING GROSBEAK was seen in Etna by Martha Fischer on the
9th.  On the 10th, a GOLDEN EAGLE flew over Steve Fast while he was on the
roof of his house near Brooktondale.  David Gooding had a McIlroy MERLIN
over downtown on the 11th.  On the same day, Jeff Gerbracht and Greg
Delisle enjoyed a few RED-TAILS and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK up on Mt. Pleasant.
On the 13th, the Birding Club at Cornell found 2 HUDSONIAN GODWITS, a few
marsh near the Visitor's Center and both KINGLETS along the old
Towpath.  And while they didn't post it, I'm pretty sure they had 2 PALM
WARBLERS there as well.  Prior to that trip, Bob Fogg and Matt Williams met
at Bomax Dr. and found a FOX SPARROW, a LINCOLN'S SPARROW and a MARSH WREN
(that they wished was a Sedge).  The McGowans had a single HUDSONIAN GODWIT
on the 14th at Benning and had the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED and 4 STILT
SANDPIPERS at Mays Pt.  They also had 2 TRUMPETER SWANS at a pond off of
Hogback Rd. in Savannah.
On the 14th, Etna continued to be a winter finch hangout with a PINE SISKIN
at Laurie Ray's feeder.  Ken R. contined his raptor-watching and found a
NORTHERN GOSHAWK on that same day in Dryden.  A late OSPREY was seen near
Freeville on the 15th by Tim Gallagher.  Tim Lenz found a PHOEBE and a
BLUE-HEADED VIREO at the Lighthouse Woods on the 16th.  Later that day,
Dave Nutter found a MERLIN up on Lake Ridge Rd. and Jay McGowan had a
Dryden.  In Newfield on the 17th, Donna Jean Darling had 2 PINE SISKINS and
a CHIPPING SPARROW at her feeders.
On the 18th, Dan Lebbin and Jesse Ellis had an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and 3
COMMON LOONS (flying over) at Bomax Dr.  Bob Fogg found a MERLIN at Stewart
Park on the 19th.  Fogg, Hosner and Medler hit Bomax and found a BROWN
THRASHER and 3 EVENING GROSBEAKS on the 20th.  Hosner and Medler later
checked Myers Pt. and found 2 RED-NECKED GREBES.  Anne Marie and Tim
Johnson found the HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Montezuma on the 20th and they also
saw SNOW GEESE in the Mucklands.  Jesse Ellis spent the morning of the 21st
at Bomax Dr. where he had 2 MERLINS and a LINCOLN'S SPARROW.
On the 20th, Jeff and Allison Wells found a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, 2 WINTER
WREN, 2 RUFFED GROUSE and a WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW while hiking around near
one of the bogs in Malloryville.  Allison also noted that this might be the
area to check for Boreal Chickadees this winter. Coach?  Ken R. checked
Stewart Park on the 20th and found 2 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS.  Chris T-H went
to Montezuma on the 21st and found 2 ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS along the old
Towpath.  The HUDSONIAN GODWIT was at Mays on that day as well.
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS returned to Dryden around the 22nd and were seen by
Gladys Birdsall and Rachel Dickinson.  On the 23rd, one RED-NECKED GREBE
was seen at Myers Pt. by Matt Medler.  Also that day, Kevin McGowan found a
VESPER SPARROW near the compost piles by the Game Farm.  Jai Balakrishnan
went to Hog's Hole on the 24th and turned up an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER,
EASTERN MEADOWLARKS.  He also saw about 30 DUNLIN flying out near the
lighthouse jetty.  About 20 SNOW BUNTINGS were seen by Carl Strickland near
Union Springs on the 26th.
         On the 27th, Jai Balakrishnan and Matt Sarver spent the morning at
the Jetty and saw an impressive LOON migration which included over 300
COMMON and 2 RED-THROATED LOONS.  The Loon Watch was also good, tallying
over 700 LOONS flying past. Also on the 27th, Kevin and Jay McGowan found a
LONG-TAILED DUCK mixed in with the COOTS and 10 LESSER SCAUP near Myers Pt.
On what was possibly the most active birding day of the month (the 28th),
Jai Balakrishnan had a BRANT and 2 immature BLACK SCOTERS from the
Lighthouse Jetty. The Loon Watch was also productive that morning and had 6
watch and a PINE SISKIN at Bob Meade's feeders.  On their way back from the
Loon Watch, Bob Fogg and Jesse Ellis found a VESPER SPARROW, some AMERICAN
TREE SPARROWS and a WINTER WREN at Hog's Hole.  Also after the Loon Watch,
Susan Barnett and Greg Delisle found a NORTHERN SHRIKE at the "park" near
the Hospital on the west side of the lake.  Geo Kloppel hiked around the
Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve in West Danby and found about 60
28th, Pete Hosner found 5 WHITE-WINGED and 1 BLACK SCOTERS off of Stewart
Park.  Later that day, Chris Tessaglia-Hymes found about 10 BLACK and 1
SURF SCOTER off of East Shore and 6 BRANT near the Red Lighthouse.  Early
in the day, Ken saw 40 LONG-TAILED DUCKS flying over Dryden Lake and had 75
AMERICAN PIPITS on Irish Settlement Rd.  Kevin and Jay were over at Dryden
Lake later on, where they had a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, NORTHERN GOSHAWK and
GOLDEN EAGLE fly over.  Now, that is a BIG DAY!!!!
Things settled down on the 30th, but Matt Medler and Coreen Seacord found a
male BLACK SCOTER at Myers. At the loon watch that day, Bob Meade, Greg
Delisle and Susan Barnett saw 35 BLACK SCOTERS  and a few WHITE-WINGED

