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Year 9, Issues 7-8

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*The Cup 9.7-9.8 ­ July/August 2004
*The electronic publication of the David Cup, McIlroy and various 
*other birding competitions.
*  Editor-in-Chief:  Jay McGowan
*  Highlights:  Jay McGowan
*  House Interviewer:  Mark Chao
*  Guest Columnist:  Matt Medler
*  Bird Taste-Tester:  Martin McGowan

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Welcome to the latest egregiously belated edition of The Cup!  

You are about to embark on a journey to the past, a time before the 
Muckrace 2004, before September even started, a time when we were all 
at least a month younger.  Now hold on as we travel back to...

...July and August 2004!


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

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


July, August 2004 David Cup Totals

While Jay continues to hold the lead, Scott is closing fast.  Will 
Scott have the momentum to pass Jay in the coming months?  Our sources 
say: Ask again later.

234, 240 Jay McGowan
231, 238 Scott Haber
---, 231 Steve Fast
224, 226 Kevin McGowan
217, 223 Mark Chao
216, 219 Bruce Tracey
218, ??? Bard Prentiss
200+,200+Ken Rosenberg
192, 199 Anne Marie Johnson
---, 198 Chris Tessaglia-Hymes
197, ??? Meena Haribal
190, 197 Perri McGowan
188, 188 Tim Lenz
---, 177 Lena Samsonenko
???, ??? Steve Kelling
155, 155 Erin Hewett
145, 145 John Baur
???, ??? Sam Kelling
143, 143 Matt Medler
108, 110 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan
!!!, ??? Allison Wells
 82,  85 Martin (the Cat) McGowan
 85,  85 Pete Hosner
 69,  69 Julie Hart
 ??,  ?? Evan Wells


July, August 2004 McIlroy Award (Ithaca) Totals

No doubt Mr. Ithaca (formerly Mr. Dryden) Ken Rosenberg has had no 
problem keeping the lead in this town since his fiercest competitor 
moved back to the desert.  However, we have no way of being sure, Mr. 
Ithaca not having sent in his totals.

174+,174+Ken Rosenberg
155, 165 Mark Chao
160, 160 Tim Lenz
137, 145 Jay McGowan
---, 144 Jeff Gerbracht
120, 127 Kevin McGowan


July, August 2004 Evans Trophy (Dryden) Totals

Jay has kept his strangle-hold on the Dryden competition this year.  It 
is rumored he might be trying to break the Dryden record, if he can 
ever find out what it is.

187, 192 Jay McGowan
172, 176 Kevin McGowan
---, 174 Steve Fast
168, ??? Bard Prentiss


July, August 2004 Yard Totals

119+,119+Steve Kelling, Caroline 
108, 112 McGowan/Kline Family, Dryden
 99,  ?? Pixie Senesac
 92,  95 Nancy Dickinson
 72,  72 Anne Marie Johnson, Caroline


July, August 2004 Lansing Competition Totals

Mark Chao takes the lead for this under-represented but undoubtedly 
potential-filled competition.

154, 163 Mark Chao
???, 150 Kevin McGowan
144, 144 Bruce Tracey


July, August 2004 Etna Challenge Totals

"several" - Allison Wells

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BASIN COMPOSITE DEPOSIT

July and August added many species to the list, bringing the overall 
total to 260 species.  This is about 9 species higher than the at the 
same time last year, but still at least 10 species short of the final 
total in 2003.  We still have a few birds to find!  Some of the 
additions included the normal fall-only shorebirds (such as Stilt and 
Baird's sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitcher, and Red-necked Phalarope); 
the very unlikely Red Crossbill at the Lab; and Cape May Warbler, which 
Cuppers failed to find in the spring.

Here they all are:

Mute Swan, Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, Brant, 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, 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, Am. 
Woodcock, Wilson's Snipe, Wilson's Phalarope, R-n Phalarope, 
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, Mourning Dove, Rock Pigeon, Y-b Cuckoo, B-b Cuckoo, S-e 
Owl, Great Horned 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, Barn Swallow, 
Tufted Titmouse, B-c Chickadee, 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, 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, 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.

