Resources‎ > ‎The David Cup‎ > ‎

Year 7, Issue 5

*^^^^^^^   ^     ^    ^^^^^^        ^^^^^^^    ^     ^    ^^^^^^^
*   ^      ^     ^    ^             ^          ^     ^    ^     ^
*   ^       ^^^^^     ^^ ^          ^          ^     ^    ^ ^^^^^
*   ^      ^     ^    ^             ^          ^     ^    ^
*   ^      ^     ^    ^^^^^^        ^^^^^^^      ^^^^     ^
*The electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy competitions.
*  Editor-in-Chief:  Matt Medler
*  Waxwing Poetic:  Eric Banford
*  Basin Bird Highlights:  Mike Andersen
*  Interview Transcriber:  Ryan Bakelaar
*  Diving Instructor:  Tim Lenz

Welcome to The Cup 7.5, celebrating the amazing birding month of May!  
Whether you happen to be a relative newcomer to the Basin, or a 
grizzled veteran (do I get my membership card soon, Kevin?), I hope you 
got the sense that this month was a special one for Basin birding.  Why 
was it so special?  A list of highlights from the month--Glossy Ibis, 
Cattle Egret, Little Gull, Purple Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit, Least 
Bittern, Whip-poor-will, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat--might 
start to explain, but it was more than that.  It's one thing for one or 
two people to see a rarity, but when a Purple Sandpiper hangs around at 
Myers for a week, two Least Bitterns choose to expose themselves 
frequently at Sapsucker Woods (of all places!), and a Whip-poor-will 
stays put at the Hawthorn Orchards for two days, you start to have the 
makings of an extraordinary month.  But it was more than that.  There 
was a sense of community that suddenly burst into full bloom as the 
trees started to leaf out and the birds arrived back.  Stopping at 
Sapsucker Woods might not have yielded a bittern the first time, but 
you were bound to bump into at least one or two other birders--old 
friends and new faces--eager to help you see the bird.  Don't know 
where the Whip-poor-will is?  Follow me through the mud and muck and 
I'll show you.  Everywhere you went, there were other birders, seeing 
birds and being excited about showing these birds to others.  I think 
all of this, taken together, is what made May such a special month.  
Either that, or the fact that I saw the Marbled Godwit and Allison 
Wells didn't!

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

SAPSUCKERS WIN...AAAH...SAPSUCKERS WIN!:  This year, they really did 
it!  After finishing in a first-place tie in last year's World Series 
of Birding, the Lab of Ornithology Sapsuckers--John Fitzpatrick, Steve 
Kelling, Kevin McGowan, Ken Rosenberg, and Jeff "Boom Boom" Wells--
finally broke through and won the 24-hour Big Day event in New Jersey.  
For those of you not familiar with the World Series of Birding, it is a 
small tune-up event for *the* premier Big Day competition of the 
birding year--the Montezuma Muckrace, held at Montezuma NWR in 
September.  Despite the fact that Jeff Wells created the Muckrace six 
years ago so that the Sapsuckers might win something (anything!), the 
best they have been able to do is finish in a first-place tie with the 
vaunted Goatsuckers team (Matt Medler, Chris Tessaglia-Hymes, and Matt 
Sarver) in 1998.  The past two years, the Sapsuckers literally haven't 
even shown up at the Muckrace.  We're all hoping that now that the team 
has a bit of confidence from its little World Series victory, they 
might have the nerve to participate in the upcoming Muckrace.  There 
will be no shortage of young birders there to remind the Sapsuckers 
that Montezuma is a long ways from New Jersey.

NEW SPECIES?:  This news just in from my (non-birding) sister, Jen:  
Here is a little bird info for ya--they closed the 11 pm local news 
last night with a bird story:  I guess an endangered bird has decided 
to hang out on a beach on Nantucket.  I think they said the bird is the 
Piping Glober (I wrote that down; that's what it sounded like they 
said).  Anyway, this is newsworthy b/c the bird is on the endangered 
list, but also b/c Nantucket is now relocating their July 4th 
celebration to another part of the island so they don't disturb the 
birds!  Ha!  I thought that was very considerate of them :)

OUT OF BASIN BIRDING:  Talk about Cupper commitment.  It turns out that 
a number of Cuppers are way out of the Basin at the moment, but that 
hasn't stopped most of them from sending in up-to-date totals, along 
with a few extralimital sightings.  Here's a quick update from Jesse 
Ellis, who is in Costa Rica for the summer, beginning research on the 
stoinkin' White-throated Magpie-Jay:  "Costa Rica is good.  I'm still 
getting into the swing of things, I guess, having only just finished my 
dry box and begun recording Magpie-Jays.  They're great birds though, 
and not too tough to get decent footage of.  I haven't been birding too 
hard, but I've seen some beautiful birds... Scrub Euphonia, Collared 
Forest-falcon, Thicket Tinamou, etc.  Probably common stuff, but cool 
nonetheless.  We're going up to Cacao, the second volcano, this 
weekend, and I've been told it's pretty awesome for birds, toucans and 
araçaris everywhere.  Should be good."

Not to be outdone, Meena weighed in with this in-the-field update from 
the Dominican Republic:  "Hi Matt, I think it is 210. I am in Dominican 
Republic. So cant check for sure.  But i know it was 210 last time i 
counted, but may be more. I can add it in next months total.  Hope you 
guys are having good birding. I saw 30 species of DR and of them 10 are 
endemic species.  I am going tomorrow to mountains look for some more 

Finally, Dan Lebbin is in Peru for the summer, doing who knows what 
(we're not even sure if he knows).  We imagine that he's seen more 
birds there in a few weeks than all of us will see in the Basin in an 
entire year, but you never know with Dan.  He's good with identifying 
large birds like gannets, but when it comes to the little birds, he 
starts to have problems.  Take a look at his (correct) total in 
Pilgrims' Progress.  Dan, have you thought about taking some birding 
lessons from Tringa McGowan?

          DEAR TICK

Dear Tick is back (at least for one month)!  Cup Intern Allison Wells 
is earning that generous stipend we're giving her, having managed to 
track down the elusive Tick.  If you have a question for the dear one, 
send it along to Matt or Allison, and we'll see if Dear Tick will 
impart more of his/her wisdom in future issues of The Cup.


