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Year 9, Issues 11-12

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*The Cup 9.11-9.12 ­ November/December 2004
*The electronic publication of the David Cup, McIlroy and various
*other birding competitions.
*  Editor-in-Chief:  Jay McGowan
*  House Interviewer:  Mark Chao
*  Highlights:  Jay McGowan
*  Current Events:  Mark Chao & Jay McGowan
*  Cup Anagrammist ("Ptarmigan Sumac"?):  Mark Chao
*  Bird Taste-Tester:  Martin McGowan
******************************************************************

Welcome to the 2004 end-of-year edition of The Cup!

In the great tradition of The Cup, this issue came out nowhere near the end of 
2004, but that won't stop most of us from enjoying it anyway.  Or it wouldn't if 
this issue contained a multiplicity of  great stories, insightful articles, and 
useful information.  But it doesn't.  Get over it.

It's only the Cup 9.11-9.12.

----------------------------

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

November, December 2004 David Cup Totals

2004 is over and the winner was Jay McGowan, for the second year in a row.  
Scott Haber had an amazing year as well, only two species behind Jay.

1.  256, 256 JAY MCGOWAN
2.  251, 254 Scott Haber
3.  246, 247 Kevin McGowan
4.  241, 246 Mark Chao
5.  241, 243 Steve Fast
6.  234, 236 Meena Haribal
7.  234, 235 Ken Rosenberg
8.  ---, 233 Mike Andersen
9.  ---, 232+Bruce Tracey
10. ---, 230 Bard Prentiss
11. 227, 229 Jesse Ellis
12. 215, 215 Chris Tessaglia-Hymes
13. 211, 214 Lena Samsonenko
14. 211, 212 Mike Harvey
    207, 212 Tim Lenz
16. 209, 209 Anne Marie Johnson
    208, 209 Perri McGowan
18. 191, 191 Pete Hosner
19. 187, 188 Erin Hewett
20. 187, 187 Matt Medler
21. 157, 157 Mindy LaBranche
22. ---, 148 Rachel Rosenberg
    ---, 148 Olivia Rosenberg
23. ---, 121 Rafael Lizarralde
    121, 121 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan
24.  96,  96 Martin (the Cat) McGowan
25. ---,   7 Matt Williams


November, December 2004 McIlroy Award (Ithaca) Totals

Ken had an easy win in Ithaca this year, but still with a great total.

209, 209 KEN ROSENBERG
172, 176 Tim Lenz
173, 175 Mark Chao
162, 164 Jay McGowan
150, 151 Kevin McGowan
147, 147 Jeff Gerbracht


November, December 2004 Evans Trophy (Dryden) Totals

Jay McGowan triumphed again in Dryden, with a record-breaking total(the
previous high year in Dryden was 206 species, set by Ken Rosenberg in 1997.)

211, 212 JAY MCGOWAN
192, 193 Kevin McGowan
185, 185 Steve Fast
177, 177 Bard Prentiss
148, 150 Perri McGowan


November, December 2004 Yard Totals

---, 141 STEVE KELLING, CAROLINE
124, 124 McGowan/Kline Family, Dryden
124, --- John Fitzpatrick, Ellis Hollow
107, 112 Pixie Senesac
 77,  77 Anne Marie Johnson, Caroline


November, December 2004 Lansing Competition Totals

The Town of Lansing is potentially the equal of Dryden or Ithaca but is not 
birded as extensively.  This year (for the first time ever) an actual trophy was 
awarded, so perhaps we can get some more  competition in this town in 2005.  
Mark Chao posted an impressive  total for 2004 and took home the trophy.

177, 180 MARK CHAO
---, 169 Kevin McGowan
144+,144+Bruce Tracey

---------------------------------------------

CAYUGA LAKE BASIN LIFE LISTS (AS OF DECEMBER 2004)

As in 2003, at the end of the year I asked everyone to send me their total for 
species seen in the Basin in their lifetime.  Not  everyone sent me updated 
numbers, so some of these totals may be slightly outdated.

