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Year 9, Issues 9-10

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*The Cup 9.9-9.10   September/October 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 Interviewer: Matt Medler
*  Guest Columnist:  Kevin McGowan
*  Bird Taste-Tester:  Martin McGowan
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Welcome to The Cup!

Well, once again, the Cup staff must apologize for the lateness of this 
edition.  As always, unforeseen obstacles (life, people, etc.) cropped 
up and prevented us from publishing this installment sooner.  On the 
other hand, maybe it's not all that late after all, in the grand scheme 
of things.  I mean, life is ephemeral, and all things are transient, 
right?  Or is it the other way around?  But don't think about that.  
Think about this: The Cup 9.9/9.10.

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

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


September, October 2004 David Cup Totals

Scott continues to keep post a very respectable total, but time is 
running out.

248, 253 Jay McGowan
242, 249 Scott Haber
241, 245 Kevin McGowan
240, --- Steve Fast
233, 238 Mark Chao
232, --- Bruce Tracey
225, 232 Ken Rosenberg
224, 227 Bard Prentiss
224, --- Meena Haribal
---, 221 Jesse Ellis
211, 214 Lena Samsonenko
---, 213 Chris Tessaglia-Hymes
202, 207 Anne Marie Johnson
201, 206 Perri McGowan
181, 205 Mike Harvey
---, 205 Tim Lenz
191, 191?Pete Hosner
187, 187?Matt Medler
184, --- Erin Hewett
141, 143 Rachel Rosenberg
141, 143 Olivia Rosenberg
118, 120 Tringa (the Dog) McGowan
---, 118 Rafael Lizarralde
88,  91 Martin (the Cat) McGowan
 74, --- Dan Lebbin

Tim Lenz's 200th bird: Hudsonian Godwit
Anne Marie Johnson's 200th bird: Pectoral Sandpiper
Chris Tessaglia-Hymes' 200th bird: Black Tern
Perri McGowan's 200th bird: Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Jay McGowan's 250th bird: Greater White-fronted Goose


September, October 2004 McIlroy Award (Ithaca) Totals

Can Ken beat Tim Lenz's Ithaca record, set in 2003, of 211 species?  
Anything is possible.

195, 207 Ken Rosenberg
167, 168 Mark Chao
---, 168 Tim Lenz
151, 161 Jay McGowan
139, 149 Kevin McGowan


September, October 2004 Evans Trophy (Dryden) Totals

A Dryden record has been set this year, and Jay still has a few more 
things to get.

202, 210 Jay McGowan
181, 192 Kevin McGowan
182, --- Steve Fast
173, 177 Bard Prentiss
---, 141 Perri McGowan

Jay McGowan's 200th Dryden bird: Gray-cheeked Thrush


September, October 2004 Yard Totals

120, 124 McGowan/Kline Family, Dryden
119+++,119+++Steve Kelling, Caroline 
105, --- Pixie Senesac
74,  76 Anne Marie Johnson, Caroline

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Steve, are you out there?  Do you still have a yard?  
Hello?  Send in your totals.]


September, October 2004 Lansing Competition Totals

165, 171 Mark Chao
---, 160 Kevin McGowan
144+,144+Bruce Tracey


September or October 2004 Etna Challenge Totals

[NOTE: This competition is temporarily suspended pending someone 
actually participating in it.]


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CALLING ALL CUPPERS, PAST AND PRESENT: 
BASIN LIFE LISTS

As many of you may remember, at the end of last year I asked for your 
total list of all the birds you had seen in the Cayuga Lake Basin in 
your lifetime.  The results were quite interesting, so I am going to 
run the standings again this year.  Possibly some of you have added a 
few Basin birds in the past year, so please, even if you do not usually 
send in your year totals, send me your life list for inclusion in this 
historic (and, needless to say, prestigious) list.

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BASIN COMPOSITE DEPOSIT

Some of the many additions to the Basin list in September and October 
included two later shorebirds, Hudsonian Godwit and Buff-breasted 
Sandpiper; Parasitic Jaeger; Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow; the newly-
split Cackling Goose; Greater White-fronted Goose; and the very 
unexpected (and first Basin record) Black Guillemot.  A late addition 
was Sedge Wren, seen at the Marten Tract near Montezuma this spring.

