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Year 7, Issue 4

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*The electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy competitions.
*  Editor-in-Chief:  Matt Medler
*  Waxwing Poetic:  Eric Banford
*  Norwegian Translator:  Mike Andersen

Yes, this is the issue of The Cup covering the month of April.  And 
yes, I know it's now June.  And no, I didn't take all that extra time 
to painstakingly create a Cup masterpiece.  Perhaps the best thing that 
can be said about this issue of The Cup is that now that it's finally 
done, we can get on to the fun of the May issue.  Without further 
delay, I finally present to you The Cup 7.4...    

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

CONSERVATION CHAMPIONS:  What is a David Cup champion to do after 
reaching the pinnacle of the Basin birding scene?  In the case of 
former Cup champions Matt Young and Geo Kloppel, they've devoted their 
substantial energies to helping the conservation efforts of the Finger 
Lakes Land Trust.  The Spring 2002 issue of The Land Steward, the 
newsletter of the Land Trust, contains front-page feature stories on 
the separate conservation efforts of both Matt and Geo.  Thanks to Matt 
Young's tireless exploration and championing of the Summerhill area, 
the Finger Lakes Land Trust has established the Dorothy McIlroy Bird 
Sanctuary at the outlet of Lake Como in the Town of Summerhill.  
Established in memory of the late Dorothy McIlroy, the First Lady of 
Ithaca birding for several decades (and the namesake of our McIlroy 
Award), the sanctuary is home to a very unique flora for our area, 
including several species of rare wildflowers.  From a bird standpoint, 
the sanctuary is home to a host of breeding species more typically 
found to our north, including Dark-eyed Junco, Hermit Thrush, 
Blackburnian Warbler, and Mourning Warbler.  With his classic 
enthusiasm, Young encouraged the author of his article (who visited the 
sanctuary with him in January) to join him there again during the 
glorious days of spring:  "I've got to get you back here in 
haven't lived until you've heard a Hermit Thrush."  Can we all join 
you, Matt?

Meanwhile, at the southern end of the Basin, Geo Kloppel has been hard 
at work helping to clean up the new Percy Browning Parcel of the 
Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve (sometimes referred to in these 
circles as "The Biodome").  This recent addition to the preserve is 
mostly pristine, but it contained a large illegal dump with over 50 
tons of trash, appliances, tires, etc.  Together with over 140 
volunteers, Geo worked on weekends over several months to help remove 
refuse from the parcel.  This new addition to the preserve offers, for 
the first time, an opportunity for hikers to climb from the heart of 
the L-P Biodiversity Preserve up to the Danby State Forest and 
Thatcher's Pinnacles.  And, it also offers birders additional habitat 
to hike in search of that gorgeous West Danby specialty, Worm-eating 
Warbler.  But, if you head down to the new Browning Parcel looking for 
the warbler, be careful where you walk, because the new parcel is also 
home to an endangered species of plant endemic to West Danby, "wood 
reedgrass."  Geo, could you point that one out for us?

We certainly miss the Cup exploits of both Matt and Geo, but it looks 
like they've both moved on to bigger and better things (if anything can 
be bigger or better than The Cup)!  

WELCOME TO THE CUP CLAN:  The Cup is very pleased to formally introduce 
two birding couples to The Cup Family.  Tim and Anne Marie Johnson 
actually entered the David Cup competition a few months ago, but, 
believe it or not, we've been a little slow to present them to their 
fellow Cuppers.  Here's what Anne Marie had to share:  

Tim teaches Music Theory at Ithaca College, and Anne Marie, a former 
middle school counselor, assists with Project FeederWatch at the Lab. 
In 1989, when they were graduate students in Buffalo, they discovered 
birding while on a nature walk at Tifft Farm. The leader pointed out a 
Baltimore Oriole and then a Yellow Warbler. Those with binoculars were 
ooohing and aaahing, while Tim and Anne Marie could barely see little 
orange and yellow blurs. They bought their first pair of binoculars 
shortly after and have been birding away their spare time ever since.
We have a feeling that you'll be hearing more from Tim and Anne Marie.  
You've already heard quite a bit from our other birding couple, Steve 
and Susan Fast.  Since their arrival on the Cayugabirds scene last 
fall, the Fasts have turned up Pine Grosbeak, Bohemian Waxwing, and 
other quality birds from around the Basin.  We're happy to have Susan, 
Steve, Anne Marie, and Tim join the Cup community!  