My wife is with child--the baby eats whatever she eats, drinks what she 
drinks, breaths her breath.  Most importantly, the baby birds when and 
where she birds.  In short, the two are one. Thus, shouldn't the baby 
be able to tick off all of the birds his/her mother has seen during 
this David Cup year?  This would put him/her nicely ahead of many other 
Cuppers--and s/he's not even born yet!

"Expecting" A Good Answer

Dear "Expecting"-

The real question is not how the baby should be compensated, but how 
should his/her mother?  After all, the baby is enjoying the good life 
right now, eating, drinking, and birding merry.  It's your wife who's 
doing all the work.  I trust that you are treating her well--buying her 
lots of flowers, giving her massages whenever she wants, preparing her 
meals and taking her out to dinner, and generally doing all housework 
and yard tasks.  On top of that, if Mom wants to share her birds with 
her baby-on-the-way, that's her bird-call.

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

By Mike Andersen

May...a month held high upon a pedestal by birders near and far.  The 
month in which a major transition occurs from the tease that is April 
to the inferno we call June.  May brings to mind the passage of 
millions of beautiful songbirds from parts south on an epic journey 
northward.  Birders easily fall victims to symptoms of "warbler neck," 
while altogether forgetting about the other birds.  The month of May is 
often dominated by flashy, exotic names such as Scarlet Tanager, Rose-
breasted Grosbeak, Blackburnian Warbler, and Indigo Bunting, at the 
expense of birds like Philadelphia Vireo and Acadian Flycatcher.  In 
2002, May produced both a memorable Basin songbird migration along with 
a complement of rarities large enough to be evenly spread over the span 
of a year.  One such jewel, a shorebird of the Atlantic Coast and the 
High Arctic, created a magical link between an old-time legend and two 
up-and-coming birders from today.

The month starting out frustratingly slow, as most Mays tend to do.  A 
trickle of tantalizing reports on Cayugabirds-L (Nashville Warbler, 
Cerulean Warbler, American Redstart, and Eastern Kingbird) filtered in 
from Renwick, the Ithaca Cemetery, and Mundy Wildflower Garden (where 
Jesse Ellis got his name on the first arrivals list four times in a 
row!).  A slow, but somewhat steady pattern prevailed for almost a week 
into the month with a few reports scattered across the southern Basin.  
Not until the second week of May, when the region saw large amounts of 
rain, did the real excitement start.  The well-advertised (thanks 
Hymes) "place-to-be"--the Hawthorn Orchards--came through with a full 
week of spectacular migrants.  As if every Neotropical migrant arrived 
on the same gust of wind, the orchards suddenly held upwards of 20 
species of warblers, with the added bonus of vireos, grosbeaks, 
flycatchers, and tanagers.  Of note was the unprecedented number of 
Northern Parulas--the orchards saw multiple days with upwards of 20 
individuals.  Also noteworthy were consistent numbers of Orange-
crowned, Palm and Nashville Warblers, all of which seemed to linger 
into the season later than expected.  Normally tough migrants to see, 
Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked Thrushes were relatively regular during the 
second and third week of May.  Finally, one more noteworthy Hawthorn 
warbler was a Golden-winged Warbler seen early in the month in the 
evening and briefly the following morning.

One particular morning stands out in my mind when I, accompanied by 
others from Cornell, easily saw 20 species of warblers on a day when 22 
or 23 were recorded in total at the orchards.  Save the warblers, 
however, this day was spectacular for the sheer numbers of birds.  In 
one young oak, I watched as eight Baltimore Orioles fed side-by-side 
with eight Scarlet Tanagers, a dozen more Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and 
a myriad of warblers and vireos!  It would be wrong of me not to 
mention another spectacular wave of migrants seen and promptly reported 
by Meena Haribal and others from the ridge on the north side of 
Cornell’s Beebe Lake.  An estimated 500 individuals of upwards of 20 
species of warblers were recorded from this amazing flock!  (Maybe the 
orchards, while spectacular, should not be thought of as greatly 
superior to any other potentially good migrant trap in the Basin).

As mentioned above, May produced its fair share (or maybe more) of 
remarkable migrant waves, but luckily, some birders remained active at 
other locales, tearing themselves away from the addiction of migrant 
songbirds.  Setting the stage for a month full of unusual and rare 
birds was a strangely plumaged Little Gull seen by Ken Rosenberg and 
others on the 4th of May from Stewart Park.  As is often the case with 
this species, it unfortunately did not stick around into the evening 
for others to see.

On the heels of the Sapsuckers' first "real" victory at the prestigious 
World Series of Birding came an unlikely, yet valid-sounding report of 
a Purple Sandpiper at Myers.  Could it be true?  Could this be the year 
that Purple Sandpiper makes but its fourth appearance in the Basin and 
first since the legend, Arthur A. Allen, found one at Myers Point in 
1954?  YES!  Kudos to Tim and Anne Marie Johnson for not only finding 
the bird, but also for getting the word out in a timely fashion.  
Within minutes a hoard of birders arrived on the scene to confirm what 
Tim and Anne Marie correctly identified as the Basin’s fourth Purple 
Sandpiper and first-ever spring record.  Much to the dismay of some who 
arrived but minutes later, Jesse Ellis pulled a Dan Lebbin (of Northern 
Gannet fame) with screams of "Godwit!"  Amidst yells of "Where?" and 
"Which one?" the group of half dozen birders temporarily abandoned the 
Purple Sandpiper in time to see a beautiful Marbled Godwit fly only 
meters over their heads.  This second prized shorebird circled the spit 
a few times before landing, only to eventually walk within a foot of 
the Purple Sandpiper!  Before anyone could comprehend what they were 
witnessing, the godwit took off, rounded the point and headed south 
towards Stewart Park, followed closely by McIlroy diehards Jai 
Balakrishnan and Tim Lenz.  In a!  Quite amazing how similar 
this was to the sighting of the murrelet and gannet last December.  Can 
anyone say, "Patagonia Rest Stop Effect?"  Thanks Anne Marie and Tim!