Here's the total list:

Mute Swan, Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, CACKLING GOOSE, Brant, G. W-F 
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, 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, 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.

Total as of October: 268

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


LEADER'S MISS LIST

EURASIAN WIGEON, PACIFIC LOON, SNOWY EGRET, TRICOLORED HERON, YELLOW 
RAIL, WILLET, RUFF, PARASITIC JAEGER, N. S-w Owl, N. Shrike, WHITE-EYED 
VIREO, SEDGE WREN, BOHEMIAN WAXWING, Cape May Warbler, W-w Crossbill.


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A NEW SPECIES FOR THE DAVID CUP
by Kevin McGowan

     With the last supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union 
Check-list of North American Birds, published this year, a new species 
was created for the Basin list:  Cackling Goose.  The familiar Canada 
Goose was split into two species, with the larger form retaining the 
name Canada Goose, and the smaller one getting the name Cackling Goose.  
Just as the Ross's Goose is a small version of, and separate species 
from, the Snow Goose, so is the Cackling Goose a small version of the 
Canada Goose.  (It actually makes the third species pair of large and 
small goose forms; the Greater White-fronted Goose has a mate in the 
Lesser White-fronted Goose of Siberia and Asia.)
     The original Canada Goose was divided into approximately 11 
different subspecies (depending on your point of view), and the four 
smallest were put into Cackling Goose.  Genetic evidence showed quite 
clearly that three of the four small forms were quite different from 
three of the large forms (all from the Pacific Coast).  Unfortunately, 
the fourth small form and the smallest of the large forms (confusingly 
named the "Lesser" Canada Goose) were not included in the study, and 
their placement in the two species is largely just conjecture at the 
moment.  The Cackling Goose we are most likely to encounter in New York 
is that fourth form, "Richardson's Goose."  It is the palest of the 
small forms, and the most eastwardly breeding one.  The other three, 
darker forms winter in the Pacific states, but Richardson's winters 
along the Gulf Coast of Texas.  It has about the same distribution as 
Greater White-fronted Goose, and might be expected here with about the 
same frequency, several each year.
     How do you tell a Cackling Goose from a Canada Goose, besides 
size?  And how little does a Canada Goose have to be to be a Cackling?  
Good questions, and unfortunately, not all that easily answered.  The 
Canada Goose varies quite a bit in size, with some of the "Giant" forms 
being quite large, and some of the tundra-breeding ones being much 
smaller.  Add to this the fact that some tundra geese raised in areas 
with poor vegetation are permanently dwarfed, being a quarter smaller 
than genetically identical geese raised in good conditions.  So, a 
goose just being noticeably smaller than its companions probably isn't 
good enough to make it a Cackling.  To be the new species it needs to 
be really smaller, somewhere along the lines of Mallard-sized.  The 
bill will be short and triangular, the neck rather short, and the body 
will probably be differently colored than other geese with it, being 
warmer brown on the back.  The very dark and distinctive forms from 
western Alaska are unlikely to show up here, and we can mostly expect 
the much paler "Richardson's" form, which is always going to be a 
little difficult to confirm.  Some small Canada Geese are going to have 
to be shrugged off as intermediate birds of unknown species affinity.  
At this point, I'd say if you're in doubt, assume it's a small Canada 
Goose.  Save the Cackling designation for something really tiny and 
distinctive.
     Already a few of these new little species have been found in the 
Basin.  Just how common they will prove to be in the state remains to 
be seen.  We can probably expect a few each year, but we won't know 
until we watch for them for a while.  But, it's one more new species to 
add to your Basin list, and it's a good excuse to take another look at 
those large Canada Goose flocks clogging up the lake and spreading 
across the cornfields.  I think it's fun to have a reason to take time 
out and look closer at some common birds that we otherwise tend to 
ignore.

