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Year 7, Issue 6

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*The electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy competitions.
*  Editor-in-Chief:  Matt Medler
*  Guest Editors:  Pete Hosner and Mike Andersen
*  Waxwing Poetic:  Eric Banford
*  Cleaning Lady: Matt Sarver  
*  Operator: Kevin McGowan

It has come to the attention of the guest editors that The Cup is too 
lengthy.  At the request of Matt Young, the intro section (or abstract, 
if you will) of this month's issue will be forgone in hopes that 
readers with a short attention span may actually read the entire issue.  
But wait a tick...who cares what Matt Young thinks--he doesn't read The 
Cup anyway....

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

DOWITCHERS, AND STILTS, AND STINTS, OH MY!  Attention all birders: We, 
as guest editors of this month's Cup, are announcing the first annual 
Basin Shorebirding Workshop, to be tentatively held Saturday afternoon, 
August 30.  Intended for birders of all levels of experience and 
interest, this "workshop" will consist of an afternoon of talking 
birds, butterflies, dragonflies, digiscoping, and anything else that 
may come up.  Experienced Basin birder Kevin McGowan may even put in a 
cameo.  There may even be a small-budget cookout as we watch shorebirds 
feeding in the light of a setting sun at May's.  Basically, we hope 
that this afternoon will provide many with the inclination to get out 
and look for some shorebirds during the peak of their fall migration.  
The afternoon will only be loosely organized and based around local 
water level conditions and the needs and desires of the group.  Scopes 
will be generously shared and talking through identifications will be 
greatly encouraged.  All in all, nothing can make an afternoon of 
shorebirding more enjoyable than a group of birders to share stories 
and information with.  Keep your eyes open for future postings to 
Cayugabirds for a final date, time, and meeting location.


THIS JUST IN:  The new gas station convenience store [Nice 'n Easy] at 
the intersection of Rte. 90 and Rte. 20 at the north end of the lake 
lacks all style, class, and quality.  One anonymous Cupper who will be 
hereafter referred to as Matt M., wait...I mean, M. Medler, complains 
of severe gastrointestinal pains and discomfort every time he subjects 
himself to the wonders that are to be had in their mystery meatball 
subs.  Other sketchy items include the flavored nutri-sweet slushies 
and a mean lookin' hot dog that is still giving Cup Leader Pete Hosner 
nightmares.  The jury is still deliberating as to how much it would 
take to get Matt Sarver to try the mystery meat.  The Editors of The 
Cup believe he'd do it free of charge.


Calling all members of the World Series of Birding Champion Sapsuckers 
(and anyone else looking for a good time)!  The 6th annual Montezuma 
Muckrace is nearly upon us.  For the first time ever, this premier big 
day event will be (finally) held over the course of 24, rather than 21 
hours.  From 9pm Friday September 7th to 9pm Saturday the 8th, teams 
will be scouring the forests of Howland Island in hopes of migrant 
passerines, driving themselves dizzy while struggling over eclipse-
plumaged mergansers and straining to identify legitimate Black-bellied 
Plovers in the waning light at May's.  Birders are encouraged to 
participate in this enjoyable birdathon designed to raise money for the 
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and Montezuma Wetlands Complex.  
Even if you are not too keen on birding through the night, teams who 
choose to sleep at night are usually still quite competitive as the 
"night-owls" rarely add more than a few species after dark.  Adults are 
also encouraged to chaperone a team of youngsters in the youth 
division.  Come 9 o'clock on Saturday, the 8th, we look forward to 
seeing you stagger into the Montezuma Visitor's Center having just 
completed a most enjoyable day of birding.

           DEAR TICK

Dear Tick, 

Last April, there was a rare bird reported seen flying across a 
couples' headlights while driving home from a dinner party.  Are birds 
seen in headlights really countable, and more importantly, how 
competent is a records keeper who counts this on the Basin year  
-Romping in Renwick

Dear Romping,
If you can ID the bird, you can tick it. That's a no brainer. But can 
your average birder, on his way back from a dinner party where his/her 
judgment was likely impaired by an assortment of guilty pleasures--and 
perhaps terribly dull conversation--be trusted to make this call?  He 
may think so, but lord help him/her when s/he lines up at the Gates of 
Glory, and more so if the main course was duck.  To be safe, though, I 
checked with my friends at Arthur Anderson and they say counting the 
bird is A-OK.

