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Year 8, Issue 5

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*The electronic publication of the David Cup/McIlroy competitions.
*  Editor-in-Chief:  Jay McGowan
*  Guest Editors:  Tringa and Martin McGowan

Hello, and welcome to the reinstatement of The Cup.  Enthusiasm was 
running low with former editors, so I decided to take charge to keep 
the competition going.  It may not be as fun or as fancy as former Cups 
have been, but at least it will get the standings out there.

If anyone would like to write a column for (or contribute in any way 
to) The Cup, please let me know at  

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

May 2002 David Cup Totals

210	Jay McGowan
206	Tim Lenz
202	Steve and Susan Fast
196	Kevin McGowan
193	Bruce Tracey
192	Pete Hosner
190	Ken Rosenberg
189	Steve Kelling
187	Bard Prentiss
186	Meena Haribal
176	Matt Medler
158	Jeff Gerbracht
152	Eric Banford
141	Mark Chao
111	Tringa (the Dog) McGowan
77	Martin (the Cat) McGowan

Jay McGowan's 200th bird: Alder Flycatcher

Tim Lenz's 200th bird: Ruddy Turnstone

May 2003 McIlroy Award Totals

183	Tim Lenz
173	Ken Rosenberg
146	Jeff Gerbracht
143	Jay McGowan
130	Kevin McGowan

May 2003 Evans Trophy Totals

172	Jay McGowan
165	Kevin McGowan
144	Bard Prentiss
111	Tringa McGowan
77	Martin McGowan

May 2003 Yard Totals

129	Steve Kelling
114	McGowan/Kline Family
84	Nancy Dickinson

Here's an idea:  How about a "Most Species Photographed in the Basin" 
category?  You just have to get an identifiable picture of the bird for 
it to count.  Probably not too many Cuppers are active photographers, 
but it's a thought.


The total number of species seen in the Cayuga Lake Basin up to the end 
of May is: 241 -- eight fewer than at this time last year.  Notable 
misses for the year are Long-eared Owl, Acadian Flycatcher, Henslow's 
Sparrow, and the Winter Finches.

Here is the list of species as I see it:

R-t Loon, PACIFIC LOON, C. Loon, P-b Grebe, Horned Grebe, R-n Grebe, 
EARED GREBE, D-c Cormorant, Am. Bittern, Least Bittern, Great Blue 
Heron, Great Egret, CATTLE EGRET, Green Heron, B-c Night-Heron, GLOSSY 
IBIS, Turkey Vulture, Tundra Swan, Mute Swan, Snow Goose, ROSS'S GOOSE, 
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, G-w Teal, Am. Black Duck, Mallard, N. Pintail, 
B-w Teal, N. Shoveler, Gadwall, Am. Wigeon, Canvasback, Redhead, R-n 
Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, L-t Duck, Black Scoter, Surf Scoter, 
W-w Scoter, C. Goldeneye, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, Bufflehead, Hooded 
Merganser, C. 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, Am. Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, 
GYRFALCON, R-n Pheasant, Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, Virginia Rail, 
Sora, C. Moorhen, Am. Coot, Sandhill Crane, B-b Plover, Semipalmated 
Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary 
Sandpiper, WILLET, Spotted Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Ruddy 
Turnstone, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, W-r 
Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, S-b Dowitcher, Wilson's Snipe, 
Am. Woodcock, Wilson's Phalarope, FRANKLIN'S GULL, LITTLE GULL, 
Bonaparte's Gull, R-b Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Lesser B-b 
Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great B-b Gull, Caspian Tern, C. 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, S-e Owl, N. Saw-
whet Owl, C. Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, R-t Hummingbird, Belted 
Kingfisher, R-b Woodpecker, R-h Woodpecker, Y-b Sapsucker, Downy 
Woopecker, Hairy Woodpecker, N. Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, O-s 
Flycatcher, E. Wood-Pewee, Y-b Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Willow 
Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, E. Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, E. 
Kingbird, N. Shrike, B-h Vireo, Y-t Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Philadelphia 
Vireo, R-e Vireo, Blue Jay, Am. Crow, Fish Crow, C. 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, Am. 
Robin, European Starling, Gray Catbird, N. Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, 
Am. 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 Warbler, 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-&-w Warbler, Am. Redstart, W-e Warbler, Ovenbird, 
N. Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Mourning Warbler, C. 
Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, YELLOW-
BREASTED CHAT, Scarlet Tanager, E. Towhee, Am. Tree Sparrow, Chipping 
Sparrow, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah 
Sparrow, Grasshopper 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, C. Grackle, B-
h Cowbird, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Purple Finch, House Finch, 
Am. Goldfinch, House Sparrow.