299 Kevin McGowan
298 Jay McGowan
297 Meena Haribal
295 Andrew Farnsworth
294+Ken Rosenberg
288 Steve Kelling
285 Pete Hosner
284 Matt Medler
283 Jeff Wells
281 Karl David
280 Allison Wells
280 Geo Kloppel
279 Bill Evans
278 Chris Tessaglia-Hymes
278 Bard Prentiss
275 Tom Nix
275 Matt Young
272 Mike Andersen
271 Ned Brinkley
267 Jesse Ellis
267 Tim Lenz
267 Matt Sarver
266 Ryan Bakelaar
266 Bruce Tracey
264 Matt Williams
257 Mark Chao
257 Anne Marie Johnson
257 Bob Fogg
252 Jeff Gerbracht
245 Dan Lebbin
214 Mike Harvey
121 Rafael Lizarralde

---------------------------------------------


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

BASIN COMPOSITE DEPOSIT

And the final total is...271, the same as in 2003!

Here's the total list:

Mute Swan, Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, CACKLING GOOSE, Brant, GREATER WHITE-
FRONTED GOOSE, ROSS'S GOOSE, Snow Goose, Wood Duck,  Mallard, Am. Black Duck, 
Gadwall, N. Pintail, Am. Wigeon, EURASIAN  WIGEON, N. Shoveler, B-w Teal, G-w 
Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, R-n  Duck, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, L-t Duck, 
Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, W-w Scoter, C. Goldeneye, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, 
Bufflehead,  Hooded Merganser, C. Merganser, R-b Merganser, Ruddy Duck, R-n 
Pheasant, Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, 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, SNOWY EGRET, TRICOLORED HERON, CATTLE 
EGRET, Green Heron, B-c Night-Heron, GLOSSY IBIS, Turkey Vulture, 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, C. Moorhen, 
Am. Coot, Virginia Rail, Sora, YELLOW  RAIL, SANDHILL CRANE, B-b Plover, Am. 
Golden-Plover, Semipalmated  Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser 
Yellowlegs, Solitary  Sandpiper, WILLET, Spotted Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, 
WHIMBREL,  Hudsonian Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, RED KNOT, Sanderling, Dunlin, 
Pectoral Sandpiper, W-r Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, WESTERN SANDPIPER, 
Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, RUFF, L-b Dowitcher, 
S-b Dowitcher, B-b Sandpiper, Am.  Woodcock, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope, 
R-n Phalarope, PARASITIC JAEGER, Bonaparte's Gull, R-b Gull, Herring Gull, 
Iceland  Gull, Glaucous Gull, Lesser B-b Gull, Great B-b Gull, Caspian Tern,  C. 
Tern, Forster's Tern, Black Tern, BLACK GUILLEMOT, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, 
Y-b Cuckoo, B-b Cuckoo, L-e Owl, S-e Owl, Great  Horned Owl, SNOWY OWL, Barred 
Owl, N. S-w Owl, E. Screech-Owl, C.  Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, R-t Hummingbird, 
Belted Kingfisher, R-h  Woodpecker, R-b Woodpecker, Y-b Sapsucker, Downy 
Woodpecker, Hairy  Woodpecker, N. Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-sided 
Flycatcher, E. Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher, Y-b Flycatcher, Willow 
Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested 
Flycatcher, E. Kingbird, N. Shrike, R-e Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Philadelphia 
Vireo, WHITE-EYED VIREO, Y-t Vireo, B-h Vireo, Blue Jay, C. Raven, Am. Crow, 
Fish Crow, Horned  Lark, Purple Martin, N. R-w Swallow, Bank Swallow, Tree 
Swallow, Cliff Swallow, CAVE SWALLOW, Barn Swallow, Tufted Titmouse, B-c 
Chickadee, R-b Nuthatch, W-b Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren, House Wren, 
Winter Wren, SEDGE WREN, Marsh Wren, G-c Kinglet,  R-c Kinglet, B-g Gnatcatcher, 
E. Bluebird, Am. Robin, Wood Thrush,  Veery, Swainson's Thrush, G-c Thrush, 
Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird,  N. Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, European Starling, 
Am. Pipit, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Cedar Waxwing, N. Parula, O-c Warbler, Tennessee  
Warbler, B-w Warbler, G-w Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, C-s 
Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, B-t Blue  Warbler, Cerulean 
Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Y-r Warbler, B-t  Green Warbler, Prairie Warbler, 
Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, B-b Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, W-e Warbler, B-&-w 
Warbler, Am. Redstart, Ovenbird, N. Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Mourning  
Warbler, C. Yellowthroat, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Hooded  Warbler, 
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, Scarlet Tanager, N. Cardinal, R-b Grosbeak, Indigo 
Bunting, DICKCISSEL, E. Towhee, Am. Tree Sparrow,  Field Sparrow, CLAY-COLORED 
SPARROW, Chipping Sparrow, Grasshopper  Sparrow, NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW, 
Savannah Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, W-t Sparrow, W-c Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song 
Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, D-e Junco, Lapland Longspur, Snow  
Bunting, E. Meadowlark, Bobolink, B-h Cowbird, R-w Blackbird, Rusty  Blackbird, 
C. Grackle, Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Evening Grosbeak, Purple Finch, 
House Finch, Red Crossbill, W-w Crossbill,  C. Redpoll, HOARY REDPOLL, Pine 
Siskin, Am. Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