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

"The clearest way into the universe, is through a forest wilderness."
- John Muir

This month's guest poet is Betsy Potter, who is an artist, poet and 
active conservationist.  She lives with Willie D'Anna near Niagara 
Falls.  They came to birding 20 years ago through their combined love 
of the outdoors and an enthusiastic friend that was taking a museum 
course.  If Betsy had to pick a catalyst bird it would be the Great 
Blue Heron seen while driving through Iroquois National Wildlife refuge 
on the way to hiking the Adirondacks.  Or would it be the Yellow 
Warbler feeding a young cowbird twice its size?

If you do any nature writing (poetry, prose, post-it notes), and you 
would like to share, please send your contributions to


Warblers in spring wash
Over hedgerow, park, and wood lot
In slow bright waves
High-pitched songs and trills
Pealing through trees.

In fall they flicker
As light through swaying leaves,
Now whispering thin chips and seets,
Now darting through hawthorn,
Now gone.

Spring and Fall

Dear Boreal,
When you pass 
this way

please call 
or stop by.
There is someone 
I'd be loved 
to show you to.	
Not just this, 
but I miss
your pale beak.

in migration
and always,

Owl eyes

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

June 2002 David Cup Totals


245 Pete Hosner
235 Mike Andersen
233 Matt Medler
228 Jay McGowan
224 Jesse Ellis
223 Kevin McGowan
219 Steve & Susie Fast
210 Meena Haribal
209 Bruce Tracey
208 Bob Fogg
206 Ken Rosenberg
202 Steve Kelling
197 Tim Lenz
192 Jeff Gerbracht
184 Allison Wells
184 Baby Wells-in-Utero
182 Eric Banford
182 Jeff Wells
180 Anne Marie Johnson
178 Tim Johnson
150 Anne James-Rosenberg
113 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan
102 Matt Williams
 76 Dan Lebbin
 82 Martin (the Cat) McGowan
 45 Rachel Rosenberg

Bob Fogg's 200th Bird:  KING RAIL (sure, Bob, we believe you)

June 2002 McIlroy Award Totals

Who came up with this Town of Ithaca idea anyway?

176 Pete Hosner
173 Jai Balakrishnan
163 Tim Lenz
154 Jay McGowan
146 Kevin McGowan
140 Matt Medler
128 Allison Wells
128 Baby Wells-in-Utero
127 Ken Rosenberg

June 2002 Evans Trophy Totals

You've all heard about teams going from worst to first in one season, a 
la Allison's beloved New England Patriots.  But what about a first to 
worst?  Pete, I think you better go over your Dryden list again.  If 
you're having problems with the math, maybe Steve Kelling can help you.  
He's a math whiz.

175 Jay McGowan
173 Kevin McGowan
170 Ken Rosenberg
164 Pete Hosner

June 2002 Yard Totals

126 Steve Kelling
115 McGowan/Kline Family
 95 Nancy Dickinson
 91 Rosenberg Family
 61 Jesse Ellis
 55 Anne Marie and Tim Johnson



Only two species were added to the Composite Deposit in June, but oh 
what species they were--King Rail and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow!

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, KING RAIL, 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, NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED 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.


As we hit the half-way point of the 2002 Basin birding year, only seven 
species have eluded our fearless leader Pete:

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


!                       KICKIN' TAIL!                      !

Since Pete Hosner is again in the lead and no one cares what he has to 
say, this month's Cup interview is with pre-David Cup (also known as 
the Dark Ages of Basin birding) birder Adam Byrne.  While Adam was at 
Cornell as a Natural Resources undergrad, he and Ned Brinkley probably 
birded the Basin more intensely than any others have past or present, 
and they hold the Basin year record at 254 apiece.  Somehow Adam 
managed to graduate in 1993, and promptly fell of the face of Basin 
birding, coming back only to help win the Muckrace in 1999 and to see 
the Long-billed Murrelet in 2001.