Here are the many things I have missed so far this year:

Least Bittern, CATTLE EGRET, B-c Night-Heron, GLOSSY IBIS, ROSS'S 
GOOSE, Sandhill Crane, B-b Plover, Semipalmated Plover, L. Yellowlegs, 
Solitary Sandpiper, WILLET, Ruddy Turnstone, W-r Sandpiper, Pectoral 
Sandpiper, S-b Dowitcher, Wilson's Phalarope, LITTLE GULL, C. Tern, 
Forster's Tern, SNOWY OWL, Barred Owl, S-e Owl, C. Nighthawk, R-h 
Woodpecker, N. Shrike, G-c Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, 
G-w Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow.


by Jay McGowan

Here's an abbreviated recap of this year's highlights to date:

As usual, the Ithaca Christmas Bird Count was conducted on January 1st, 
tallying a total of 73 species.  Highlights included Green-winged Teal, 
White-winged Scoter, Red-shouldered Hawk, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and 
Chipping Sparrow (several Chipping Sparrows were around this winter).  
The EARED GREBE that has been present on Cayuga Lake for the last four 
years was seen on the 1st also, and later in the year, TWO Eared Grebes 
were seen in the Aurora area.  A SNOWY OWL (possibly the same one seen 
in December '02) was seen in the Savannah Mucklands by Gerard Phillips 
on January 5th.  On the 11th, Steve Kelling, Wes Hochachka and Ann 
Redelfs saw an immature gray-phase GYRFALCON at Farleys Point near 
Union Springs on the east side of Cayuga Lake.  Kevin and Jay McGowan 
ran into the Gyrfalcon on the 12th, and also found a drake BARROW'S 
GOLDENEYE at Union Springs on the same day.  Later in the month, an 
adult Gyrfalcon was seen, making two Gyrfalcons on Cayuga Lake in 2003.  
A PEREGRINE FALCON was also seen.  On the 16th, Tim Lenz found a first 
winter LITTLE GULL at Stewart Park.  Also, an out-of-Basin rarity this 
January was a first-winter ROSS'S GULL found at Irondequoit Bay near 
Rochester on the 9th.  

In late February and early March, a Red-necked Grebe invasion took 
place on Cayuga Lake; over 260 individuals were counted on the lake on 
one day.  Ken Rosenberg saw a ROSS'S GOOSE at Stewart Park on the 16th, 
and more Ross's Geese were seen in the Savannah Mucklands.  Also of 
note, although probably not countable, were several TRUMPETER SWANS 
that hung around near Myers Point in February and March.  One of these 
had a yellow wing tag, and is thought to have been banded in Ontario.  

On March 17th, Ben Clock and Thorsten Balsby found a BOHEMIAN WAXWING 
in a flock of Cedar Waxwings at Sapsucker Woods.  It was subsequently 
seen by others.  The SANDHILL CRANES that have been around for the last 
few years north of Montezuma were seen again by many people.  [Editor's 
Note: Although not in May, I think it well to mention that these cranes 
were successful in breeding in this area, and raised one chick, first 
seen on June 5th.]  Gary Chapin saw a LITTLE GULL on East Road near 
Montezuma on March 30th.  Matt Victoria found a CATTLE EGRET in Ledyard 
on April 2nd.  On April 28th, Jay McGowan and Bard Prentiss found an 
adult breeding PACIFIC LOON (a first record for the Basin) with several 
Commons and a late Red-throated off Varick, on the west side of the 
lake.  A few other people got to see the loon that evening, but it was 
not seen again.  On April 30th, Meena Haribal saw a WILLET fly off from 
the lighthouse jetty from Stewart Park.  On the same day, Jody Hildreth 
found 5 GLOSSY IBIS on Armitage Road near Montezuma.  