Final Total: 271

ALSO SEEN BUT NOT COUNTABLE: Trumpeter Swan, Northern Bobwhite

NOTABLE (BUT NOT COUNTABLE AS A SEPARATE SPECIES) SUBSPECIES:
"Eurasian" Green-winged Teal, "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler,"Oregon" Dark-
eyed Junco


WINNER (Jay McGowan) MISS LIST

EURASIAN WIGEON, PACIFIC LOON, SNOWY EGRET, TRICOLORED HERON, YELLOW RAIL, 
WILLET, RUFF, PARASITIC JAEGER, Long-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, WHITE-
EYED VIREO, SEDGE WREN, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Cape May Warbler, White-winged 
Crossbill.


RUNNER-UP (Scott Haber) MISS LIST

Greater White-fronted Goose, PACIFIC LOON, EARED GREBE, YELLOW RAIL, WILLET, 
WHIMBREL, RED KNOT, RUFF, PARASITIC JAEGER, WHITE-EYED VIREO, CAVE SWALLOW, 
SEDGE WREN, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Worm-eating Warbler, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, Red 
Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

---------------------------------------------

CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP/CUP
Cupper Supper Review
by Mark Chao
SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP\SUP


This year's Cupper Supper was held against a backdrop of falling snow at the 
McGowan/Kline residence on Beam Hill.  It was a quiet  affair, with many notable 
absences because of illness and recent moves.  We missed everyone who couldn't 
make it.

Still, of course, we had a great time.  As always, the gathering offered fine 
food, lively conversation, and glimpses of Cupper personalities and talents not 
always evident out in the field.  As  if it were right here in front of me now, 
I can still smell and taste the food that Meena brought, a Gujarati dish called 
dhoklas  -- steamed dal cakes served with spiced oil, coconut, and chutney.   
Kevin enlightened Cup novices about Dick Evans, a longtime Cayuga Bird Club 
leader and local birding legend, in whose honor the Evans Trophy is named.  And 
Tim Lenz played some Liszt at the piano.  It was only a few measures, idly 
tossed off, but enough to make it clear -- the man can really play.

Aside from our long-awaited review of totals for the David Cup and associated 
competitions, we conducted surveys for additional awards.  See below.  The 
evening ended with a slideshow of Jay and  Kevin's bird images, culled from 
images of 230+ species photographed in the Basin in 2004.

Thanks to Kevin, Kim, Jay, and Perri for opening their home for the supper!

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The Cupper Supper also hosted some great foosball matches; Jay 
McGowan took on Peruvian foosball champion Dan Lebbin.   Each competitor won one 
game, but before a tie-breaker could be initiated, dinner was announced and 
foosball abandoned.]

-------------------

CUPPER SURVEY AWARDS!
Compiled by Jay McGowan

Cupper Supper attendees got to vote on the recipient s of many classic awards.  
Here are the winners in each category:

BIRD OF THE YEAR - BLACK GUILLEMOT won easily with 8 votes. Buff-breasted 
Sandpiper received 2 votes, and Cave Swallow and Hoary Redpoll each got 1.