ALSO SEEN BUT NOT COUNTABLE: Trumpeter Swan


LEADER'S MISS LIST

EURASIAN WIGEON, PACIFIC LOON, SNOWY EGRET, TRICOLORED HERON, YELLOW 
RAIL, WILLET, WESTERN SANDPIPER, RUFF, L-b Dowitcher, R-n Phalarope, N. 
S-w Owl, N. Shrike, Philadelphia Vireo, WHITE-EYED VIREO, BOHEMIAN 
WAXWING, O-c Warbler, Cape May Warbler, B-b Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow, 
W-w Crossbill.


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JULY AND AUGUST 2004 BASIN HIGHLIGHTS
by Jay McGowan

---JULY---

Fall shorebird migration began again in early July.  The first few 
birds started turning up at Myers Point, including a Short-billed 
Dowitcher on July 7th, and a little later at any available shorebird 
habitat in the area, including the Cornell experimental ponds, the 
George Road pond in Dryden, and in the sparse puddles in the bulldozed 
future athletic fields on Game Farm Road.

Montezuma turned up a few shorebirds early on as well, including Short-
billed Dowitchers and both yellowlegs in the first week of July.  
Black-crowned Night-Heron, Great Egret, American and Least bitterns, 
Black Tern, Caspian Tern, and other common marsh birds were also seen 
at Montezuma.  Breeding ducks at Montezuma included Wood Duck, Mallard, 
Blue-winged Teal, Redhead, and Ruddy Duck, all observed with young 
chicks.  The GLOSSY IBIS found at Montezuma in late June was still 
present until at least 18 July.

One of the most surprising birds of the month appeared on July 7th at 
the Lab of Ornithology at Sapsucker Woods.  A female RED CROSSBILL (the 
first reported in the Basin this year, no less) stayed all day at the 
feeders on the north side of the building.  It was seen for a while the 
next morning as well, but could not be found later in the afternoon.

A Peregrine Falcon was reported several times in July and August 
perching on Bradfield Tower on the Cornell Campus.  This bird, 
apparently an adult but with a few juvenile feathers still showing, is 
very likely the individual (then in juvenal plumage) that spent the 
winter on the same building last winter.

On July 10th 6 Great Egrets were found at a marsh on Ellis Hollow Road.  
A Great Egret turned up at the George Road pond on July 30th and one or 
two were seen there until September.

Cathie Sandell found an odd chickadee at her house near Seneca Falls on 
July 18th.  She tentatively identified it as a Boreal Chickadee because 
of its bright brown cap and dark eyeline, but closer inspection 
revealed several field marks inconsistent with Boreal, including pale 
underparts and extensive white in wings and tail.  This led observers 
to conclude it was most likely an aberrant Black-capped Chickadee.  So, 
not a new bird for the year, but still worthy of note.

In late July more shorebirds began to arrive at Montezuma.  The first 
Stilt Sandpiper was seen on the 21st, and Semipalmated Plovers, both 
yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitchers, Semipalmated, Least, and Pectoral 
sandpipers, started to be seen regularly a week prior to then.  A 
WILSON'S PHALAROPE was found at Benning Marsh on July 24th.  On the 
same day an early male LESSER SCAUP and an even earlier female 
BUFFLEHEAD were seen on the main pool.  Several Bonaparte's Gulls were 
observed with the gulls at Benning Marsh as well.

A RED-HEADED WOODPECKER was found on the week of the 18th in a stand of 
trees along McClintock Road in Dryden and was reported on the 23rd.  It 
continued to be seen at the same location until at least July 30th.  
The CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS at Anne Marie and Tim Johnson's house on 
Creamery Road near Brooktondale were seen at least until July 21st.  
Although seen to be feeding young for at least one day in May, juvenile 
birds were never seen and it is thought the nest probably failed.  Anne 
Marie reports that she has seen no evidence of a second brood.