The Hawthorns were fairly quiet this year compared with last, but many 
warblers still passed through there, including BAY-BREASTED, GOLDEN-
WINGED, and ORANGE-CROWNED.  Anne Marie and Tim Johnson found a singing 
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW on Creamery Road in Caroline on the 10th of May.  
Matt Medler found a breeding plumaged FRANKLIN'S GULL on the spit at 
Myers Point on May 13th, then refound it the next day in Aurora.  Matt 
Young heard a probable YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at the McIlroy Preserve in 
Summerhill on May 17th, and it was confirmed on the 20th (and may still 
be around now).  Tim and Anne Marie Johnson saw a WILSON'S PHALAROPE at 
Benning Marsh on the 23rd.  Several OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS were seen 
around late in the month.  A KING RAIL was reported May 27th on the 
sightings book at Montezuma, but this report has not been confirmed.


The [Christmas Bird Count] compilation that evening was notable for the 
ice storm that caused a small turnout and forced those hearty souls who 
did attend to compile by candlelight.  
--Kevin McGowan

There's a non-adult winter Glaucous Gull on the ice in front of the 
tennis courts at Stewart Park this morning (~10:00). It's VERY white, 
so when its head is tucked it looks just like a patch of snow on the 
--Tim Lenz

The GLAUCOUS GULL at Stewart Park was still there at noon today (Fri).  
As we left, it woke up, took flight and landed in the water offshore, 
next to a 1st-yr Herring Gull.
--Ken Rosenberg

Ken, WHICH 1st-yr Herring gull?
--Jesse Ellis

The brown one with the black bill, with the big white gull next to it.
--Ken Rosenberg

We didn't find a Yellow-rumped Warbler, but a second life bird for Jay 
in one day was pretty good consolation.
--Kevin McGowan

...however, scanning through the gulls on the ice produced a 1st-year 
ICELAND GULL.  It was sitting near the adult Herring Gull, Ken.
--Jesse Ellis

Thanks Jesse.  I found the adult Herring Gull no problem, but not the 
Iceland.  White-out conditions at noon:30 -- virtually impossible to 
--Ken Rosenberg

So it's not a Sl--y - b---ed G--l, but two Gyr's and Barrow's 
Goldeneye ain't a bad start for a chilly winter in the Basin!
--Jesse Ellis

Guess this is the winter of the Chipping Sparrow (forget the 
--David Bonter

...Then finally landed up in Geneva Movieplex to look for Hedwig, the 
Snowy Owl of Harry Potter.
--Meena Haribal

Wasn't the wind incredible this morning?  Sheesh...makes me glad that I 
don't have to migrate.
--Vanessa Lane

Last Friday, 14 Feb., at dawn I saw a congress of crows.  I mean the 
collective noun, not the verb.  They were in the trees along Cascadilla
Creek just upstream from the Hoy Road bridge by Route 366.  How many?
Somewhere between a caucus and a quorum.  
--Dave Nutter

You don't know what a hungry hawk will do.
--Meena Haribal

A search for the Bohemian Waxwing at Sapsucker Woods late yesterday 
afternoon was fruitless (although there was plenty of fruit).
--Jay McGowan

On this gorgeous Easter Sunday I took a walk through the Jetty Woods 
and was rewarded with a plump, beautiful easter egg of my own: an 
--Tim Lenz

...But the highlight of the morning was seeing an adult male MERLIN 
swoop out of nowhere and snag a singing male Goldfinch from its perch.  
The goldfinch sort of had it coming I think, it was singing so loud, 
and it was right out in the open.  
--Tim Lenz