Newcomers to The Cup, Jeff and Allison Wells made a stunning duel 
discovery of both a Worm-eating Warbler and Whip-poor-will at the now 
played out Hawthorn Orchards.  Must have been beginners' luck for this 
"birding" couple.  Most who tried for the "Whip" the next day were 
rewarded with stellar looks.  Some were lucky enough to enjoy 
observations of the Worm-eater harassing the Whip.  Much credit is due 
to Sarah Fern for relocating the Whip-poor-will the following day.  
Tired of the muck that was the Hawthorn Orchards, Pete Hosner and I 
decided to take a real adventure to the southern reaches of the Basin 
to the traditional Worm-eating locale, the Biodome.  After traversing 
raging rivers beaver-style, a trek up the hill at the Lindsay Parsons 
Biodiversity Preserve produced multiple singing males with one very 
cooperative bird at eye-level.  Could it be that the wife of this new 
birding couple found such a hill a daunting task in her current 
pregnancy?  C’mon now, do you want your kid to be a birder or not?

As if the highlights weren’t good enough already, Ken Rosenberg chimed 
in with his second great find of the month.  On the morning of the 
14th, he found the Basin’s first White-eyed Vireo since one showed up 
in downtown Ithaca in November of 1999.  Unfortunately, this bird did 
not seem to cause as much of a stir as it should have.  Did anyone go 
look for it?

Carrying on the time-honored tradition of the Lab of O "loop," Greg 
Delisle took a leisurely morning saunter through Sapsucker Woods only 
to be pleasantly surprised with the sighting of a Least Bittern in a 
small cattail marsh on the north side of the main pond.  By that 
afternoon, patient observers and digital photography helped confirm the 
presence of a pair!  With patience, one or more of the bitterns could 
be observed for a few days after Greg’s initial sighting.  Also of note 
was the presence of a cooperative and very faithful Swainson’s Thrush, 
along with multiple Wilson’s Warblers, some of which were as curious as 
chickadees, often approaching observers within inches.

As the passerine migration began to wind down, all but a few hardcore, 
testosterone-driven birders quickly lost interest in exploring other, 
underbirded areas of the north Basin.  Following a period of intense 
and prolonged rainfall, Jesse Ellis, Pete Hosner, Matt Medler, and I 
made frequent trips to the "land of the unknown" north of Montezuma.  
We were rewarded with an excellent variety of spring shorebirds at the 
DEC Property at the end of Morgan Road, including a Wilson’s Phalarope 
and a flock of 50 beautiful Short-billed Dowitcher.  The sounds of 
American Bitterns and Soras became a preferred way to end the day at 
the nearby Carncross Road marsh.  Near the end of the month, Steve Fast 
added to the shorebird list at Morgan Road with a nice report of five 
Sanderling (a hard-to-see Basin bird in its breeding finery), 11 Ruddy 
Turnstone, and 40 Dunlin, along with a scattering of Pectoral 
Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Semipalmated 

Without anything better to do, the aforementioned students put together 
a haphazard big day route in hopes of spending a full day afield with 
good friends and lots of birds.  Much to their surprise, they finished 
with a very respectable 165 species in the Cayuga Lake Basin despite 
below-freezing morning temperatures, three bouts with snow, and a 
migration so late that even wood-pewees hadn’t shown up yet.  
Highlights included a pair of White-winged Crossbills still lingering 
in Etna (much to our delight), a number of Forster's Terns at 
Montezuma, and one of the only Common Nighthawks of the spring 
migration (also seen at Montezuma).  Let it be known that the four 
members of this team challenge anyone to "bring it" in 2003.  You know 
who you are.

After the blistering pace of the first two-thirds of May, going birding 
at migrant traps after the 20th seemed tedious and, perhaps, a bit 
futile.  In an instant, gears shifted from days with more than 20 
species of warblers to ones providing excitement over an odd flycatcher 
such as a Yellow-bellied or Olive-sided.  Traditional traps such as the 
Hawthorn Orchards and Mundy played host to these two sought-after, 
late-May migrants.  Birders’ attentions started to shift towards 
breeding activity, especially in a year of New York’s second Breeding 
Bird Atlas.  Before all hope was lost for straggling migrants, Jai 
Balakrishnan came through on May 31st with a Yellow-breasted Chat, one 
last stellar find for the Hawthorn Orchards, and a great end to Jai's 
Basin birding career.

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

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

May 2002 David Cup Totals

Just how impressive is Pete Hosner's total of 241 at the end of May?  
It shatters the previous May record of 226, set by Geo Kloppel in his 
big year of 2000.  And consider the plight of poor Mike Andersen--in 
any previous Cup year (except 2000), his total of 225 would have placed 
him in first place in the David Cup race.  Where does it leave him this 
year?  A whopping sixteen birds off of Pete's blistering pace.

241 Pete Hosner
225 Mike Andersen
224 Jesse Ellis
223 Matt Medler
218 Jay McGowan
211 Steve & Susan Fast
211 Kevin McGowan
210 Meena Haribal
203 Bruce Tracey
199 Bob Fogg
197 Tim Lenz
190 Ken Rosenberg
182 Allison Wells
182 Baby Wells-in-Utero
179 Jeff Gerbracht
178 Eric Banford
178 Jeff Wells
171 Anne Marie Johnson
170 Tim Johnson
146 Steve Kelling
144 Anne James-Rosenberg
113 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan
102 Matt Williams
 76 Dan Lebbin
 82 Martin (the Cat) McGowan
 45 Rachel Rosenberg

Pete's 200th bird:  Veery
Jay’s 200th bird:  Whip-poor-will
Kevin's 200th bird:  Hooded Warbler
Tringa’s 100th bird:  Orange-crowned Warbler

May 2002 McIlroy Award Totals

Could Pete be the first Cupper to win both the David Cup and the 
McIlroy Award in the same year?  Now that Jai had moved on to a job in 
Dallas, it looks like McIlroy victory is a distinct possibility for 
Pete.  Tim, please tell us that you saved some "easy" McIlroy birds for 
when you arrive back in Ithaca in the fall.

173 Jai Balakrishnan
173 Pete Hosner
163 Tim Lenz
151 Jay McGowan
142 Kevin McGowan
140 Matt Medler
127 Ken Rosenberg
127 Allison Wells
127 Baby Wells-in-Utero

May 2002 Evans Trophy Totals

Finally, a competition that it looks like Pete isn't going to win!  Not 
only that, but look who *isn't* in first place--Ken Rosenberg, who has 
had a stranglehold on this competition since its inception.  Could this 
be the year that Ken falls from his Dryden throne?