The Cup:  So Adam, what have you been up to since you left the Basin?  
We have heard rumors of a Big Year record in Michigan, a Big Day record 
in Texas, a family, and a lax job that allows you to bird five days a 
week.  Is there any truth in this?

Adam:  So much has happened since I left the Basin nine years ago.  
Most importantly I got married and started a family.  Jan is frequently 
referred to as the "patron saint of birding," a title she started 
earning during our days in the Basin!  Jason will be 5 in October and 
we are expecting our 2nd child any day now!  Birding-wise, I have been 
extremely active in Michigan, serving as the Chairman of the Michigan 
Bird Records Committee for the past 5 years and as the summer (and now 
winter) seasonal survey compiler.  I worked for several years at 
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory as the waterbird counter and set 
Michigan's Big Year record at 321 in 1994.  In April of 2001, I was 
part of a team that broke the old national Big Day record of 231; we 
tallied 258 species covering areas from the Hill Country to the Central 
Coast of Texas.  Lastly, it is true--I have managed an almost perfect 
job for my interests.  I work as a research assistant in the Entomology 
Department at Michigan State University.  Our lab works on insect pests 
on vegetable crops, with most of my time focused on the Colorado potato 
beetle.  While I'm not working with birds, I am doing research and have 
a job that doesn't involve lots of travel away from my family.  The 
best part of this job is its flexibility–-basically if the conditions 
are right or a rarity has been reported, I am probably off birding!

The Cup:  Have you thought about coming back to do the Muckrace this 
year?  It has come to our attention that Pete was trying to get you on 
his team as early as last May, and that some of the Sapsuckers are 
wining and dining you.  Keep in mind that the Sapsuckers are aging and 
still probably a little worn out from their stellar showing at the 
World Series.  In fact, I don't think any of them have been birding 
since then...

Adam:  The Muckrace is certainly enticing; any opportunity to bird in 
the Basin would be great.  While I haven't benefited from any exquisite 
offers from the Sapsuckers (there is still time, though), Pete has 
brought up the topic on several occasions.  The Sapsuckers may be 
aging, but their victory this year at the World Series demonstrates the 
potential hidden in those creaky bones.  I would hate to challenge 
those wily veterans; it would probably be like cornering a wild animal-
-anything could happen!

The Cup:  Yes, we imagine it might be like the reaction we got when we 
tried to "borrow" one of Ryan Bakelaar's beloved Abercrombie & Fitch t-

The Cup:  You and Ned Brinkley were even more inseparable than the pair 
of domestic geese down at Stewart Park (which have four nice-sized 
goslings now, I might add) and you found more than your share of good 
birds.  Do you have any advice for Cuppers for finding rarities this 

Adam:  Speaking of those domestic geese, has Pete tried to make them 
into a rare species for his year list yet?  

The Cup:  Not yet, but he has had a string of summer "Snow Geese" 
reports from a yard along Mud Lock.

Adam:  My first piece of advice for finding rarities would be to quit 
surfing the Internet and actually bird-–rumor has it certain Cuppers 
have been rather "vulture-like" as opposed to getting out there and 
finding their own birds.  Ned and I certainly didn't have such a luxury 
in our day; our "network" consisted of knowing the location of every 
pay phone in the Basin.  We did have a secret weapon back then--the 
amazing Bill Evans was extremely active (when around) and was an 
incredible boost to our birding experience.  

The Cup:  Unfortunately, Old Silvertop Evans isn't really good for much 
of anything these days.  Anything constructive, that is.  

Adam:  With fall approaching, the best piece of advice would be to stay 
close to Cayuga Lake.  At least 2-3 trips a week circumventing the lake 
should increase one's chances of finding those fall vagrants. 