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SEDGE WRENS AT THE MARTEN TRACT?!?
by Jay McGowan

     According to an article by Bonnie Parton in the Fall 2004 issue of 
Cattails (the newsletter of the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands 
Complex) Sedge Wrens bred at Marten Tract this summer.  Ms. Parton 
apparently obtained good looks at one individual and reports hearing 
three singing from one area of the meadow.  Marten Tract is near 
Howland Island north of Montezuma proper.
     Despite the lost opportunity this year, it will certainly be worth 
checking out next year in case the birds return.  Next time perhaps 
someone in the birding community will be told.

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SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 2004 BASIN HIGHLIGHTS
by Jay McGowan

-SEPTEMBER-

OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHERS invaded the Basin for a few weeks this 
September.  One was seen on Beam Hill in Dryden on September 1, another 
near Dryden Lake on the September 4, another at the Lindsay-Parsons 
Biodiversity Preserve in Danby, and another in Mundy Wildflower Garden 
on September 6.  On September 3 two appeared at Sapsucker Woods and at 
least one stayed until the 8th.  Other birds at the Lab included at 
least three CAPE MAY WARBLERS around the pond on September 1, and a 
Merlin that haunted the snag over the pond at Sapsucker Woods for 
several weeks in September.

Shorebird season peaked in September, with many interesting sightings 
as Montezuma.  American Golden-Plovers were first seen on September 2.  
One September 9, two days before the Muckrace, many good shorebirds 
turned up at May's Point, including an adult HUDSONIAN GODWIT and an 
adult RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, first found by Matt Victoria.  Later that 
evening, Kevin and Jay McGowan, accompanied by sometime-Muckracers 
Andrew and Noah Van Norstrand, discovered five juvenile RED KNOTS in a 
flooded field in the Savannah Mucklands, along with several American 
Golden-Plovers.  Although the knots had gone, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper 
was found in this field the next day.

The Montezuma Muckrace took place on September 11 (and the evening of 
the 10th).  Almost 180 species were seen.  The Cornell Birding Club 
team "Epops" (made up of Jesse Ellis, Erin Hewitt, Colby Neuman, and 
Ben Clock) placed first with 137 species.  Some of the highlights 
included a very early Common Goldeneye and a partially-eclipse male 
EURASIAN WIGEON on the main pool; and a WESTERN SANDPIPER and an early 
juvenile Dunlin were among the shorebirds at May's Point.  A few days 
later, on September 18, a juvenile Western Sandpiper was seen at May's 
Point.

Common Nighthawks were seen in various locations in September, 
including Stewart Park and Montezuma, but only occasionally.  A 
juvenile Common Moorhen spent a few days at the George Road wetlands in 
early September.  On September 10, Ken Rosenberg found three American 
Golden-Plovers and the first BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER of the year, not 
at Montezuma, but in the plowed fields on Game Farm Road.  The Buff-
breasted subsequently relocated to a plowed field on Route 366, 
essentially on the Cornell campus.  Another American Golden-Plover 
turned up on Mount Pleasant on September 22.  While looking for this 
bird on the 24th, Kevin McGowan heard an early flyover LAPLAND 
LONGSPUR.

On September 18, Ken Rosenberg saw an immature jaeger, very probably a 
PARASITIC JAEGER, on Cayuga Lake near Stewart Park.  Earlier in the 
season, on August 31, Mark Chao observed three possible jaegers over 
Sapsucker Woods.


-OCTOBER-

On October 3, Ken Rosenberg found two NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROWS in 
the tall grass at Hog's Hole near Alan Treman State Park (at the south 
end of Cayuga Lake).  One was refound the next day.

A Buff-breasted Sandpiper continued to be seen at May's Point at 
Montezuma until October 10.  Mark Chao found a juvenile HUDSONIAN 
GODWIT at Benning Marsh on October 16.  On October 7 while conducting a 
shorebird survey at Montezuma, Jay McGowan, Cathie Sandell, and Jillian 
Liner found the year's first GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE at Benning 
Marsh.

Mike Harvey found a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW in a flock of Chipping 
Sparrows at the Cornell Plantations on October 9, and it was seen again 
on the 13th.  On October 11 Mike heard a flyover DICKCISSEL from Bomax 
Road (off Warren Road in Lansing), and also found an "OREGON" DARK-EYED 
JUNCO, the northwestern subspecies of our common species.  This bird 
was present along Bomax for several weeks.