174 Jay McGowan
172 Kevin McGowan
164 Ken Rosenberg
160 Pete Hosner

May 2002 Yard Totals

114 McGowan/Kline Family
 95 Nancy Dickinson
 91 Rosenberg Family
 86 Steve Kelling
 61 Jesse Ellis
 51 Anne Marie and Tim Johnson



At the end of May, the Composite Deposit (all birds seen in the Cayuga 
Lake Basin, by Cuppers and non-Cuppers alike) stood at 250 species.  
How does this compare with previous years?  Last year, the Deposit 
stood at a mere 237 species at the end of May.  In fact, the 2001 
Composite Deposit didn't hit 250 until September 15, when a pale little 
shorebird was discovered at Myers Point.  In 2000, though, the 
cumulative Basin total was more in line with this year's total, 
reaching 248 by the close of May.  Here are all the species seen or 
heard in the Basin by the end of May:

R-t Loon, Common Loon, P-b Grebe, Horned Grebe, R-n Grebe, EARED GREBE, 
D-c Cormorant, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Great 
Egret, CATTLE EGRET, Green Heron, B-c Night-Heron, GLOSSY IBIS, Turkey 
Vulture, Tundra Swan, Mute Swan, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED 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, Sora, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Sandhill 
Crane, B-b Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, G Yellowlegs, L 
Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, 
MARBLED GODWIT, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, 
Least Sandpiper, W-r Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, PURPLE SANDPIPER, 
Dunlin, S-b Dowitcher, Common Snipe, American Woodcock, Wilson's 
Phalarope, LITTLE GULL, 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, Black Tern, 
Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, B-b Cuckoo, Y-b Cuckoo, E Screech-Owl, Great 
Horned Owl, Snowy Owl, Barred Owl, L-e Owl, S-e Owl, N Saw-whet Owl, 
Common Nighthawk, Whip-poor-will, Chimney Swift, R-t Hummingbird, 
Belted Kingfisher, R-h Woodpecker, R-b Woodpecker, Y-b Sapsucker, Downy 
Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, N Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, O-s 
Flycatcher, E Wood-Pewee, Y-b Flycatcher, Acadian Flycatcher, Alder 
Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, E Phoebe, Great 
Crested Flycatcher, E Kingbird, N Shrike, WHITE-EYED VIREO, Y-t Vireo, 
B-h Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, R-e Vireo, Blue Jay, 
American Crow, Fish Crow, Common Raven, 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, B-g Gnatcatcher, E Bluebird, Veery, G-c Thrush, 
Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray 
Catbird, N Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, American 
Pipit, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Cedar Waxwing, B-w Warbler, G-w Warbler, 
Tennessee Warbler, O-c Warbler, Nashville Warbler, N Parula, Yellow 
Warbler, C-s Warbler, Magnolia, Cape May Warbler, B-t Blue Warbler, Y-r 
Warbler, B-t Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie 
Warbler, Palm Warbler, B-b Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Cerulean 
Warbler, B-and-w Warbler, American Redstart, W-e Warbler, Ovenbird, N 
Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Mourning Warbler, Common 
Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, YELLOW-
BREASTED CHAT, Scarlet Tanager, E Towhee, American Tree Sparrow, 
Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, 
Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, 
Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, W-t Sparrow, W-c Sparrow, D-e Junco, 
Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, N Cardinal, R-b Grosbeak, Indigo 
Bunting, Bobolink, R-w Blackbird, E Meadowlark, Rusty Blackbird, Common 
Grackle, B-h Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Pine Grosbeak, 
Purple Finch, House Finch, W-w Crossbill, Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, 
American Goldfinch, Evening Grosbeak, House Sparrow.


Have I mentioned what an incredible year Pete is having?  As we moved 
into June, only nine species seen in the Basin this year had managed to 
escape his detection:

Great Egret, CATTLE EGRET, B-c Night-Heron, Black Scoter, SLATY-BACKED 
GULL, Snowy Owl, O-s Flycatcher, G-w Warbler, and Lapland Longspur.


!                       KICKIN' TAIL!                      !

THE CUP:  Congratulations, Pete!  We here at The Cup take our hats off 
to you on an incredible month of birding.  Two hundred forty-one birds 
at the end of May is truly amazing.  You've already surpassed Matt 
Young's winning total of 239 for all of 1998 (although in his defense, 
Matt didn't even know about the David Cup until August of that year), 
and you're just one bird away from the 242 that co-winners Kevin 
McGowan and Stephen Davies posted back in 1997.  Did you leave any 
birds to see during the last seven months of 2002?

PETE:  I have missed a few things that I’ll have a chance at again, but 
the only major misses so far have been the Slaty-backed Gull, (which I 
believe I saw, just not well enough) and Golden-winged Warbler, which I 
saw slightly out of the Basin in March down in the Monteverde Cloud 
Forest in Costa Rica.  I’m sure it intended on migrating to the Basin 
though.  Missing that Golden-wing in the Hawthorns hurt, since I was 
there every day.  It is also probably my second favorite warbler to 

THE CUP:  At the risk of sounding blasphemous, it seems like a foregone 
conclusion to me that Adam Byrne and Ned Brinkley's Cayuga Lake Basin 
record of 254 is history.  Just how high do you think you can go?  I 
think 260 has a nice ring to it.

PETE:  Well, just about everything is a tough bird now, except for a 
handful of shorebirds and a couple of uncommon fall migrants.  I think 
I should be able to hit 255, but it all depends on finding rare birds.  
If we have a fall like last year, 260 is possible.  My class schedule 
is good for birding--I start at 10 am and have all my afternoons off 
except Mondays.  That should allow looking for shorebirds at Monty, 
hitting the Loon Watch every north wind, and looking for rare songbird 
migrants like Connecticut Warbler in fall.

THE CUP:  Wow, that is a grueling schedule--starting class at 10 am, 
and then having your afternoons off.  Sounds like your parents' money 
is being put to good use on your tuition.

THE CUP:  So what rare bird(s) are you going to find to cap off your 
big year and add to your Basin legacy?  Brinkley and Byrne are Basin 
legends not just because of 254, but because they used to get out there 
and really find things.  We really hate to give you a hard time 
(really, we do), but you haven't really *found* anything yet.  One 
Cupper has even gone so far as to nominate you for a new Cupper award--
The Big Vulture.  How do you respond to this criticism?