So I was 10 minutes late for this bird [the Willet].  If only I'd 
skipped breakfast, or woke up a bit earlier, or drove a little bit 
--Tim Lenz

Boat traffic started to pick up as I left, which flushed a lot of the 
birds on the jetty.  However, they may just be foraging out in the 
middle of the lake, so it's possible they will retern.
--Tim Lenz

The cemetery was deceptively birdy, but the migrants were a bit scarce.  
--Mike Andersen

...and, as I drove out, a Common Raven. My!...they ARE big when one's 
just been watching warblers!!
--Marie Read

They're finally back!  At least 3 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS were "pit-up
zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"-ing in the field on W. King Rd. in south Ithaca.  
One of them was very close to the road but I still never got to see it. 
These birds are very secretive, like Lincoln's Sparrow X 3.
--Tim Lenz  

While walking the Dryden Lake Trail late this afternoon, I was 
fortunately caught in a heavy rainstorm.
--Steve Fast

It will be phenomenal in the Hawthorn Orchard over the next several 
--Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

Neotropical migrants will continue to trickle in, but don't expect to 
see the phenomenal numbers for several more days (until after the 
hawthorns open up).
--Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

There's a possibility of more birds tomorrow morning, and then a 
trickle of birds over the next week, depending on weather.
--Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

So, I have no idea what is in store for the Hawthorn Orchard giving the 
forecasted weather conditions over the next week.  
--Chris Tessaglia-Hymes

An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER!  Hey Tim, if I can find this drab little 
flitter, have faith--you'll get it yet.
--Steve Fast

He said it [the refound Franklin's Gull] is on the near shore perched 
on a ladder or dock or something like that (the reception wasn't 
--Mike Andersen

Morgan Road, Town of Savannah (in Region 5, I believe):
1 singing HORNED LARK
0 SHOREBIRD HABITAT--the area by the DEC building at the end of Morgan 
Road is disappointingly dry and devoid of shorebirds
--Matt Medler

I went to the Hawthorns early this evening to look for the Philadelphia 
Vireo that everybody has been seeing.  Instead, I saw the PRAIRIE 
WARBLER that everybody has been hearing.  
--Tim Lenz

After our third winery, we found ourselves listening to a YELLOW-
Cayuga Nature Center.  Having spit everything he tasted (as all 
professional wine tasters do), Mr. Hosner was sharper than I on the 
flycatcher ID.
--Mike Andersen

P.S.  Since arriving home in downtown Ithaca, I've managed to hear two
Yellow-billed Cuckoos--both singing at the Colonial Country Club in 
Fort Worth, Texas, where Annika Sörenstam has just finished a nice 
round of golf (+1).
--Matt Medler

I spent a good part of the afternoon at the Ringwood Preserve where I 
got lost, hence this late post.
--Steve Fast

I birded alone, just me and my buddy Carl Zeiss.  
--Matt Medler

As I headed out on the spit and started seeing birds, I felt like I was 
singing a line from a George Thorogood song:  "One DUNLIN.  One 
SANDERLING.  One TURNSTONE."  Then, of course, three bad-to-the-bone 
SPOTTED SANDPIPERS had to arrive on the scene and ruin the whole theme.
--Matt Medler

The highlight (literally) of the morning for me was a backlit Ovenbird 
looking quite incandescent, raising his crown feathers while pealing 
his song.  
--Mark Chao

The highlight of the day for me yesterday, though, was seeing PURPLE 
MARTINS in the Purple Martin box at Montezuma!  After participating in 
the early Muckraces (where the money went to buy that box) and seeing 
the box be used by Tree Swallows for several years, I cannot say how 
excited I was to see a stunning male martin and at least two females in 
the box.  It was great!
--Matt Medler

The weather was excellent (if you like nice weather)...
--Jay McGowan

May Your Cup Runneth Over,
- Jay