Two more American Golden-Plovers turned up at the George Road pond off 
Route 38 in Dryden (which had a fair amount of mudflat showing for much 
of October) on October 9, along with an American Bittern.  One of the 
plovers stayed for several weeks and was last reported on October 27.  
A Long-billed Dowitcher showed up on the shore at George Road on 
October 15, and at least 12 WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPERS and a probable 
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER were present on October 19.

Bob McGuire found two CACKLING GEESE on Towpath Road near Montezuma.  
They were seen again and photographed the next day.  Clearly much 
smaller than the surrounding Canadas, they appeared about half-size, 
with very small bills.  This is the first record of Cackling Goose in 
the Basin since this diminutive Branta became a full species.

On October 23, Paul Hurtado, Marcus Collins and Erin Stephens found a 
juvenile BLACK GUILLEMOT off Myers Point.  It was relocated on October 
27 in Aurora Bay, and finally seen again on the 30th.  Many birders 
from all over the state journeyed to the east side of Cayuga Lake to 
see this bird, the rarest of the eastern acids in inland New York.  
Although it was difficult to get long looks, the bird was relatively 
cooperative for many.  Also on October 30, a male EURASIAN WIGEON was 
found at Montezuma and a probable ROSS'S GOOSE was seen in a flock of 
Snow Geese in Aurora.  A Ross's Goose was found in a flock of Snow 
Geese in King Ferry the next day.

Just out of the Basin but still worthy of note were two independent 
reports of WOOD STORK, one near Weedsport on October 23 and the other 
in Warners on the 26th, both locations to the northeast of Montezuma 
area.

On October 31, Tim Lenz found an AUDUBON'S WARBLER (the western 
subspecies of Yellow-rumped Warbler) near the swan pen at Stewart Park.