Scott Haber saw 2 Common Terns and 1 Forster's Tern at the Ithaca 
lighthouse jetty on July 24th.  Mark Chao found a SANDERLING on the 
spit at Myers Point on July 26th, and Kevin McGowan found 6 the next 
morning.  All six species of swallow were seen at Myers Point as well, 
including two juvenile Cliff Swallows and half a dozen Purple Martins.  
On July 27th Mickey Scilingo and Melanie Driscoll saw a SANDHILL CRANE 
flying south over the water at the south end of Cayuga Lake.

A RUDDY TURNSTONE briefly joined the shorebirds at Montezuma on July 
27th.  On July 31st, Bill and Shirley McAneny reported 5 RED KNOTS at 
Benning Marsh.  Four of the knots were present the next day.  The birds 
were still in breeding plumage and allowed great looks fairly close in 
on the mudflats.  After so many years without a confirmed report of 
this species in the Basin, it is pretty amazing to have them in the 
spring AND in the fall.

An out-of-season SNOW GOOSE was found at Stewart Park on July 31st and 
remained for several weeks feeding with gulls and geese on the lawn and 
on the water.

---AUGUST---

An OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was seen at the Lab of Ornithology on the 
12th, along with two Black-crowned Night-Herons.  Olive-sided was seen 
again at Sapsucker Woods on the 19th.  Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was 
first seen on August 3rd, and many more were reported throughout the 
month.

Shorebirding continued to gain momentum at Montezuma, with all the 
regular early fall species seen.  Two possible WESTERN SANDPIPERS were 
reported at Benning Marsh on August 11th.  The first LONG-BILLED 
DOWITCHERS and BAIRD'S SANDPIPER of the year were reported on the 14th.  
A juvenile RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was found at May's Point on the 22nd.

Meanwhile at Myer Point, RUDDY TURNSTONES turned up on the 13th and 
21st and SANDERLINGS were seen several times throughout the month.  A 
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER was found on the spit on the 22nd.  Several Common 
Terns were present at Myers Point on the 13th and 14th.  A Forster's 
Tern was seen at Stewart Park on the 13th.

A few COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were reported from various locations in late 
August, including several from the Ithaca area.  Sapsucker Woods was a 
hotspot for fall warblers in late August.  The first Wilson's Warblers 
of the fall were seen there on the 29th.  Mike Harvey found the first 
CAPE MAY WARBLER of the year on August 31st at Comstock Knoll in the 
Cornell Plantations.  (The next day several Cape Mays were seen at 
Sapsucker Woods.)

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STAT'S ALL
by Matt Medler

While diligent Cuppers have long studied lists of average spring 
arrival dates to prepare for spring migration, to the best of my 
knowledge there has never been an average fall arrival date list for 
fall migrants and winter visitors to the Cayuga Lake Basin.  Thanks to 
Bill Ostrander's database of Kingbird Region 3 bird sightings, I have 
compiled a list of median and mean fall arrival dates for 39 species of 
birds that either pass through the Basin as fall migrants or arrive in 
the Basin during the fall months to spend the winter.  Because this 
list is based on only six years of data, it should probably be taken 
with at least one grain of salt (and maybe a little pepper, just for 
flavor).  However, I hope that the list will serve as a valuable first 
attempt in helping birders learn when they can expect to start seeing 
these species as fall migrants in the Basin.