BIRDER OF THE YEAR - JAY MCGOWAN won with 7 votes.  Mark Chao came in second 
with 4 and Scott Haber lagged behind with only 2.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR - MIKE HARVEY won easily with 12 votes, with Tim Lenz 
[Reloaded] receiving only 2 votes.

MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE 2005 DAVID CUP - TIM LENZ won with 5 votes, with Bob 
McGuire, Jay McGowan, and Scott Haber each receiving 3 votes.

MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE 2005 MCILROY AWARD - TIM LENZ won this category as well 
(with 7 votes.)  Ken Rosenberg received 4, and Mark Chao 3.  

MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE 2005 EVANS TROPHY - JAY MCGOWAN won with 6 votes, 
followed by Kevin McGowan with 4 votes, Steve Fast with 3,  and Tringa McGowan 
with 1 (now how is she going to manage that, I  ask you?)  

THOREAU AWARD - "For the most eloquent, interesting, or best-written posts." 
MARK CHAO cleaned up this category with 9 votes.  Steve Fast received 4, and 
someone also voted for "none of the above."  Mark's  prize was a small notebook 
with a penguin on the cover on which to  jot down witty thoughts when he is not 
near a computer.  

FAMILY TIME AWARD - "For the Cupper or Cuppers who didn't let birding get in the 
way of family...and vice versa." MARK CHAO won again, this time with 6 votes.  
Ken Rosenberg came in  second with 3, followed by The McGowans with 2, and 
Allison and Jeff Wells, Steve Fast, and Meena (huh?), each with 1.  The prize  
was a bottle of cosmic glue, ostensibly "to keep the family together."  

BEST CUPPER SPORT - For the Cupper or former Cupper who puts up with the most 
from his or her birding companion(s); who sits in the  biggest shadow and keeps 
on Cupping." A new category this year.  SUSIE FAST won with 8 votes, beating 
Perri McGowan with 5.  Miyoko Chu also received one vote.  Susie's  prize was an 
artificial rock with the word "PATIENCE" inscribed on  it in large, friendly 
letters.  

QUICK DRAW AWARD FOR FASTEST POSTING - This was a write-in category, so voting 
was more varied than in other categories.  1 vote each was tallied for Ken 
Rosenberg, Jay  McGowan, Steve Fast, Meena Haribal, Kevin McGowan, and Bob 
McGuire. Tim Lenz received 2, and Scott Haber received 3.  However, there was 
also one vote cast for "not Scott Haber."  Although this had the potential to 
end in a nasty brawl, with Scott and Tim both claiming the title, the editor 
stepped in at this point and arbitrated that the award go to Scott.  His prize 
was an interesting egg timer that apparently only times 20 seconds at a time.  
It is hoped that this will motivate Scott for even faster posting.  

ROSENBERG AWARD FOR SLOWEST POSTING Again the results were diverse.  Tim Lenz, 
Jay McGowan, Steve Kelling, and Tringa McGowan all received 1 vote.  The result 
was a  tie between KEN ROSENBERG (because we like to tease him) and ALLISON 
WELLS(presumably for her very late Western Sandpiper post), each with 4 votes.  
No prize was given because they didn't deserve one.  

-------------  

Finally, a few EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARDS were given:  

THE MICHELEN AWARD FOR RESTAURANT REVIEW went to Steve Fast for his numerous 
reports on local eateries.  Steve's prize was a refrigerator magnet in the shape 
of a cheeseburger, which Steve immediately began to take apart and critique.  
"Smell's like plastic," was his only comment.  

THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - For consistent totals throughout the lifespan 
of the David Cup competition.  I summed the final totals of several Cuppers who 
have participated every year since 1996.  Easily the highest was KEVIN MCGOWAN, 
with a total of 2160 species over the nine years for an average of 240 species.  
Jay McGowan placed second 2150 species, and Ken Rosenberg came in third with 
2113.  Just for posterity's sake, I will list the other people who have 
participated every year: Bard Prentiss, Meena Haribal, and Matt Medler. Steve 
Kelling,  Allison and Jeff Wells, and Chris Tessaglia-Hymes have missed only  
one or two years. Kevin's prize was a cube of glass with a design inside--
signifying consistency, no doubt.