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

April 2002 David Cup Totals

Another record-setting month from Pete Hosner...

163 Pete Hosner
158 Mike Andersen
155 Jay McGowan
155 Kevin McGowan
154 Jesse Ellis
147 Matt Medler
146 Steve Kelling
143 Steve & Susan Fast
140 Meena Haribal
136 Bruce Tracey
134 Tim Lenz
128 Eric Banford
127 Jeff Gerbracht
123 Allison Wells
117 Anne Marie Johnson
116 Jeff Wells
113 Tim Johnson
103 Ken Rosenberg
102 Matt Williams
 76 Dan Lebbin
 74 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan
 67 Anne James-Rosenberg
 56 Jon Kloppel
 49 Martin (the Cat) McGowan 
 45 Rachel Rosenberg

April 2002 McIlroy Award Totals

119 Jai Balakrishnan
114 Pete Hosner
110 Tim Lenz
108 Kevin McGowan
105 Jay McGowan
 92 Matt Medler
 73 Allison Wells
 61 Ken Rosenberg

April 2002 Evans Trophy Totals

127 Jay McGowan
126 Kevin McGowan
110 Pete Hosner
 88 Ken Rosenberg

April 2002 Yard Totals

86 Steve Kelling
77 McGowan/Kline Family
61 Nancy Dickinson
54 Rosenberg Family
50 Jesse Ellis
39 Anne Marie and Tim Johnson



As April came to a close, a total of 189 species of birds had been seen 
in the Cayuga Lake Basin.  Last year at this time, Basin birders had 
tallied 193 species before the start of May.  Here is the 2002 
Composite Deposit as of April 30:

R-t Loon, Common Loon, P-b Grebe, Horned Grebe, R-n Grebe, EARED GREBE, 
D-c Cormorant, American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green 
Heron, B-c Night-Heron, Turkey Vulture, Tundra Swan, Mute Swan, Greater 
W-f Goose, Snow Goose, ROSS'S GOOSE, Brant, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, G-
w Teal, American Black Duck, Mallard, N Pintail, B-w Teal, N Shoveler, 
Gadwall, American Wigeon, Canvasback, Redhead, R-n Duck, Greater Scaup, 
Lesser Scaup, L-t Duck, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, W-w Scoter, Common 
Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, R-b 
Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Osprey, Bald Eagle, N Harrier, S-s Hawk, 
Cooper's Hawk, N Goshawk, R-s Hawk, B-w Hawk, R-t Hawk, R-l Hawk, 
Golden Eagle, American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, R-n Pheasant, 
Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, Virginia Rail, Common Moorhen, American 
Coot, Sandhill Crane, B-b Plover, Killdeer, G Yellowlegs, L Yellowlegs, 
Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Least 
Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, Common Snipe, American Woodcock, 
Bonaparte's Gull, R-b Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Lesser B-b 
Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great B-b Gull, SLATY-BACKED GULL, Caspian Tern, 
Common Tern, Forster's Tern, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, E Screech-Owl, 
Great Horned Owl, Snowy Owl, Barred Owl, L-e Owl, S-e Owl, N Saw-whet 
Owl, Chimney Swift, Belted Kingfisher, R-b Woodpecker, Y-b Sapsucker, 
Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, N Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, N 
Shrike, Least Flycatcher, E Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, E 
Kingbird, Blue Jay, American Crow, Fish Crow, Common Raven, B-h Vireo, 
Horned Lark, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, N R-w Swallow, Bank Swallow, 
Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, B-c Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, R-b 
Nuthatch, W-b Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, House Wren, 
Winter Wren, Marsh Wren, G-c Kinglet, R-c Kinglet, E Bluebird, Hermit 
Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, N Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, 
European Starling, American Pipit, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Cedar Waxwing, B-w 
Warbler, Nashville Warbler, N Parula, Yellow Warbler, Y-r Warbler, B-t 
Green Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, B-and-w Warbler, Ovenbird, N 
Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, E Towhee, 
Chipping Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow, Field Sparrow, 
Savannah Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp 
Sparrow, W-t Sparrow, W-c Sparrow, D-e Junco, Lapland Longspur, Snow 
Bunting, N Cardinal, R-b Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, R-w Blackbird, E 
Meadowlark, Rusty Blackbird, Common Grackle, B-h Cowbird, Baltimore 
Oriole, Pine Grosbeak, Purple Finch, House Finch, W-w Crossbill, Common 
Redpoll, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, Evening Grosbeak, House 