For those who have not taken a course in statistics and would like an 
explanation of the difference between median and mean, I encourage you 
to contact the namesake of the David Cup, Karl "Father of the Madness" 
David.  As a master statistician, Karl could tell you all you ever 
wanted to know (and perhaps even more) about median, mean, standard 
deviation, and whether this list of mine has any value whatsoever.  
With a much more limited background in statistics, I would encourage 
readers to think of the median date as the average fall arrival date 
(although there is not much difference in most cases between the median 
and the mean).  As for how to interpret the standard deviation (Std. 
Dev.), the values here should be used simply as a general guide for how 
much variation there is in a species' fall arrival date.  If a species 
has a small standard deviation (say less than 5.0), there is much less 
variation in its arrival date from year to year than in a species with 
a very large standard deviation (say greater than 15).  As an example, 
the fall arrival dates of American Tree Sparrow (SD=2.1) from 1998 to 
2003 were:  Oct. 27, Oct. 28, Oct. 28, Oct. 28, Oct. 26, and Oct. 23; 
while the fall arrival dates of Northern Shrike (SD=21.0) from 1998 to 
2003 were:  Nov. 25, Oct. 21, Sept. 22, Oct. 28, Nov. 9, and Oct. 25.  
In other words, American Tree Sparrow appears to be very consistent in 
its arrival date from year to year, while Northern Shrike can vary 
considerably.  So, despite the fact that the two species have very 
similar median arrival dates (Oct. 28 for the sparrow and Oct. 27 for 
the shrike), American Tree Sparrow (with its smaller standard 
deviation) is much more likely to be seen for the first time in the 
days just before Halloween.

Finally, some of you will undoubtedly note that I have included a 
number of species that breed in the Basin--such as Eastern Meadowlark, 
Dark-eyed Junco, and Vesper Sparrow--on this list of migrant arrival 
dates.  For the purpose of this list, I have done my best to 
differentiate (based largely on the locality of sightings) between 
records of breeding versus migrant individuals.  As I mentioned above, 
this list is definitely a work in progress, but at the very least, I 
think it should provide a good general guide for Cuppers who are on the 
lookout for certain species this fall.  Now it's up to you to go out 
and collect another year's worth of data. Or, put another way, throw on 
a warm jacket and enjoy some good fall birding!

Presented here, then, are the median, mean, and standard deviation for 
the fall arrival dates of the following species:

Species                 1998-2003 Median  1998-2003 Mean   Std. Dev.

White-throated Sparrow  September 30      September 29      3.5
White-crowned Sparrow   September 30      September 29      3.5
Rusty Blackbird         October 1         September 29      8.4
Brant                   October 5         October 6         4.9
Ruddy Duck              October 5         October 4         7.1
Dark-eyed Junco         October 5         October 1        10.5
Redhead                 October 6         October 6         5.1
White-winged Scoter     October 7         October 4        13.2
Ring-necked Duck        October 8         October 7         6.9
Eastern Meadowlark      October 9         October 9         8.0
Snow Goose              October 12        October 15       11.4
Surf Scoter             October 16        October 13       15.1
Common Loon             October 16        October 15        8.8
Fox Sparrow             October 16        October 15        9.8
Gr. White-fronted Goose October 17        October 18       16.1
Canvasback              October 17        October 15        8.8
Black Scoter            October 19        October 20        6.9
Evening Grosbeak        October 19        October 19       24.3
Bufflehead              October 20        October 19        4.1
Horned Grebe            October 20        October 18        6.1
Red-necked Grebe        October 21        October 24        5.2
Rough-legged Hawk       October 21        October 20        7.7
Tundra Swan             October 23        October 25       11.6
Vesper Sparrow          October 23        October 18        9.9
Long-tailed Duck        October 25        October 25        4.0
Snow Bunting            October 25        October 23        3.7
Golden Eagle            October 26        October 23        8.8
Northern Shrike         October 27        October 27       21.0
American Tree Sparrow   October 28        October 27        2.1
Common Goldeneye        October 29        October 31        8.6
Horned Lark             November 2        November 8       20.8
Red-throated Loon       November 4        November 7        6.8
Red-breasted Merganser  November 6        November 2       21.3
Lapland Longspur        November 6        November 4       15.9
Common Redpoll          November 6        November 4        4.9
Northern Saw-whet Owl   November 15       November 11      19.8
Short-eared Owl         November 20       November 18      21.7
Snowy Owl               November 27       November 30      13.1
Iceland Gull            December 12       December 12       6.4

This table presents the same information, but with the species listed 
in taxonomic order:

Species                 1998-2003 Median  1998-2003 Mean   Std. Dev.