!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2004 BASIN HIGHLIGHTS
by Jay McGowan

!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!-!

-NOVEMBER-

"No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease.
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!"
  - Thomas Hood, November

Well, this November wasn't quite as bad as all that.  A few rare birds here and 
there brightened up the otherwise fairly dull time  of year.  The Audubon's 
Yellow-rumped Warbler found on September 30  was present at Stewart Park on 
October 1 and 2, but was not seen subsequently.  The Black Guillemot continued 
to be seen in Aurora  Bay until at least November 14th, with a possible sighting 
on the  26th.  Also, the juvenile Hudsonian Godwit was seen at Montezuma until 
the 3rd.

Winter finches were hard to find, but a COMMON REDPOLL showed up at  a feeder in 
Ellis Hollow on November 12.  Pine Siskins were seen at  a few feeders 
throughout November and December.  Evening Grosbeaks  were seen in a few 
scattered locations around the Basin, and a male  RED CROSSBILL was seen at 
Summerhill on November 16.  Northern Shrikes were seen in many locations 
throughout November and December.

A SNOWY OWL was found by Doug Pippen on the Main Pool at Montezuma NWR.  Later 
in the day Tim Lenz and Mike Harvey found another Snow  Owl at Tschache Pool.  
At least one of the owls remained until November 15th.  Despite this promising 
beginning to Snowy Owl season, no other Snowies were reported in 2004.

An immature male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was seen on Culver Road south of Ithaca 
on November 14 and 15.  On November 21, Jesse Ellis, Thorsten Balsby, and Anya 
Illes found an interesting GOLDEN-PLOVER at Benning Marsh, Montezuma.  They were 
unable to get good enough looks to rule out Pacific, and the bird was not 
relocated.

On November 24, Roger Sleeper discovered 3 CAVE SWALLOWS flying around near 
shore at Stewart Park.  These Basin firsts were very cooperative and allowed 
good views (if not stunning pictures) as they hunted for insects in the rain.  
They were not seen the following day.

A LONG-EARED OWL was reported flying across the road at night on Sapsucker Woods 
Road on November 30.


-DECEMBER-

A probable CACKLING GOOSE was found on the lawn at Stewart Park on December 7.

After being absent from the area most of last winter, Short-eared Owls have 
returned to the Rafferty Road area on the east side of Cayuga Lake.  Multiple 
individuals were seen there at dusk by many  observers in mid- and late 
December.

Other raptors also returned to their winter haunts.  The Peregrine Falcon 
returned to its roost on Bradfield Tower, and a Red-shouldered Hawk once again 
took up residence in the Sapsucker Woods area.

The Aurora Bay EARED GREBE was seen again on December 22.  Two days later
on December 24 Mark Chao and Tim Lenz found a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE in 
Aurora Bay.

---------------------------------------------


----------------------------------
A MAN RAGS...ANAGRAMS
by Mark Chao
----------------------------------

A recent string of Basin bird sightings has led me to startling and delightful 
finds of a different sort -- Cup-related anagrams from  people's names.

An anagram is a set of words made from the letters of another set of words.  
They are easy and fun to construct.  Just mix letters and try to find apt word 
combinations.  It helps to stack letters  in a pyramid, like this:

                S
               C O
              T T H
             A B E R

The multidirectional juxtapositions make words just leap out at you, don't they?  
(And come to think of it, do cats bother Scott Haber?) 

Alas, I have so far found it impossible to cook up any good anagrams for Jesse 
Ellis.  Too many repeated letters, plus a stubborn J, have stuck me with sea-
babble like "ESS JELLIES."  I am also somewhat stumped by Bruce Tracey, whom the 
fashionistas may exhort to "BE RACY, CUTER", but whose name somehow resists 
transformation into Cup-themed words.  And I have a potentially good one for Cup 
giant Matt Medler, but that one will have to wait  for another time (no, it's 
not "WHELMED MATTER"). 

So here are my Cup anagrams for you.  I've added explanatory comments where 
needed.  Enjoy!