PETE:  Hmm.  Well, as for finding rare birds, I predict that I (and 
others) will find a King Rail at the MNWR headquarters.

THE CUP:  Are you crazy?  King Rail at Montezuma?  There hasn't been 
one found there in more than fifteen years.  But, if we're making 
predictions, I'll go so far as to say that if a King Rail is found at 
Montezuma in early June, you'll be in the bathroom or otherwise 
"indisposed" when the bird is first detected.

PETE:  As for the vulture comment, I believe if you add up my noble 
list (year list not including birds found by others) I am still ahead 
of everyone else.

THE CUP:  That might or might not be the case, but at the very least, I 
bet you're still way ahead of Tim Johnson.

THE CUP:  In all fairness, you have had one very impressive discovery 
this year...of a dead bird in a freezer.  Can you tell us about that?

PETE:  I am doing my best to become a good bird skinner.  However 
without Kevin, there really isn’t anyone around to teach.  Since Ryan 
Bakelaar (one of Kevin’s apprentices) was up for a few weeks, I thought 
I should spend some time out there to learn a thing or two.  Upon 
opening a freezer door I hadn’t opened before, I saw a swallow in a 
door.  "Neat, a Cliff Swallow," I thought as I picked up the bag.  When 
I took the bird out of the bag, I noticed that the forehead was 
chestnut, and the throat was pale brown.  I then went to look at the 
information on a piece of paper with the bird. I didn’t remember any 
birds from Texas in the freezers so I was curious where it was from.  
"Oneida Lake, 5 November 1999, Connie Adams," the tag read.  "Holy sh!t 
Ryan, there is a Cave Swallow here from Oneida Lake!" were my words I 
believe (although there is a good chance I threw in a few more curse 
words in the sentence).  Apparently, in 1999 this would be a second 
state record, a first specimen in New York, and a first specimen for 
Cave Swallow on the East Coast.

THE CUP:  Boy, I can't believe Ryan Bakelaar didn't discover that bird 
long ago, considering all the time that he spends digging through the 
freezers at the Collections.  But then again, Ryan has had a hard time 
seeing "elusive" Basin birds like Merlin and Broad-winged Hawk, so 
maybe it shouldn't come as such a big surprise that he would miss a 
dead Cave Swallow right under his nose.  Anyway, do you feel like you 
have some special Cave Swallow karma now, after discovering the Oneida 
Lake specimen?

PETE:  The first week in November, I plan to comb the lake for another.

THE CUP:  Just make sure that you're combing Cayuga Lake, and not 
Oneida.  And if you need any help with your combing technique, talk to 
Cup hair stylist Matt Sarver.  He's becoming a master of the thorough 

THE CUP:  Speaking of spending time at the Collections, we know that 
you've spent most of your Friday afternoons there this year.  Haven't 
you learned anything at all from Ryan about spending too much time 
there?  Sure, he's prepared hundreds of beautiful specimens for the 
Collections, but I don't even think he's a lifetime member of The 200 
Club yet.  How are you going to hit 260 if you spend all your Friday 
afternoons inside?

PETE:  Well, I’ve been reading "A Parrot without a Name," and looking 
into grad school, so I’m fired up about preparing specimens so I can go 
to LSU and go on expeditions to Bolivia, or wherever they are focusing 
on now.  I could see 260 in a day down there (and still have 70 fewer 
birds than Ted Parker did on his big day in Manu, Peru).

THE CUP:  OK, that *might* be a justifiable excuse for sacrificing 
valuable Basin birding time.  But, don't get too carried away with 
dreams of Neotropical birding just yet.  You still have some birds to 
see here in the Basin, not to mention some birds to relish from the 
past month.  What were some of your favorite birds from the month of 

PETE:  The Little Gull was neat.  Too bad the books neglect to state 
that they can have white underwings in second summer plumage.

THE CUP:  Yes, that information might have been useful while we were 
looking at the bird, deciding that it must be a Bonaparte's Gull (since 
it lacked dark underwings).

PETE:  The Whip[-poor-will] and White-eyed Vireo were awesome.  Too bad 
I spent all morning birding rather than studying for my final that 
afternoon like I should have.  I always enjoy going down to West Danby 
for Worm-eating.  All you who saw the one in the Hawthorns should take 
that bird off your list, because it was too easy.  Everyone should be 
required to hike up that hill to count those birds on their Cup list.

THE CUP:  While we commend you on your obsessive birding efforts this 
year, especially in the month of May, we are slightly concerned with 
how all your time in the field might be affecting other aspects of your 
personal life.  What does your beloved Katie think of your birding 
addiction?  We're afraid that she might be a little jealous of all the 
time you've been spending with "that other person."  (You know, Mike 

PETE:  She was working on studying for finals and finishing her honors 
thesis, so she was very busy.  Since I don’t really bother to study, I 
could just bird all the time.

THE CUP:  That sounds like quite a nice arrangement you have there.

THE CUP:  Now, some Cup readers viewed part of our last interview as a 
veiled personal ad on my part.  Believe me, if I'm going to run a 
personal ad in The Cup, it's not going to be veiled.  In fact, what do 
you think of running a whole "Personals" section in The Cup when you 
and Mike Andersen take your turn as guest editors of this fine 

PETE:  Possibly, but I think you are one of the only single Cuppers.  
We could run classified ads also though--that way Williams and Sarver 
might actually find a job.

THE CUP:  Whoa, don't get crazy there.  Finding a date for me might be 
like seeing a Least Bittern (something that might happen once a year, 
if you're lucky), but finding a job for those two would be like turning 
up another Anhinga in the Basin, with a Purple Gallinule riding on top 
of it.

THE CUP:  If I'm actually foolish enough to let Mike and you write an 
issue of The Cup, err, I mean, when I put the reins of The Cup in your 
capable hands for an issue, I look forward to your complete review of 
the many fine food establishments on the east side of Cayuga Lake.  
Have you stopped at Cecil's Tavern in Lansing recently?  We hear that 
they have the best chicken wings in the country (or maybe just in the 

PETE:  They also have a fine selection of quality beer, looking at 
their neon beer signs.  Mmm...Mikwakee’s Best, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and 
Miller High Life.  I prefer to stick to beer that costs more than Coca-
cola; I find the quality is a little better.