Gr. White-fronted Goose October 17        October 18       16.1
Snow Goose              October 12        October 15       11.4
Brant                   October 5         October 6         4.9
Tundra Swan             October 23        October 25       11.6
Canvasback              October 17        October 15        8.8
Redhead                 October 6         October 6         5.1
Ring-necked Duck        October 8         October 7         6.9
Surf Scoter             October 16        October 13       15.1
White-winged Scoter     October 7         October 4        13.2
Black Scoter            October 19        October 20        6.9
Long-tailed Duck        October 25        October 25        4.0
Bufflehead              October 20        October 19        4.1
Common Goldeneye        October 29        October 31        8.6
Red-breasted Merganser  November 6        November 2       21.3
Ruddy Duck              October 5         October 4         7.1
Red-throated Loon       November 4        November 7        6.8
Common Loon             October 16        October 15        8.8
Horned Grebe            October 20        October 18        6.1
Red-necked Grebe        October 21        October 24        5.2
Rough-legged Hawk       October 21        October 20        7.7
Golden Eagle            October 26        October 23        8.8
Iceland Gull            December 12       December 12       6.4
Snowy Owl               November 27       November 30      13.1
Short-eared Owl         November 20       November 18      21.7
Northern Saw-whet Owl   November 15       November 11      19.8
Northern Shrike         October 27        October 27       21.0
Horned Lark             November 2        November 8       20.8
American Tree Sparrow   October 28        October 27        2.1
Vesper Sparrow          October 23        October 18        9.9
Fox Sparrow             October 16        October 15        9.8
White-throated Sparrow  September 30      September 29      3.5
White-crowned Sparrow   September 30      September 29      3.5
Dark-eyed Junco         October 5         October 1        10.5
Lapland Longspur        November 6        November 4       15.9
Snow Bunting            October 25        October 23        3.7
Eastern Meadowlark      October 9         October 9         8.0
Rusty Blackbird         October 1         September 29      8.4
Common Redpoll          November 6        November 4        4.9
Evening Grosbeak        October 19        October 19       24.3

(Matt Medler has recently begun working as a marketing analyst at The 
Vermont Teddy Bear Company, near Burlington, Vermont.  His job 
responsibilities do not include sewing or stuffing the bears, but he is 
hard at work on designing a "Birder Bear.")

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

In this issue The Cup, once again represented by Mark Chao, has a quick 
chat with David Cup leader Jay McGowan.

THE CUP: You're leading by just two.  Feeling nervous?

JAY: A bit.  Scott seems to be gaining and I don't have many more 
things to pick up.  Still, I enjoy the competition.  (For now--we'll 
see how I feel in December.)

THE CUP: How do you see the competition playing out?  What do you have 
to do to hang on?

JAY: I think it would be fairly easy for Scott to overtake me.  I will 
really have to work to get all the uncommon late fall migrants--not to 
mention making sure I get all the rarities I can--if I want to stay in 
the lead.

THE CUP:  Oh, please.  Spare us the underdog act.  "Fairly easy?"  
"Really have to work??"  Why, I'll bet you'll add Lincoln's Sparrow and 
Gray-cheeked Thrush this fall without leaving your yard.  
  
What is your Cup highlight of the year so far?

JAY: Hmm...I am still very happy about my Eurasian Teal this spring, 
even though it doesn't add a species for the competition.  The Hoary 
Redpolls in the winter were enjoyable too, as well as the Red Knots at 
Montezuma.  

THE CUP: Any particularly frustrating misses?

JAY: The two rare egrets at Montezuma this spring were a blow to my 
rarity success.  We missed the Snowy Egret at Benning by about a half 
an hour.  We also missed the Ruff the day before by only fifteen 
minutes.  Come to think of it, that was a pretty lousy weekend for me.  
I'm still lacking a couple of passerines as well, but nothing that 
really stands out as a huge gap in my list.  I did miss Northern Saw-
whet Owl in the spring.  That may be difficult to find this fall and 
winter.  I also need to find a shrike this winter.