Here are the twenty-six birds that Pete somehow missed through the end 
of April.  Come on, Pete, what are you doing?

R-t Loon, Great Egret, Green Heron, B-c Night-Heron, Brant, Black 
Scoter, Ruffed Grouse, Virginia Rail, B-b Plover, Least Sandpiper, 
SLATY-BACKED GULL, Common Tern, Snowy Owl, Least Flycatcher, Great 
Crested Flycatcher, E Kingbird, B-w Warbler, Nashville Warbler, N 
Parula, Common Yellowthroat, Henslow's Sparrow, W-c Sparrow, Lapland 
Longspur, R-b Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole


!                       KICKIN' TAIL!                      !

This month, The Cup shifts its focus to the Town of Ithaca and the 
McIlroy Award.  We are very pleased to welcome the "Dr. J" of the 
Ithaca birding scene, Dr. Jaiganesh Balakrishnan.  

THE CUP:  Congratulations, Jai, on Kickin' McIlroy Tail in April.  Oh 
yes, and congratulations on recently receiving your Ph.D. in electrical 
engineering.  What do you think you've spent more time working on this 
year, your dissertation or your Ithaca list?

JAI:  My dissertation, of course, but only because I am not including 
the time I spent on my Ornithology course to the Ithaca birding-hours. 

THE CUP:  Now that you're officially done with your Cornell education, 
do you have any plans to "pull a Williams" and stay in or near Ithaca 
for the rest of year?

JAI:  No.  I have been offered a job with Texas Instruments in Dallas 
and I plan to join work in the beginning of August.

THE CUP:  Because of The Cup's "peculiar" production schedule, we're 
going to pretend for the sake of this interview that May hasn't 
happened yet, at least from a birding standpoint.  If you plan to leave 
Ithaca for good in June, do you think that you'll be able to see enough 
birds in May to clinch the McIlroy title?  If not, who do you see 
claiming the crown?

JAI:  I missed a few easy birds in early spring.  So, it will be very 
tough for me to put up a winning total by the end of May.  Tim Lenz is 
my top contender for the McIlroy award.   

THE CUP:  Tim has been putting together a good year, but I wonder if 
he's up to the challenge.  I'm afraid that as a youngster, he might get 
a little confused during May migration and end up as a vagrant in some 
far-flung location, like Reno.  That could put a damper on his McIlroy 

THE CUP:  Do you think that 200 is possible in McIlroy territory this 
year?  Old-timers like Allison Wells claim that they used to hit 200 
species in the Town of Ithaca in a year, but you know how it is with 
birding stories from days gone by--memories get fuzzy, totals get 

JAI:  With perseverance, mixed in with a generous amount of luck, one 
can possibly hit 200 in McIlroy territory.  A number of species that 
pass through the McIlroy territory do not stay put for long.  This is 
the main difficulty in breaking the 200 barrier.  In my opinion, 180 is 
a more realistic estimate.

THE CUP:  We've noticed a little change from you over the course of the 
past year or two.  You used to be one of the nicest guys in the world, 
but recently we've noticed a bit of an attitude on your part--teasing 
newcomers like Jesse Ellis about missing birds, talking trash to the 
illustrious Cup editor-in-chief about his McIlroy total.  What do you 
have to say for yourself, young man?