THE CUP:  Where exactly is Mikwakee?  Is that anywhere near Milwaukee?  
Anyway, those all sound like quality beers to me.  Do they have 

THE CUP:  Staying with the food theme, I think you can stick a fork in 
this interview, because it is just about done.  Any final words of 

PETE:  "The race is not always to the swift nor the strong, but that’s 
the way to bet." Murphy’s Law

THE CUP:  Murphy's Law.  That is profound.  I'm glad you learned 
something in that philosophy class of yours.  See you next month, I'm 

Compiled by Eric Banford

This month’s poem was written by Greg Delisle, a native of Baltimore 
who is in his third year as Lab of Ornithology webmaster and near-
Ithacan.  His poems have been published in several literary journals, 
and he is an accomplished shoveler of dirt, picker of wild fruit, and 
baker of pies.  He has been the life partner of disheveled beauty and 
raconteur Susan Barnett for eleven years.

As always, we're open to your contributions at


Birding by Ear

Ghost of a bell swinging
through the branches unseen,
ringing from the treetops
that spring is nearly through
last alarm to tell you wake
wake wake wake you'll be late
late late you'll miss it. And
rippling in the tan leaves crisp
as frost on the ground, the brown
ticker turns the leaves and turns
and leaves its voice behind,
a dry chip between the stalks
of desiccated winter. And here
the hemlock cries my leaves leaves
leaves too thin, the meadow trill
greening shrubs and clouds pull
back like sheets away revealing
blue ceiling and light, wake
wake, don't sleep late late
too late too late don't miss it.

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

We've decided to go for a slightly different approach to the Coach's 
Corner this month.  Rather than rattling off a list of species that you 
"should see" and then telling you where to go to see them, we're going 
to highlight a few birding trips that we enjoy, and tell you birds that 
you might encounter along the way.  Granted, going out birding at the 
beginning of July, as the temperature finally climbs into the eighties 
and nineties, is perhaps not ideal, but we swear that there are still 
some nice birds to be seen (or at least heard) at this time of year.


My assignment for the Ithaca June Count was to cover Deputron Hollow, 
in the Town of Danby.  I had never been there before, so I wasn't sure 
quite what to expect, except that it was a wooded area, and Laura 
Stenzler and Ton Schat had Canada Warbler there on their big day.  Near 
the start of the seasonal use road, where the "good woods" started 
(i.e., the houses ended), I found a small spot to pull off the road and 
park my car.  I was immediately greeted by the voices of the three 
dominant birds in the area:  Red-eyed Vireo, Black-throated Green 
Warbler, and Eastern Wood-Pewee.  As I started heading uphill along the 
dirt road, Ovenbirds joined in with their loud song of "TEACHER TEACHER 
TEACHER."  On a more musical note, several Veeries gave their 
beautiful, magical songs.  As I proceeded onward, the slope on the left 
side of the road became more drastic, forming the side of a steep 
ravine.  It was here, amongst the hemlocks on the steep side of the 
ravine, that I heard the jumbled songs of two or three Canada Warblers.  
In the same general area, I also noted the high-pitched songs of 
several Blackburnian Warblers.  (Fun bird fact of the month:  the 
terminal "trill" of a Blackburnian song can reach a frequency of 10 
kHz, making it the North American species with the highest-pitched 
element of its song.)  The ravine also seemed like perfect habitat to 
me for a Winter Wren, but if there is a wren in the area, it wasn't 
singing the morning I was there.

Gradually, the seasonal use road leveled out, and it was near this 
"plateau" in the woods that I was delighted to hear the songs of two 
Hermit Thrushes.  In the same area, I noted a red pine plantation, and 
almost on cue, a Red-breasted Nuthatch gave a call from "in the pines, 
in the pines, where the sun don't ever shine."  After enjoying these 
forest species, I was surprised to suddenly come to a sizable clearing 
with some shrubby growth.  Here, Indigo Buntings were giving their 
songs in couplet, several Blue-winged Warblers sang "bee-buzz" from 
their hidden song perches, and multiple Alder Flycatchers identified 
themselves by singing "fee-BEE."  My morning was capped off by hearing 
an unusual call from a Black-billed Cuckoo, followed by several minutes 
of the typical "coo-coo-coo...coo-coo-coo...coo-coo-coo..." of this 
species.  Overall, I think I walked about three miles roundtrip, in 
about one-and-a-half hours.  Almost all the birds mentioned above were 
identified by sound, and with the exception of the Black-billed Cuckoo, 
I imagine that all of the birds could be heard (and eventually seen) on 
an early morning walk to Deputron Hollow in early July.  And, even if 
you don't see or hear much in the way of birds, it's still a nice, cool 
place for a walk.  To reach Deputron Hollow, take Coddington Road south 
out of the City of Ithaca, into the Town of Danby.  After crossing over 
Miller Road, the next road on your right should be Deputron Hollow 
Road.  Turn right onto Deputron Hollow, and drive a little less than a 
mile, until it looks like you won't want to drive your car any farther.  
That's where the good birding starts!


While summertime at Montezuma can often be sloooow, a trip to the north 
end of the Basin can still be fairly productive even in early July.  In 
order to avoid the heat of mid-day (when birds are also least active), 
plan on leaving Ithaca some time between 3 and 4 pm.  Stop at the 
Visitor's Center to check the sightings log and scan for anything 
interesting in the area.  Then hit the auto loop.  In the early part of 
the drive, scan the "Glossy Ibis Pool" on the right for any early-
arriving southbound shorebirds.  Don't worry too much about shorebirds, 
though, as the peak time for seeing them will be in late August and 
September.  While driving slowly along the first stretch of the auto 
drive, carefully scan the cattails in the little canal between the road 
and the Main Pool itself.  At this time of year, you could see Common 
Moorhen, Pied-billed Grebe, and American Coot with young in this area.  
Another good place to look for Common Moorhen is in the stretch of 
cattail marsh opposite Benning "Marsh."  Back on the first stretch of 
the auto drive, after driving over the carp control structure, you will 
come to a grassy stretch along the road, where male Bobolinks can be 
seen frolicking in the area while Eastern Kingbirds remain on vigilant 
alert for territorial intruders.  Further along at Benning, check for 
post-breeding waterfowl and any early "fall" shorebirds.