                      <  COACH'S CORNER      <
                     <           <<<<<<<<<<<<<<
                     <           <
                      <         <
                        < < < <

I wasn't planning on writing a Coach's Corner this month, but after all
those sports references at the beginning of the issue, the old adrenaline
just got flowing, and I couldn't resist.  Unlike past epistles that I've
written for this column, this month's Corner will be short and sweet, just
like the order to "Get out and run!" that my old tennis coach would give on
the first day of practice.  Here it is:


                               SCRAWL OF FAME

There are way too many geese in this world.  They tear up vegetation in
fragile erosion-prone waterside habitats, fill the water and the ground
with their greasy pestilent feces at their breeding grounds, migration
stopovers, and the places they winter.  They make a lot of noise in the
middle of the night when they fly over, waking people up.  They fly into
plane engines causing crashes and loss of life.  They are, as a whole,
large aggressive stupid noisy animals.  Clearly, we should try to reduce
their numbers.

But where should we start?  There are many subspecies and populations, each
different, with subtly different life histories that mean they affect the
environment around them in subtly different ways.  Maybe we should cull a
few out of every population.  We could start with the sick and lame, but
that probably won't be enough, especially because their survival is
unlikely anyway.  Perhaps we could take out the aberrant ones, or any
member of a subspecies that has somehow moved outside of its normal
range?  An even better idea might be to find the single least offensive
subspecies and wipe out everything but it.  Then geese would be nice again.

Or maybe we could manage the geese that we have now, learning from the
mistakes of past goose management and not making blanket statements that
sound like policy proposals but are really just complaints.

good emailing,


(Ben Taft is currently doing field work somewhere in Africa, and is totally
unaware that his above post to Cayugabirds-L has become a Scrawl of
Fame.  I'm sure he would be very excited to know that he has found his way
into The Cup, since it means that he has finally been published somewhere.)


Evidence that Ken Rosenberg should *not* win the Rosenberg (Slow Draw)
Award this year:

Having just complained about the lack of migrating birds this past weekend,
I can now see out my office window a steady stream of migrants -- mostly
TURKEY VULTURES, along with many RED-TAILS and a possible RED-SHOULDERED
HAWK.  My view is facing north, across Rt. 13 towards Fall Creek, where it
crosses somewhere behind the Sunoco Station west of Etna..  The birds seem
to be following the path of the creek in a NE to SW direction.  I have seen
Nighthawks following this route earlier in the fall, and daily there have
been flights of Blue Jays and a few Ospreys.