JAI:  During the transformation from a Cup newbie to a "veteran," one 
does pick up a certain attitude.  However, in my defence, I did not 
tease Jesse Ellis, but had an exchange of friendly banter with the 
other newcomer, Tim Lenz.  If a certain editor-in-chief of the Cup ends 
up with a poor total in the McIlroy territory, after a public challenge 
made during the last cupper-supper, doesn't he qualify as a canditate 
for talking trash?  

THE CUP:  No--he's just doing his job to create some excitement in The 
Cup.  Actually, we kind of like the new attitude.  In fact, we think it 
would be perfect for the upcoming Muckrace.  Is there any chance that 
you could come back to town for that?  Pete Hosner has proposed putting 
together an all-mustachioed Muckrace team called Malar Stripe.  He and 
Mike Andersen have already started working on their moustaches, but I'm 
not sure that they will really be grown in by September.  In fact, I'm 
afraid they're going to end up looking like Matt Sarver, if they're 
lucky.  Anyway, we could certainly use somebody with your birding 
skills.  And facial hair.  Whaddya say?  

JAI:  That's a very appealing name and I do have the necessary 
qualifications.  I should seriously consider applying for an extended 
leave in early September.  Realistically speaking, I don't think I can 
take a vacation that early after joining the job.

THE CUP:  Well, that's about all for now.  I have a feeling that we'll 
be talking again later in the year.  Have a great trip home to India, 
and good luck with the new job in Dallas.  And thanks for some nice 
birding memories!

:>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>


     Bohemian Waxwings!!!  Everywhere!  After being teased by single 
Bohemian Waxwings in January and again in late March, Cuppers enjoyed a 
waxwing explosion on the Cornell campus for almost ten days in early 
April.  First it was "just" a few Bohemians mixed in with larger 
numbers of Cedars, but by the peak of the Bohemian rhapsody, birders 
were seeing almost pure flocks of the big waxwings.  The highest number 
of Bohemian Waxwings reported was an amazing 36 birds, seen near the 
Wilson Synchrotron at the intersection of Rt. 366 and Judd Falls Road.  

     The Bohemians were definitely the star attraction of April, but 
there were a few additional highlights during the month.  Sandhill 
Crane has come to be an expected species in the northern Basin come 
April, and sure enough, a pair of birds was found in a field along 
Morgan Road in Savannah on April 7.  The Montezuma area played host to 
a modest shorebird migration in April, but Ken Rosenberg showed that 
you don't even have to leave Dryden to find decent numbers of 
shorebirds--he found at least 32 Common Snipe scattered about three 
locations in Dryden during a single day.  Elsewhere in the all-
encompassing Town of Dryden, Meena Haribal found one of the only 
Lapland Longspurs of the year atop Mt. Pleasant, on the relatively late 
date of April 18.  A full month after the big push of Golden Eagles 
over Mt. Pleasant, Meena found a single Golden Eagle in the company of 
Turkey Vultures above the Six Mile Creek valley.  

     The much-hyped "Dryden Lake Effect" never materialized in April, 
or at the very least, nobody witnessed one.  Classic Dryden Lake birds 
like Red-necked Grebe and White-winged Scoter were seen in the Basin in 
April, but on the big lake.  In yet another one of their quality 
outings, Steve and Susan Fast found four Red-necked Grebes (three at 
Long Point SP, and one at Cayuga) at the north end of Cayuga Lake on 
April 6.  On that same day, an amazing 225 Red-necked Grebes were seen 
to our northeast on Oneida Lake.  Three White-winged Scoters lingered 
in Aurora Bay until at least April 15, and on April 13, were joined by 
a female Black Scoter and a mystery scoter.  