The stretch of autoloop after Benning Marsh, running parallel to the 
beloved New York State Thruway, is usually devoid of birds, so if you 
feel the need, the need for speed, here is the place to take your best 
shot at the Montezuma land speed record.  After finishing the auto 
drive, stop by Tschache Pool, and at the very least, take notes on how 
to spell the name (pronounced "Shocky") correctly.  During the summer 
months, a scan of Tschache could turn up a rare Tricolored Heron, as it 
did for Ken Rosenberg in July 1999.  This is the time of year when the 
southern herons and egrets--Tricolored Heron, Little Blue Heron, and 
Snowy Egret--are most likely to wander into our area, so keep an eye 
out for these birds while you're at Montezuma.  If you have a high-
powered scope and a somewhat fertile imagination, you might be able to 
make out the image of distant Black Terns flying around in the backside 
of Tschache.  However, if you'd like good looks of these gorgeous 
terns, beat it on down the line to Mays Point Pool.  Black Terns 
apparently nest in Tschache Pool, but they make fairly regular foraging 
trips to Mays, so spend a little time there, and you're likely to get 
quality looks at these elegant birds.  While you're at Mays, you might 
still be able to hear the spiraling, supercharged song of a Cerulean 
Warbler coming from high in the canopy above the road, along with the 
deliberate, burry "three-eight" song of Yellow-throated Vireo.

After your stop at Mays, head south on Rt. 89 to the Town of Seneca 
Falls and find your way to the intersection of Rt. 414 and Martin Road.  
This area is home to fairgrounds that host some type of agricultural 
fair every summer.  These fairgrounds also happen to be the only 
reliable place in the Basin for seeing Upland Sandpiper.  Park along 
Martin Road and scan the grassy areas of the fairgrounds (and across 
the street) for Uppies.  It might take a little while to find these 
distinctive shorebirds in the tall grass that hasn't been mowed, but 
keep scanning, and you're likely to eventually come across at least a 
few individuals, if not 10-15 birds.  While you're scanning for the 
sandpipers, be sure to keep your ears upon for the insect-like song of 
Grasshopper Sparrow, but don't confuse it with the similar song of the 
more-common Savannah Sparrow.  Also, keep an eye out for cock or hen 
Ring-necked Pheasants--this is prime pheasant habitat!  Finally, if 
you've studied your grassland bird sounds, swing by the intersection of 
Noble Road and Cosad Road (an extension of Seyboldt Road) and take a 
listen for the short "tsi-lick" song of Henslow's Sparrow.  There's 
been a fairly reliable bird singing from the small grassy field here 
since late April.  But if you go to listen to the Henslow's Sparrow, 
don't bring Bob Fogg along--this species doesn't like him.

If you're still up for more birding at this point (and what self-
respecting Cupper wouldn't be?!), head back north, past Montezuma NWR, 
to the Town of Savannah.  This fine town is home to a number of New 
York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) properties that 
are part of the greater Northern Montezuma Wetlands complex.  One such 
DEC site is found at the very end of Morgan Road; this spot offers some 
of the best shorebird habitat in the Basin during the late spring.  
There is probably not much to be found there in the way of shorebirds 
in early July, but it can't hurt to check.  Plus, the Morgan Road area 
seems to be home to a pair of Sandhill Cranes.  Scan the dirt fields 
all along Morgan Road for this impressive birds, and also keep your 
ears open for their loud, trumpeting calls.  If you don't find any 
cranes, you still might be rewarded with a consolation prize of a 
Vesper Sparrow singing from the dirt fields along Morgan.  Just around 
the corner from Morgan Road is Carncross Road, which is one of two ways 
to enter Howland Island.  As long as you are armed with some insect 
repellent, the small marsh along Carncross Road is the perfect place to 
end a half-day of birding in the northern Basin.  American Bitterns 
have been heard here regularly at dusk, giving their unique, "pumping" 
song.  Sora has also been heard in the marsh, and where there are 
American Bitterns and Soras, there could also be Virginia Rails.  
Staying at Carncross Road until dark could preclude making it back to 
Pete's Treats ice cream stand in Union Springs before they turn off the 
grill and fryers at 9:45, but hearing the call of a bittern emanating 
from the marsh should make the sacrifice worthwhile.  Although, those 
seasoned french fries at Pete's sure are tasty!


...But there were tons of Meadow Larks, several having disputes over 
the territories. Probably the grassland area has shrunk due to human 
occupancy of mega home projects and so they must have been forced to 
reduce their home size....
At Myers, I heard and saw a WARBLING VIREO in the willows and on the 
spit there was an AMERICAN PIPIT nervously bobbing his tail and 
feeding. I can say had the closest encounter, watched him from about 6 
- Meena Haribal

Hey everyone-
What's with Meena seeing the same birds as I do, but minutes before?  I 
had a WARBLING VIREO singing at the Cornell Experimental Ponds
along Neimi Rd this morning around 8am.  Had a TURKEY there too.
- Jesse Ellis

I had a Black-throated Green Warbler singing in the tree top with me 
yesterday as I was measuring crow nestlings, on campus just south of 
the Big Red Barn.  It didn't come nearly as close as the chickadee that 
checked me out the other day.  I am guessing the chickadee is not used 
to encountering people way up in the trees, because it came within a 
foot of my feet and seemed to be staring at them trying to figure out 
exactly what they were.
- Kevin McGowan

Medler and I birded Stewart and East Shore this afternoon at 2pm.  
After a close encounter with a train ;-) we saw a Northern Waterthrush, 
2 Palm Warblers, 3 Yellow Warblers, Yellow-rumped and a White-crowned 
Sparrow.  Also saw 5 Lesser Scaup.
- Mike Andersen

I can't take it anymore!  I think I should unsubscribe to the list-serv 
when I know I won't be able to go birding...all these posts are making 
me crazy.  I hope some birds will still be around tomorrow.
- Tim Lenz

A Glossy Ibis Stopped for a visit at the Montezuma NWR this morning.
- Carol Anne Anderson

Well, it's only 4 days later than last year.  Marva posted 2 Glossy 
Ibis (Ibi?:) in the same spot last year on 4/28/01.  They (or at least 
another single bird) hung around until at least 5/10/01 and somehow I 
never made it to MNWR to see them. Apparently they liked that field 
well enough to warrant a return visit.  Now that's good wildlife 