MICHAEL ANDERSEN ===> N.E. LARIDAE MENSCH

ERIC BANFORD ===> CORE BIRD FAN

MELANIE DRISCOLL ===>  IDEAL CLO MERLINS

STEVE FAST ===> SEES FAT TV
(or it might be a Golden Eagle...)

BOB FOGG ===> OOF!  GBBG.
(Said, perhaps, after hoping for a Slaty-backed or Western Gull.)

SCOTT HABER ===> SCOTER BATH
(This rather silly little Cup anagram is the one that started them all.  Scott's 
name also morphs into BEST HOT CAR, which is probably accurate, if you're 
comparing Scott's Jeep with other Cornell students' vehicles.)

MEENA HARIBAL ===>AM HERE, IN A LAB
O, MEENA HARIBAL ===> A REAL BOHEMIAN
(I came up with the latter on the day Meena found a BoWax flock on campus
in Feb 05.)

MICHAEL GASTON HARVEY ===> HAVE CLAIM ON THAYER'S G.
(I devised this after MGH's documenting a possible Thayer's Gull in 
Seneca Falls in Feb 05.)

ERIN HEWETT ===> I WENT THERE

(This anagram, though tidy, seemed too vague.  Erin's name seemed to hold
better potential.  Inherent there are some bird names, but  without enough
remaining letters to make a nice complete thought.   So I thought a little
harder...)

ERIN L. HEWETT x 4 ===> THE WILLET, THE WEE LITTLE WINTER WREN INHERENT THERE

PETE HOSNER ===> PHONE TREES
(This is how Pete found out about the Nov 02 Black-legged Kittiwake on Dryden 
Lake, I hear.)

ANNE MARIE AND TIM JOHNSON ===> MAN'S INNER MOJO:  ANATID HEN.
(This one took a lot of work.  Can you tell?)

DANIEL LEBBIN ===> DABBLE IN LINE
(Speaking of anatids...)

TIMOTHY COLIN LENZ ===>  MYTHIC ZEN LOON LIT
(Note that "lit" means "alighted."  If ever this were to happen in the
Basin, Tim would probably be the one to witness it.)

KEVIN MCGOWAN ===> K. CAN MOVE WING
(But he can't fly.)

JAY MCGOWAN ==> A CAGY J.M. WON
(This is the story of the David Cup from the last two years.  It is a bit of a 
cop-out to use Jay's initials in this anagram, as with Kevin's above, but that's 
the best I could do with the name, which is packed with unblendable consonants, 
including a J.)

PERRI MCGOWAN ===> MEN GRIP A CROW
(Kevin, is this intentional?)

BOB MCGUIRE ===> ICGU MOBBER
(Bob is leading a CBC field trip to Seneca Falls in March 05.)

BARD PRENTISS ===> REST, BIRDS, NAP.
(Any Cupper's ideal day.)

KENNETH ROSENBERG ===> B-T GREEN.  KENN'S HERO.

LENA SAMSONENKO ===> MEN SANE?  ASK LOON.
(It's a valid question.  Maybe the mythic Zen loon has an answer...)

CHRIS TESSAGLIA-HYMES ===>  LIST SCHEMES!  I SAY, ARGH!!!
(Cayugabirds-L czar getting frustrated with reply-to-sender controversy?)

ALLISON WELLS ===> ALL IS SWELL, NO?
(Not really bird-related, but still fun and fitting, I think.)

JEFFREY VANCE WELLS ===> NEW JERSEY ACFL, VEFL
(In case you don't get it -- the FLs are flycatchers.  Nice WSB finds.)

plus...

MARK CHAO ==> CHARM A-OK


[EDITOR'S NOTE:  It has come to my attention that "Jesse Mathias Ellis" can be 
rearranged to spell, "I JEST: I AM SEASHELLS."  Also,  if you use Mark's middle 
name it is possible to form "CH. POSH ANAGRAM KING," perhaps a fitting title.  
Chao, Mark!]


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!                       KICKIN' TAIL!                      !
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cup Interviewer Mark Chao has a quick chat with 2004 David Cup champion Jay 
McGowan.