The Cup:  Two to three trips around the lake each week?!  Did you 
*really* graduate?  

The Cup:  What are your future plans these days?  Any thoughts of 
coming back to the Basin?

Adam:  While we would love to return to the Basin, we are pretty 
content in Michigan right now.  Both Jan and I have discussed the 
possibility and if the right jobs were to present themselves, we would 
probably return.    

The Cup:  I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but there is this 
snotty student named Pete Hosner who thinks he's going to break your 
record.  Do you know this character?  Any thoughts on the situation?

Adam:  Yes, Pete has mentioned his Big Year run and seems quite 
confident the record is in the bag.  Pete and I have quite a history; I 
knew him when he was just a punk kid learning how to bird-–I guess some 
things never change!  Honestly, I am amazed the total Ned and I set 
hasn't been broken before now.  We didn't have listservers to help 
spread the word on rarities, it was not infrequent for us to hear about 
things a day or two after they were seen (believe it or not, but this 
was before Steve Kelling entered the scene even).  So, if Pete breaks 
the record, congrats to him.  However, his "vulturine" behavior may 
forever scar the integrity of the Basin record.

The Cup:  Vulture behavior?  How dare you?!  I, I mean...Pete would 
still be in the lead even if you took away his "chase" birds.

The Cup:  What do you think is the next addition to the Basin list?  
Will it be from Siberia?  Will Steve Kelling find it?  More 
importantly, will he tell anyone in a timely manner?

Adam:  Has the Basin had its first Eurasian Collared-Dove?  If not, 
this seems like a very likely possibility.  Whether Steve finds it, and 
lets people know, seems rather improbable.

The Cup:  Any final comments, complains, compliments, or thoughts?

Adam: I'd like to say hello to all my old friends that still actively 
bird in the Basin. I have many fond memories of the Basin, and in all 
my birding travels, haven't found anything to match the Basin's birding 

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

By Mike Andersen

June Highlights

"Kek. . . kek. . . kek. . . kek. . . kek. . .."  On the second of June, 
three Basin birders heard this rail-like sound emanating from a small 
stand of cattails just off the northwest corner of the Montezuma 
Visitors' Center building.  Minutes passed and the sound continued.  
Similar in quality to the tone of a Clapper Rail, but given at a steady 
cadence of two beats per second meant only one thing...King Rail!  
After denying himself of yet another opportunity to be a finder rather 
than a chaser of a bird in his epic big year, Pete Hosner emerged from 
the "facilities" to a welcome surprise in the King Rail.  The four 
birders present [Mike Andersen, Bob Fogg, Pete Hosner, and Matt Medler] 
extend thanks to Kevin and Jay McGowan for sending a prompt post to 
Cayugabirds and to Kevin McGowan for playing a recording over the phone 
from his house to help confirm the bird's identity.  This find 
apparently marked the Basin's first King Rail report in 15 years!  It 
was rather interesting to hear a recording in one ear through the phone 
while listening to the actual bird calling in unison from the other 
ear.  The King Rail was heard by many and seen by a few lucky observers 
for almost three weeks in June.

Only five days later, another Basin rarity was heard in the northern 
Basin, this time by Rochester birder Kurt Fox.  A Nelson's Sharp-tailed 
Sparrow was present at midday and heard again (with almost 100% 
certainty) on the evening of June 7, 2002, from the Carncross Road salt 
marsh in the Town of Savannah.  Unfortunately, this bird proved to be a 
one-day wonder and was rather uncooperative for all except Kurt.  Also 
of note were two Sandhill Cranes seen sporadically from Carncross Road 
and other areas in the vicinity of Savannah, north of Montezuma NWR.  
Locals, refuge staff, and local birders all reported much courting 
activity include spectacular aerial dancing displays, stick exchanges, 
and vocalizations.  Second-hand reports of a fledgling are, to the best 
of my knowledge, unconfirmed.  Most certainly a great occurrence for 
New York State.