For those who are wondering how I find this utterly useful 
information...I have kept all posts to Cayugabirds-L in Eudora from 
11/98-present.  I recently figured out how to (easily) get them into a 
web-friendly format but I'm still in the process of figuring out where 
to put them.  Stay tuned for a link...
- Matt Williams

Hi, I got to Montezuma at the break of dawn, there was a CATTLE EGRET 
on the west side of the drive between the entrance and the visitors 
center, The GLOSSY ISIS was in the new pond, 7 BALD EAGLES including 4 
adults, a SANDHILL CRANE on Carncross Rd (flew right over the car, then 
landed on the dike to the north of the road) and a BEAVER AS BIG AS A 
BUICK! It had to weigh 100 lbs. or more, it crossed the auto route near 
Benning Marsh.
- Fred Bertram

Also, I kept hearing what I think was a CERULEAN WARBLER in the back of 
the garden.  I heard the song about 20 times: an ascending, buzzy 
spiral that ended in a high pitched buzz.  It was singing from 
somebody's backyard so I couldn't get any closer.
- Tim Lenz

Yesterday, I had two SOLITARY SANDPIPERS (an oxymoron!) at Treman
lake. They were feeding near the confluence of the tiny creek with the
lake. It was indeed a nice spectacle (pun intended).
- Jai Balakrishnan

Tsachache (8 years of birding in the basin and I still am not sure of 
the spelling):
25 !!!!!!! Black Tern
2 Common Tern
10 Bonaparte's Gull
Solitary Sandpiper
25 Least Sandpiper
Both Yellowlegs
- Ryan Bakelaar

But to heck with scenic beauty -- I decided that if the warblers were 
so good at Flat Rock, I should head straight for the hawthorn orchard.  
I still haven't quite figured out my own logic, but I'm very glad I 
decided as I did.
- Mark Chao

I had all 5 species of regular vireo in the basin today, a first for 
me.  Now where can I find a White-eyed......
- Pete Hosner

Jesse "Silver thunder" Ellis, Tim "Mercedes" Lenz, and I birded the 
Hawthorns between 6:30 and 8:30am this morning.
- Dan Lebbin

So I couldn't help but skip an hour or two of studying time in the wee 
hours of the night (early Friday morning) to listen for migrants.
(DISCLAIMER:  I in no way intend to be an expert in this field and all 
birds are highly subject to be very incorrect).
- Mike Andersen

Ten Pine Siskins are hanging from our feeders this afternoon, which is 
very unusual!
- Nancy Dickinson

After dropping Aleta off at daycare, I thought I would swing by and 
make a quick (yeah, right) stop at the Hawthorn Orchard to see what's 
been seen.
- Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

If people can tear themselves away from the Hawthorns and other migrant 
songbird spots in the next two weeks, I encourage you to stop by Myers 
Point as often as possible to look for shorebirds out on the spit of 
land on the south bank of the mouth of Salmon Creek.  This is a great 
place to see breeding-plumaged shorebirds like Ruddy Turnstone, 
Sanderling, Dunlin, White-rumped, Least, and Semipalmated Sandpipers, 
and Semipalmated and Black-bellied Plovers up close and personal.
- Matt Medler

We went to Myer's today at around 2:00. In a pool of water just at the 
end of the parking area on the spit were two shorebirds--right in front 
of our car. One was a Dunlin, gorgeous in breeding plumage. The other 
bird we have not been able to figure out. Here's the description I 
wrote down before driving away....
I think it was a Purple Sandpiper. Any other ideas?
- Anne Marie Johnson

I just got a call from Matt Medler, he is watching the PURPLE SANDPIPER 
at Myers, standing next to a MARBLED GODWIT.  Two great birds in one 
- Jeff Gerbracht

I went over at noon to the path from Fuertes Observatory down to Beebe 
lake, and up by the observatory ran into one of the biggest foraging 
armies ("flock" just doesn't do it justice) I've ever seen. I've 
certainly never seen so many SCARLET TANAGERS in one place- over 20.
- John Greenly

Allison and I went out to check out the Purple Sandpiper around 3:30 
and had one of the most incredible birding days we've had in the Basin 
in awhile....

The highlight of the day was our time at the Hawthorn Orchard.  Given 
the kind of day it was we felt that the orchard was likely to be good 
but it was clear that we would end up soaking wet and muddy if we 
ventured there. We were correct on all counts!

The best warbler find was a WORM-EATING WARBLER which Allison picked 
out when we were closer to the bottom end of the grove.  We also had 
numerous other songbirds including a singing LINCOLN'S SPARROW and at 

However, the neatest bird we had at the Hawthorn Orchard was a WHIP-
POOR-WILL.  We must have flushed it from a roost site in a tree and it 
flopped through the air for about 30 feet while a RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD 
mobbed it.  Oddly enough (to me at least) my first impression of it as 
it flew over was that it looked like the silhouette of a small parrot 
but then it landed on a branch about 20 feet from us were we watched it 
for about 5 minutes.  During the first minute or so the redwing 
continued diving at it. After watching it we looked the other way for a 
second and it had disappeared.
- Jeff Wells

Bard Prentiss just told me that he and Jay had the WORM-EATING WARBLER 
about 2 inches over the head of the WHIP-POOR-WILL in the orchards.
- Kevin McGowan

The next stop, at around 4:00 PM, was Montezuma where we encountered a 
big day team packed into Matt Medler's silver car all looking bleary-
eyed, runny-nosed and gulping down Cheetos like a robin gulps worms 
after rain. I'm sure we'll hear by tomorrow of the outcome and 
- Jeff Wells

First of all cheery news is that, I watched two baby Screech Owls 
peering (note correct spelling) out of the whole from their Sycamore 
- Meena Haribal

Matt Medler, Pete Hosner, Jesse Ellis and I completed a big day on 
Sunday, 19 May 2002....Most interesting about the day was the 
abnormally cold temperatures for mid to late May. Dawn temperature at 
Summer Hill was subfreezing with occasional snow. Star Stanton Rd. on 
Hammond Hill had patches of snow on the ground and Dryden Lake at 11am 
saw a few more flurries. By mid afternoon, temps topped out at a balmy 
47° with increasing northwest winds at about 10 to 15 mph.
- Mike Andersen

This morning at 8:45 am, I heard and saw a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT near 
Hawthorne orchards, Ithaca.
- Jai Balakrishnan

May Your Cup Runneth Over,