THE CUP:  Congratulations on your win, with the second-highest winning total in 
Cup history!  

JAY:  Thanks!  

THE CUP:  Tell us about your frame of mind over the last two months  of the 
year, as you worked to maintain your lead over Scott.  

JAY:  I must admit that Scott's proximity in the standings influenced my birding 
zeal, though it didn't actually help me gain  any species near the end of the 
year.  My last three species (Snowy  Owl, Northern Shrike, and Cave Swallow) I 
think I still would have  gotten even if I had not been in such a close race.  

THE CUP:  How would you rank the following as factors in your victory -- will, 
skill, experience, flexibility with time, mobility, luck?  

JAY:  They are all very important of course...I guess if I have to  rank them, 
offhand I would say: flexibility, luck, will, mobility,  skill, experience.  I 
think flexibility with time is very important for a successful big year, and I 
certainly had it to some degree last year, since I  didn't have classes every 
day.  Almost any aspect of birding can be  attributed to luck (sometimes it's 
just more obvious than other times--I'm thinking of some of Pete's 2002 
experiences here.)  I think I had my share of luck in 2004, though it didn't 
always feel  like it.  Will is very necessary, and luckily my birding passion 
supplies my will with or without competition.  Mobility is also an  important 
factor, and one that I gained from 2003, when I did not  have my driver's 
license.  As for skill and experience, while they  both play a central role in 
the competition, aren't always the most  important things.  That's just my 
feeling at the moment.  If I think about it longer I will probably change my 
mind.  

THE CUP:  You have joined Matt Young as the second back-to-back David Cup winner 
in the history of the competition.  Do you have the will to go for an 
unprecedented "three-peat"?  

JAY:  It's possible, but I have a feeling someone else will have the  spirit to 
take the lead this year.  Still, I will be around, so don't rule me out.  I'm 
getting off to a slow start in 2005, but we'll see how things go in the spring.  
If not this year, perhaps  later.  Three back-to-back wins would be nice...  

THE CUP:  Can you size up the competition?  Who, in your mind, are  this year's 
contenders, and what do they bring to the table?  

JAY:  Tim Lenz was voted most likely to win this year, and I think  he could 
certainly do it if he has the determination.  Bob McGuire  is off to a roaring 
start, and he may keep it up throughout the year, even though this is his first 
year in the David Cup.  Scott  Haber is always a possibility; he might feel like 
a comeback after  his narrow loss last year.  Mike Andersen is also a 
possibility.   He seems to be getting out a lot so far this year.  

THE CUP:  Last year you also smashed the all-time Evans Trophy total, for the 
town of Dryden.  How does that achievement measure  up to your Cup wins?  

JAY:  Well, nothing beats winning the David Cup, but a Dryden record  is 
exhilarating.  My total also ties the highest ever town list (set by Tim Lenz in 
Ithaca last year.)  

THE CUP:  What were your best Dryden finds?  And what were the highlights of 
your Basin year on the whole?  

JAY:  The highlights of my Basin year of course included the rarities.  The 
guillemot and the Cave Swallows were great, and also  enjoyed the two sets of 
Red Knots.  The Whimbrel was new for my Basin list as well.  I had a lot of good 
birds in Dryden this year, really too many to  enumerate--but I'm going to 
anyway.  In addition the major rarities  that turned up in Dryden (Cattle Egret, 
Cackling Goose, Common Teal, Wilson's Phalarope, Red-headed Woodpecker, 
Dickcissel, Hoary  Redpoll), I saw quite a few birds that are uncommon in 
Dryden.  In  case you were wondering, these included Tundra Swan, Brant, 
American Bittern, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Sora, Black-bellied Plover, 
American Golden-Plover, White-rumped and Baird's sandpipers, Long-billed and 
Short-billed dowitchers, Lesser  Black-backed Gull, Black Tern, Olive-sided 
Flycatcher, all five eastern empidonax (including Acadian), Cliff Swallow, and 
Orange-crowned Warbler, among others.  The list of my Dryden misses contains 
only a couple of seemingly reliable species and comprises mostly more difficult 
birds.  Some  of the possibilities that I failed to see include Black Scoter, 
Red-necked Grebe, Red-shouldered Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Glaucous  Gull, Marsh 
Wren, Lapland Longspur, Orchard Oriole, and Evening Grosbeak.  Canvasback and 
Redhead are both super-rare in Dryden, so  I'm not surprised at missing those.  
Other than that, aside from a  few incidental sightings of other Dryden 
accidentals (Western Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone), I really didn't miss that 
much.  The George Road wetlands contributed a lot to my high total.  17 species 
of shorebird is hard to beat.  This hotspot more than made  up for a mediocre 
Dryden Lake year.  Oh, did you have more non-Dryden-related questions?  I'm 
sorry, go on.  