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

BYE-BYE BIRDERS
by Kevin McGowan

     It is with a heavy heart that we announce the departure from the 
Land of the Cup of former editors and good friends Allison and Jeff 
Wells and Matt Medler.  The Basin will be a poorer place for the loss.  
I still have a hard time admitting to myself that they are really gone, 
but it looks like I'm going to have to face facts and admit that we 
have lost these three good birders, good friends, and pillars of the 
local birding community.  It seems fitting to say goodbye to Matt and 
the Wells's in the same article, because they shared so much in the 
early Matt years that Jeff and Allison even referred to him as their 
adopted birding son.
     Jeff and Allison came to Ithaca in the fall of 1989 when Jeff 
enrolled in the Ph.D. program in the Natural Resources Department at 
Cornell.  At that time the local birding scene was solid, but nowhere 
near as exciting and high-powered as it is today.  Jeff came in as one 
of those jolts of enthusiasm that we are fortunate to get from Cornell 
being the birder/ornithologist magnet that it is.  He was super 
enthusiastic about just about everything, with ideas for scores of 
papers and articles about all kinds of things.  He brought some gull 
expertise to the area, and helped spawn interest in teasing apart the 
fine details of difficult species that, up to that point, many were 
willing to just let slide.  After his graduation we were all pleased 
that he didn't do the "normal" thing and get a job in some distant 
place, but instead stayed in town working at the Lab of Ornithology.  
Even later when he left the Lab to work for the National Audubon 
Society he didn't really leave the Lab, but stayed on in body while his 
spirit and soul worked elsewhere.  (That's part of what makes their 
leaving so difficult to accept, because Jeff "left" before, but somehow 
managed to stay right here where we wanted him.)  Jeff was always good 
for a few great birds each year.  I remember the Ross's Goose at 
Stewart Park in 1990 that Jeff found because he paid a little more 
attention to things than most people.  This was the first Basin record, 
one of the first in the state (the absolute first was in 1983), and 
preceded the explosion of records in the East by quite a bit.  Quite an 
unexpected and exciting bird!  Jeff's role as a team member of the 
Lab's World Series of Birding team, the Sapsuckers, was in many ways 
similar to his role in the local birding community.  He consistently 
picked out birds from short chips as we drove by, or flitting glimpses 
of things that passed too quickly for most to notice.  Jeff was truly 
one of the people responsible for raising local birding to a higher 
level.
     During the early years it was Jeff who was the most noticeable 
member of the couple.  He was the one doing all the interesting 
birding, who was making all the local news.  Allison appeared to be his 
shy (hah!), retiring (HAH!) bride, the poet who worked quietly at home 
while Jeff was out and about in public.  Man, how stupid I must have 
been to have formed that opinion!!  But, in my defense, Allison was not 
much of a figure on the early birding scene.  It wasn't until Steve 
Kelling came up with the idea of creating the David Cup, the yearly 
competition to see the most species in the Cayuga Lake Basin, that 
Allison really came to be known for the powerful figure she really is.  
At the end of 1995 Steve recruited all the local birders into his 
competition for 1996, named for famed Basin lister Karl David.  At some 
Sapsucker holiday function Allison announced that she was going to 
start a newsletter to keep track of the event, and wanted to recruit 
columnists to make it interesting.  We had no idea how interesting it 
was going to be!  Suddenly the real Allison came forth on the 
electronic pages of The Cup.  Biting and cruel, but always witty, very 
funny, and somehow loving, The Cup had a winning style.  From the first 
issue it was clear that this was not going to be a dry, "just the 
facts, ma'am" newsletter.  No, indeed!  This was going to be a fast-
paced, in-your-face, gotta-have-it kind of newsletter.  From the 
sparkling intro, to the acerbic leader interview, to the no nonsense 
"Dear Tick" advice column, this was something special.  The first David 
Cup was a rousing success, with 37 participants, 15 of whom saw more 
than 200 species.  Everyone involved had a wonderful time, and The Cup 
really set the mood for this serious but fun competition.  The first 
Cupper Supper at Chez Wells was also an event to remember, with the 
walls covered with "Bird Hard:  the movie" posters.  I remember that I 
was recovering from an upper respiratory tract infection with a 
persistent cough.  I only coughed when I ran or laughed.  I was a total 
basket case that night, because I didn't stop laughing for hours.
     Quite apart from the wit and humor that Allison imparted to The 
Cup, she suddenly came into her own as a birding force to be reckoned 
with.  Coming from essentially nowhere, she whupped her ornithologist 
and serious birder husband's behind for third place to his distant 
fifth, and won the coveted McIlroy trophy in a walk.  Who knew what a 
competitor she was?  Believe me, after that, no one ever underestimated 
Ms. Childs Wells again.  Allison edited The Cup for four years, 
although the last year got a little rough.  She got a real job with the 
Lab of Ornithology as its Director of Communications and Marketing, and 
as is true for most Cuppers who finally get real jobs, she had a hard 
time keeping up the Cup pace.  After a few combined issues and the 
first Shot Glass abbreviated version, she handed over the ropes to Ben 
Fambrough and Matt Medler.  Under their direction, and the subsequent 
editorship of Jay McGowan, The Cup continued to be a fine and biting 
publication.  But, truth be told, no one does it quite like Allison.  
Like Mohammed Ali, not only was she glib and quick with a punch, she 
could take a hit better than anyone.  (See the poems in The Cup 1.7, 
for example.  Mmmph!)  She was a conspicuous target, but she kept the 
barbs flying (in both directions).  I'm afraid my son's writing style 
if forever warped by her touch.  But it could be much worse; Allison 
brought just the right blend of humor, acid, and love to this truly 
community publication.
     Ah, and then there is Mr. Medler.  The "adopted," if slightly 
beaten son of the Wells couple, Matt was a distant, distant 
"competitor" (or, perhaps, more properly, "participant") in the first 
Cup competition.  He got serious the next year, but didn't finish in 
the top ten until 1999, when he tied for second.  He still hasn't won 
the competition, but he became a stalwart member of the local birding 
community nonetheless.  Matt came to Cornell as an undergraduate in 
1992, and by his own admission at that time "was not even remotely 
interested in birds."  But, with the influence of a roommate, somehow 
he became interested.  His final year at Cornell he came under the 
wings of the Wells's, and with his participation in the first David Cup 
he got hooked.  He started working for the Lab of Ornithology after 
graduation, and has been in and out of Ithaca (usually birding in some 
interesting, exotic place) for a number of years.  He came back to 
Cornell to get a teaching degree, and currently is in Vermont, working 
for a teddy bear factory.  (Hey, don't laugh!  Well, go ahead and laugh 
for a bit; everyone has to.)  It is his on-again, off-again Basin 
residency that keeps me hopeful he'll come back some day.  After 
getting thoroughly captivated by birding, Matt became the go-to guy for 
the local birding community.  He was the one who was out consistently, 
and the one who knew who was out birding on any given day.  If you just 
saw a rare bird, and you could only make one phone call, that call had 
to be to Matt, who would be sure to get the word out.  It was great to 
have such a person in the community.  Matt also took a great interest 
in the history and community of birding in the area.  Even now, in his 
distant teddy bear world, he can't help but be a part of the Ithaca 
birding scene.  When I posted about Cave Swallows being at Stewart Park 
(and swiftly went out to see them), Matt called active Ithaca birders 
from Vermont to make sure they got the word and got out to see them.  
That is truly dedication to community.
     Jeff and Allison have returned to their childhood home of Maine, 
to be closer to family.  Allison had her pick of jobs, and Jeff took 
his work with him.  Matt is also off northeast, making a living in 
Vermont, but seems to still be looking back towards Cayuga Lake.  I 
don't know if we can ever entice them back here, but I would love to 
try.  I am very happy personally to have known them and been able to 
share time with them, and I know my family has too.  The local Ithaca 
birding community has been touched, blessed, and forever transformed 
(for the better) by the contributions of Jeff, Allison, and Matt, and 
we thank you for all you've given us.  Long may your birding adventures 
continue.