As June progressed, reports waned.  Postings to the Cayugabirds list 
followed their usual summer patterns, decreasing in both volume and 
frequency.  Birders shifted their focus to breeding activity, 
especially for the Ithaca June Count and the statewide Breeding Bird 
Atlas.  While at Howland Island, Chris Tessaglia-Hymes and his father, 
Larry Hymes, found a territorial Golden-winged Warbler!  Subsequent 
observers noted the continued presence of this bird as well as an odd-
looking hybrid nearby.  Birders from around the Basin reported good 
numbers of Black-billed Cuckoos as well as other notables like Alder 
Flycatcher, hybrid Blue-winged/Golden-winged warblers in Etna and 
Howland Island, and upwards of 20+ species of breeding warblers at 
Summer Hill, including Mourning, Black-and-white, and Canada.  Other 
noteworthy sightings include odd waterfowl such as Bufflehead on June 7 
at Mays Point Pool, two Snow Geese in Mud Lock, and, of course, the 
domestics with goslings at Stewart Park.

Northward shorebird migration continued into early June, and with the 
high rainfall from May, there was still suitable habitat at Morgan Road 
in Savannah to host birds.  Steve and Susie Fast enjoyed a nice mix of 
big, gaudy shorebirds there on June 1, finding 36 Black-bellied Plovers 
and 15 Ruddy Turnstones, along with some other smaller, duller birds 
(Least, Semipalmated, and Spotted sandpipers, and Semipalmated 
Plovers).  The King Rail crew also had good numbers of Black-bellied 
Plovers at Morgan Road on June 2, as well as a few White-rumped 
Sandpipers and a combined total of almost 70 Semipalmated Sandpipers at 
Benning Marsh and Morgan Road.      

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

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

By Matt Medler

     OK, so how many of you are reading this in the comfort of your 
air-conditioned office, thinking, "Birding in early August?!  Are you 
crazy?  There's no way that I'm strapping on my bins again until the 
last week of August."  Oh sure, you're probably thinking that you're 
doing just fine in the David Cup.  After all, you haven't done any 
birding since early June, and you haven't missed anything.  Or have 
you?  Like the proverbial question about the chicken in the forest, the 
following question begs being asked:  "Have you really missed a rarity 
if nobody finds it?"  I know the question that you're all ready to 
offer in response:  "Whatever shows up during the summertime anyway?"
     What birds do show up during the summertime?  To answer that 
question, let's look at the birds that one individual turned up in the 
Basin over the course of two summers--1980 and 1981.  This diligent 
young man made his first mark on the Basin birding scene by turning up 
an immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron on July 10.  Not only did he 
write a thorough description of the bird (complete with an 
illustration), but the bird was also seen by others, and observed again 
on July 13.  Right on the heels of this, he found a sub-adult 
Franklin's Gull in Ithaca on July 13 (it remained until July 18).  Is 
one Franklin's Gull not enough for you?  How about another one (this 
time a winter adult) from July 24-27, and two probable juvenals on July 
28?  Speaking of probables, we forgot to mention that this same birder 
found a probable immature/female Ruff at Montezuma on July 14.  And 
during that same visit to Montezuma, he discovered a singing Northern 
Parula, the Basin's first summer record since 1950.  Back at the south 
end of the Basin, our tireless summer birder wasn't done finding rare 
gulls.  July was the month for Franklin's Gulls, and August was the 
month for Laughing Gulls.  Out on the Lighthouse Jetty, he found two 
juvenal Laughers on several occasions over the course of the week 
(August 3-9).  And, to cap off the quiet summer birding season, the 
same observer found a Marbled Godwit along the Cayuga Inlet on August 
12.  Not a bad summer of birding, huh?
     We rejoin our birding hero on April 24, 1981, when he found a 
third-year Lesser Black-backed Gull in Ithaca.  He then grabbed some 
recording gear (making him an instant favorite here at The Cup) and 
headed for the hills, specifically Connecticut Hill.  There, during the 
course of the last week of May, he managed to find singing male 
"Audubon's" Warbler (i.e. a western Yellow-rump), Kentucky Warbler, and 
Connecticut Warbler!  Don't believe it?  At least for the Kentucky and 
the Connecticut, he has the recordings (and quality ones at that) to 
prove it.  "Wait a second," you might be saying.  "Isn't this Coach's 
Corner about summer birding?"  It is, but we were on a roll, and 
couldn't bear to leave out these great spring finds.  On then, to the 
summer of 1981, when our new Cup favorite "only" managed to find a 
immature Little Blue Heron (in Ithaca on July 28), a male Red Crossbill 
at Connecticut Hill (July 6), and, ho hum, the aforementioned Kentucky 
Warbler at Conn. Hill.  So who was this guy, and how come you've never 
heard of him before?  Well, you're probably all familiar with this 
amazing birder, but not in the context of Basin birding.  His name:  
David Sibley.
     Granted, none of us here in the Basin right now are David Sibley, 
but one of the points of this story is that there are good birds to be 
found during the summertime, if you go and look for them.  While we 
might not all be bird identification experts like David Sibley, I would 
hope that any Cupper who checked Stewart Park and the Lighthouse Jetty 
regularly, patiently looking through the same gulls day after day, 
would at least notice when a "different" gull suddenly appeared.  Then, 
you can bust out your handy Sibley guide and determine what the bird 
is.  Even easier than that is quickly scanning the grassy areas at 
Stewart Park and neighboring environs for stray egrets.  I've seen a 
Cattle Egret walking around the tennis courts at Stewart Park, and even 
though I wasn't the one who found it, I'm pretty confident that I would 
have noticed the bird (even in my neophyte stage) *if* I had checked 
the park on my own that day.  Just to provide you with proof that other 
birders besides David Sibley can find rare birds during the dog days of 
summer, I present here a list of rarities discovered in July or August 
during recent years, along with those tireless birders who found the 