THE CUP: How many species have you photographed this year?

JAY: Let me see...I think Kevin and I have photographed 235 species in 
the Basin so far in 2004.  Last year we had only 229 by this time.  
Still, that makes 13 species I have seen this year that I haven't 
gotten a picture of.  It's really quite humbling.

THE CUP: In addition to your fight for this year's David Cup, you are 
also on a record-setting pace this year with your Dryden list.  How 
high do you think you can go?

JAY: It's hard to say.  I just broke 200 (in September) but I only have 
five or six more likely species to get.  I think I could get 210, but 
it will take some work.  I'd like to go for the record, but I'm having 
a little difficulty in finding out what it actually is.  Somewhere in 
the 210 range, I would guess.

THE CUP: Do you think that your Dryden list can beat Ken's Ithaca list?

JAY: Anything is possible.  My list was ahead at the last compiling.  
We'll see when Ken gets around to sending in his totals.

THE CUP:  Your sister Perri is birding a lot more this year than ever 
before.  Are you feeling proud?  Threatened?  

JAY: I think it's great that she is showing a bit of an interest in 
birds.  She is interested mostly in birds that are either very cute or 
new for her list--most others can be more or less disregarded.

THE CUP: What are you up to these days, besides birding?

JAY: I'm taking classes at TC3 again this year (including Physics, 
Calculus, and Spanish.)  I'm taking a full load, but (so far) I am 
still finding time to bird.

THE CUP: Do you have any plans for next year and beyond?

JAY: I hope to attend Cornell next fall, so I will most likely still be 
around for the local birding (sorry, Mr. Fast).

THE CUP: Any comments for Scott?

JAY: Scott: Find some good rarities in the next few months, won't you?  
I think it would help build up your reputation, and we need some more 
excitement before the end of the year.  Also, good luck in the coming 
months.

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

"CUP...QUOTES"

Just a coupe of quick notes
--Matt Young

Several sweet sightings.  Some sizable Sterna.  SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, 
Spotted Sandpiper.  Six swallow species.  Special surprise --
SANDERLING.
--Mark Chao

Probably unbeknownst to many birders, there is a decent stand of 
spruces (I think) on the Dryden side of Sapsucker. However, they are 
located in a section of the sanctuary that is, to the best of my 
knowledge, very rarely visited by birders.
--Matt Medler

This is because most birders are sensible enough not to bird the Dryden 
side of Sapsucker Woods.
--Tim Lenz

Today I went to Old 600 to look for anything that moves and I think 
also that is even stationary.
--Meena Haribal

I saw 2 flycatchers in a small dead tree in a field--one appeared to be 
a phoebe, and the other showed a clear yellow belly at 100 feet without 
binos.  I got excited, but a closer look revealed no eye-ring, no 
wingbars, an all black bill, and a dirty white throat=E. PHOEBE.  I 
then watched the other phoebe for a while until it called out "pee-a 
wee";  I then gave up on flycatchers for the evening.
--Steve Fast

Encouraged by Jay's post of the Wilson's warblers, wife and I headed to 
Sapsucker after our afternoon siesta.  Weather was fine when we left 
Brooktondale, but looked threatening at the Lab of O.  No matter.  At 
the bridge over the swamp just before the pond (on the Wilson trail) we 
found a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER and right below it  a WILSONS WARBLER!  
Greatly encouraged, we plunged on toward the observation platform, 
paying little heed to the very light rain.  We saw no birds further on; 
they knew what was coming and had apparently taken shelter.  We got to 
the platform just as the skies opened; and we saw no birds on the long 
trudge back either.  If we catch pneumonia we know who to blame.
--Steve Fast



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May Your Cup Runneth Over,
- Jay