Inthe last 30 minutes I've seen sev. large kettles of vultures and hawks,
totalling 50+ birds.




By the time I come back everyone would be way ahead of me in David
Cup.  Good luck.
May be we should start a World Cup!

Meena Haribal

I have noticed something disturbing happening at Renwick Sanctuary over the
past few years. Side-trails off the main northeast entrance trail are being
developed and used by individuals for the sole purpose of having sexual

Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

Not to change the subject or anything, but I was wondering...

Did *every* Asian general who ever lived have his own chicken recipe?

If anyone knows this you can send me private email.


Steve Kelling

Last week, however, I had an apparently adult male Black-throated Green
Warbler (extensive black bib and rich yellow face) in my yard doing a funny
little addendum to the normal richer-than-Yellow-rump call notes.  It would
do a normal "tssk" then follow that by a faint "zoo-zee" at about the same
volume.  Just left-over hormones, I guess.  Either that or it was fondly
reliving a successful breeding season?

Kevin McGowan


         I had the GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE today at May's Point Pool in
Montezuma.   The first thing I heard when I arrived was a strange laughing,
goose type noise that I was unfamiliar with.  I scanned the geese and found
the bird.

Bob Fogg

Dear Ithaca, NY birders,

Due to recent world developments, it has been proposed that our Cayuga
Basin birding be largely limited to the southern C. Basin in 2002 including
Taughannock State Park, Meyers Park, and regions south. This initiative has
been inspired and tested by Geo Kloppel during his 2001 field season. By
limiting his birding driving he quite significantly reduced his fossil fuel
consumption.  Our appetite for fossil fuel has been implicated as a causal
factor in undermining world peace and environmental continuity.

Sincerely yours,

Bill Evans
Director of Planning
Office of Homeland Birding


At a brief glance your request seems a bit tedious.  Wondering if you have
tried to use a field guide at all?

Bill Evans

Long-billed Dowitchers (+ or - 20) Not that we can tell the Dowitchers
apart. We're relying on the Kelling/Rosenberg rule posted awhile ago saying
that "the only dowitchers at MNWR after the third week of September are
Long-billed Dowitchers."

Anne Marie Johnson

Jeff and I spent Saturday morning hiking around the TNC preserve in
Malloryville (between Freeville and McClean), which Jeff recently
"discovered" for us.

A great place to hike, and if there are Boreal Chickadees to be found in
the Basin this year, this could be the place!

Allison Wells

My husband was on the telephone to his parents who are in the Netherlands
and in mid-(Dutch)-sentence, he yelled into the phone (but directed at me)
"Grosbeaks!" - Now THAT is the proper enthusiasm!

Laura Stenzler

On Saturday at Hog's hole I had a couple PALM WARBLERS.  One of the palm
warblers had no tail (That was interesting).  I also had a MEADOWLARK.

Good luck,
Bob Fogg

I just got back from a quick cruise of Stewart Park. Things were pretty
quiet there except for two WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS some distance off-shore
from the park.

Matt Medler

My beloved Shrike is in the house!

Susan Barnett

A Northern Cardinal sang once in a while in the couple of hours I spent
outside, and when I located the singer, it was a female - cool!

Marie Read

A weekend of many yard birds was capped by the appearance of a Common
Redpoll which popped up on a stem of goldenrod right in front of me this

Nancy Dicknson

Hello Cayuga-
     I just got an email from my uncle Dave Benson, a birder in Duluth
MN.  They've had three hoary redpolls, hundreds of WW Crossbills, and some
Pine Grosbeaks.  Here's hoping we get some spillover...  my fingers are
crossed.  Just thought I'd get people salivating.

Jesse Ellis

I guess I'm going as Ken Rosenberg for Halloween, because Bob Meade and
Greg Delisle saw 35 Black Scoters (and I saw a group of 15-20 that split
off and flew back and forth) yesterday morning at loon watch.

Susan Barnett

May Your Cup Runneth Over,
Matt and Matt