THE CUP:  It's OK.  We like hearing about birds.  Did you witness any especially 
interesting, unusual, or previously-unseen bird behavior?  

JAY:  We had an interesting day in April watching gulls play with various balls.  
A Herring and a Great Black-blacked on the dock at  Stewart Park taking turns 
with several tennis balls in various states of decay.  The black-backed would 
even bounce the balls on  the dock and then retrieve them from the water when 
they rolled off.  The same day we saw a Herring Gull with another worn tennis  
ball at Myers Point.  It just stood with the ball in its bill.  

THE CUP:  Get any outstanding photos that you want to brag about?  

JAY:  I managed to get some really nice shots of redpolls, Common and Hoary, 
this past winter.  I had a rather poor year with warblers, though; I didn't try 
as hard to get shots of them as in  past years.  Let's see, what else...Kevin 
got some beautiful shots  of the Dickcissel in June.  We both got identifiable 
Cave Swallow  photos too; they're not great pictures, but still a bit impressive  
given the situation.  I managed to get some rather nice Nelson's Sharp-tailed 
Sparrow shots from the south end of the lake; we have  had trouble photographing 
this species in the past, but these were  more cooperative than past ones.  

THE CUP:  Remind us -- how old are you?  

JAY:  Eighteen as of last July.  

THE CUP:  And at what age did you first participate in the David Cup?  

JAY:  I have participated in the David Cup every year since its inception in 
1996, when I was nine and a half.  I saw 224 species  the first year.  

THE CUP:  Now you no longer stand alone as the kid among adults in  our birding 
community.  But you must have a pretty firm hold on the  record for greatest 
proportion of one's life spent looking for birds in the Basin.  (I wonder who's 
second -- maybe Matt Medler or  Chris Tessaglia-Hymes?)  

JAY:  I expect so...a quick calculation shows that I have spent 48.64% of my 
life (as of December 31, 2004) actually participating  in the David Cup, and 
that's not counting the time when I was birding in the Basin before the Cup 
started.  In fact, on July 2nd,  2005, I will have spent exactly *half* my life 
in the David Cup.  I  should have a party or something.  

THE CUP:  Party at Jay's house!!  Mark your calendars... 


---------------------------------------------
2004 DAVID CUP WORD SEARCH

Once again I have constructed and attached a word search for any of you
who enjoy that kind of thing.  It has the names of most of the rarities
that showed up in 2004 hidden horizontally, vertically, and diagonally.
---------------------------------------------



"CUP...QUOTES"

Today's exploration of Ithaca's new 'big box' stores showed me only one exciting 
item: a Belted Kingfisher sitting on a wire beside the new inlet bridge near 
Lowe's.  I thought he should have migrated by now?  But perhaps the bright 
lights and hot deals persuaded him it would stay warm there.
--Nancy Dickinson

I'm getting very tired of scanning through hundreds of Canada Geese trying to 
hallucinate a tiny one.
--Ken Rosenberg

Linen, towel laundry
--Scott Haber

Sorry for the previous blank email to the list.  When I'm trying to type
reminders to myself while trying to finish up homework at 4AM, odd things
show up in the "To:" field.
--Scott Haber

Amid all this lexicographic exploration, another interesting fact occurred to 
me: "Scott Haber" is an anagram for "Scoter Bath."  Scott, is this intentional?
--Mark Chao

Goody! Back-to-back Redpoll years.
--Chris Tessaglia-Hymes



---------------------------------------------------------
May Your Cup Runneth Over,
- Jay