     Finally, on the finch front, redpolls lingered at Laura Stenzler's 
feeders until at least the middle of the month, and Pine Siskin 
persisted throughout the month.  Most interesting, though, were the 
continued reports of White-winged Crossbills in Dryden and Etna.  While 
scouring the 'hood in Dryden on April 20, Jay McGowan found 4-6 White-
winged Crossbills at the "Pine Grosbeak" spot on Keith Lane.  
Meanwhile, Laurie Ray still had one male and one female White-winged 
Crossbill coming to her feeders in Etna on April 29.          

:>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>  :>

Compiled by Eric Banford

Spring migration is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than two 
poems about warblers?!  Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr. is a member of the 
Eaton Birding Society of Geneva, N. Y.  His poems appear regularly in 
The Kingbird, journal of the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs. 
He is author of a book, "Following Their Star:  Poems of Christmas and 

We are open to your contributions! Send submissions to



comes with warblers 
waves of warblers 
moving up the continents

Black-throated Greens and Blues 
Myrtles and Magnolias 
flourishing wing-tail skirts of white and yellow

Redstarts flashing flamenco fans of orange and red 
Chestnut-sideds with headdresses of the sun

Then, Blackburnians 
flown from orange flames of Aztec fires 
The Prothonotary emblazoned with Inca gold


fiesta flashes 
of vermillion orange 
from fanning tail 
and fire wings 
of little Cuban "Candelita" 
    plummeting upward 
in Canadian green 
of long spruce 
under which 
our eyes 

Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr. 
333 Bedell Street , Freeport, New York 11520 
Phone: 516-623-5530 E-mail:


For those who've never seen a shrike, keep trying! I looked for this 
bird in the Ellis Hollow Ck/Turkey Hill area three days a week, morning 
and afternoon, all winter on my way to work. And I made numerous trips 
to the Neimi Rd. area this year and last year looking. This is one life 
bird that I really earned!
- Anne Marie Johnson  

Subject: I'm a genius, and birds
The stupid reply all settings strike again!  I'm sorry.
- Pete Hosner

This morning a Ruby Crowned Kinglet was singing and dancing in some 
grapevines, a YB Sapsucker was drumming on a sugar maple, and a 
Carolina Wren was poking around in our garage while another sang atop 
the barn (possible mates?).  Not bad for a snowy morning in 
- Nancy Dickinson

Just now Matt called me tell that Mike Anderson found Bohemian Waxwing 
in front of Riley_Robb and the path in between the wing hall, that is 
what I think I understood.
Hope too see you and Bohemian there.
- Meena Haribal

I spent an ecstatic hour and a half photographing Bohemian Waxwings in 
the parking lot east of Morrison Hall, between 6:30 and 8:00 this 
morning (or 7:30 and 9:00 if you changed to Daylight savings time, but 
I prefer the former because it sounds like I was motivated to get up 
early!!). Great light, close birds - lots of fun, despite cold hands!
Days like this are what I live for!!!!
- Marie Read

I had a NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW pooting away over the East Ith. 
Rec Way yesterday afternoon.
- Jesse Ellis

This event is for those who want to see bad pictures of good birds 
enough to stand it.  Matt M is one of those people, and he was gracious 
enough to host the first of what we hope will be many such events, and 
he took the initiative of getting it going.  I will not invite people 
to Matt's house, but I hope he will encourage even beginners to come.  
IMPATIENCE!  Or we'll kick you out without any pizza.
- Kevin McGowan

Woodpeckers are looking to make the biggest, baddest noise around.  
They of course use natural trees and limbs that resonate loudly, but 
some woodpeckers find that roofs, downspouts, and street signs (an 
especial favorite of sapsuckers) make even bigger noises.  It probably 
blunts their bills faster, but I suspect they think it's worth it.
- Kevin McGowan

After playing tape off and on for about half an hour on Star Stanton 
Rd, I got one measly who cooks for you out of one of the resident 
Barred Owls.  A lackluster performance, considering the perfect owling 
conditions, but I'll take it none the less.
- Pete Hosner

Continuing our streak of poor luck, a group of the Lab's "Rock" 
inhabitants blocked some strong west winds on top of Mt. Pleasant this 
noon hour.
- Ken Rosenberg

May Your Cup Runneth Over,