Laughing Gull, 8/26/1991, 1, Ned Brinkley, Stewart Park
Laughing Gull, 8/27/1991, 1, Ned Brinkley, Stewart Park
Whimbrel, 8/29/1991, 1, Andy Farnsworth, Savannah Mucklands
Loggerhead Shrike, 7/19/1992, 1, Andy Farnsworth, Farley's Point
Whimbrel, 8/30/1993, 1, ???, Montezuma NWR
Laughing Gull, 7/3/1994, 1, Ned Brinkley, Ithaca
Whimbrel, 7/3/1994, 1, Adam Byrne, Montezuma NWR
Ruff, 8/21/1995, 1, Allison & Jeff Wells, Montezuma NWR
Glossy Ibis, 8/25/1995, 1, Bill Evans, Karl David, Montezuma NWR
American Avocet, 7/26/1996, 1, Karl David, Myers Point
American Avocet, 7/24/1997, 1, S. Davies, S. Kelling, Ithaca Lighthouse
Cattle Egret, 8/12/1997, 1, Stephen Davies, Stewart Park
Curlew Sandpiper, 8/12/1998, 1, Gerard Phillips, Montezuma NWR
Whimbrel, 8/15/1998, 1, Geo Kloppel, Montezuma NWR
Little Gull, 8/17/1998, 1, Matt Young, Myers Point
Whimbrel, 8/19/1998, 1, Gerard Phillips, Montezuma NWR
American Avocet, 8/24/1998, 2, Matt Young, Myers Point
Franklin's Gull, 8/30/1998, 1, Gary Chapin, Montezuma NWR
Tricolored Heron, 7/5/1999, 1, Ken Rosenberg, Montezuma NWR
Snowy Egret, 8/1/1999, 1, Matt Young, Newman Golf Course, Ithaca
Snowy Egret, 8/7/1999, 1, Matt Young, Bard Prentiss, Seybolt Rd. Ponds
Glossy Ibis, 8/29/1999, 1, B. Fambrough, K. Rosenberg, C. Sandell, J.    
	VanNiel, Montezuma NWR
Glossy Ibis, 8/30/1999, 2, Geo Kloppel, Montezuma NWR
Sedge Wren, 7/20/2000, 2, Kevin McGowan, Freese Rd., Town of Dryden(?)

All information for this article comes from old issues of The Kingbird, 
the journal of the New York State Federation of Bird Clubs.


Pete Hosner just called to say that they were hearing a continued "kek-
kek-kek..." from the main bulding at Montezuma.  Sounds to me like a 
- Kevin McGowan

Kurt Fox just called:
one NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW was heard singing from the salt 
marsh near the north edge of the dirt road along Carncross Road in 
the Town of Savannah, NY.  This was heard around noon today, 7 June, 
2002.  Two SANDHILL CRANES were also present on the north side of the 
road about 100 meters from the road.
- Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

At the 11:00am walk, my group heard the Acadian Flycatcher again, but 
this time it had moved south a bit.  It was then at the very NW corner 
of the small pond with the shelter, along the east part of the trails 
on the east side of Sapsucker Woods Road. It sang loudly, doing the 
squeaky dog toy sound, several times (about every 10-15 seconds) and 
also called out the soft pi-pi-pi-pi-pi-pi-pi call a couple of times. 
It would be nice if a female found this bird.

Also, as I suspected, this is a FIRST record for Sapsucker Woods.  
- Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

I have kept a peacock or two, off and on, for the past 10 years or so.  
Most of them have had the run of the yard.  The bird who lives with us 
now, however, I must keep penned--to my sorrow.  He is obsessed with 
pick-up trucks.  Big shiny ones.
- Marie McRae

Bone Plain Rd, just E of Sheldon--Northern Bobwhite calling from 
backyard of 1st house on N side of road.  Seeing as how it was calling 
from a backyard in a woods (across the street from the emu, wallabies, 
and red kangaroo), I believe this to be countable even less than the 
ones on Whitted Rd.  Nobody is really counting bobwhite for the David 
Cup, are they?
- Kevin McGowan

Yellow-billed Cuckoo calling from our yard on Beam Hill in Dryden.  
Credit my lovely, non-birding wife for this one.  She came in the house 
and said there was a cuckoo calling, and it turned out to be a Yellow-
billed, not the Black-billed that has been calling around the yard for 
the last two weeks.  Even anti-birders can't help but absorb some 
information, especially with super-avid sons that force them to listen.  
(Around our house it's not "Lookit me, Mom, lookit me!", it's "Mom, 
listen!  There's a [insert bird name here] calling!  Can you hear it?")
- Kevin McGowan

Possible Yellow-bellied Flycatcher on Etna Rd. 100 yards east of 
Hanshaw.  The bird was perched in a dead snag, very yellowish below and 
it a broad (appeared to be slightly yellowish) eyering.  However, it 
was a ways off, and although I scoped it, I couldn't be completely sure 
with the heat haze (Empidonax ID with heat haze is just a bad idea).
- Pete Hosner

While eating, we heard the distinctive song of a probable 
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER coming from the second-growth habitat on the 
north side of the road.  It was indeed an adult male GOLDEN-WINGED 
- Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

Hi all,

This is a farewell message and does not contain any bird sightings. My 
advance apologies for not adhering to the bird-list protocol. I have 
completed my Ph.D requirements with the electrical engineering 
department at Cornell and I'll be leaving Ithaca tonight.  I am going 
to India for a 6 week vacation and then will be off to Dallas in August 
to begin work with Texas Instruments.

I have had a great time birding in the basin. I started out as a
birder three years ago and the basin birding community has nurtured me 
as a birder. Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge and 
passion about birds and birding locations. I will miss you and birding 
in Ithaca.  My e-mail at Cornell will be active for a while, in case 
you need to get in touch with me.

Jai Balakrishnan

P.S; If any of you come to Dallas, drop me a note and we could perhaps 
plan on a local birding trip.

Last evening I had the privilege of holding a hummingbird in my hand 
for twenty minutes.  I don't think I'll ever be the same!
- Nancy Dickinson

May Your Cup Runneth Over,
- Pete and Mike