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


==============================================================
                          BIRD BRAIN OF THE MONTH
                              By Matt Medler
==============================================================

Although many active birders have already met him, we've decided to 
dust off an old Cup feature to introduce Mike Harvey, a freshman at 
Cornell University.  While he was hesitant to be under the heat of the 
Cup spotlight, we decided that we better feature him now, because if he 
keeps birding as much as he has, he might not be back for his sophomore 
year.  

THE CUP:  Welcome to The Cup!  And for that matter, welcome to Cornell 
and Ithaca.  How have your first few months at Cornell been?  

MIKE:  Busy but exciting!

THE CUP:  What are you studying at Cornell?  Is it true that you've 
declared a major in The Cup?  

MIKE:  Hahaha, no, is it too late to switch majors? I'm actually 
currently a Biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences.

THE CUP:  Come to think of it, we like the idea of a Cup major.  It 
would be a multidisciplinary course of study, with classes in biology, 
meteorology, English, Latin, and statistics.  Your grade would be based 
not just on papers and exams, but also on your Cup total.  What do you 
think?

MIKE:  Excellent, but don't forget nutrition classes. Selecting the 
best granola bar for a mid-Muckrace snack or the greasiest hot dog on 
the way up to Montezuma can make or break a Basin birding trip.

THE CUP:  True, very true.  Now we know why we were impressed with you-
-you are already showing a birding wisdom beyond your years.  

THE CUP:  Where do you call home (when you're not residing in your 
luxurious Lowrise 7 dorm room)?

MIKE:   I hail from the birding paradise that is the suburbs of 
southern New Hampshire.

THE CUP:  Well, it could be worse.  You could be from New Jersey, like 
Scott Haber.

THE CUP:  Does that mean that you're from coastal New Hampshire?

MIKE:   Unfortunately, no, but it's only an hour's drive to that large 
body of water which land-locked Ithaca birders seem to regard with such 
mystery and perhaps a touch of jealousy?

THE CUP:  Jealousy?  I can see that you have a lot to learn.  What 
patch of land and water could possibly be better than the Cayuga Lake 
Basin?  Rather than going to the coast to see things like murrelets, 
gannets, storm-petrels, and guillemots, we just wait for those birds to 
come to us.  That's the kind of pull that the Basin has.  

MIKE:   I feel I am gradually falling prey to such sentiments myself.  
Must...resist...the urge to become...a Cupper.  Oh well, it seems I'm 
too far gone to be saved, if my participation in this interview is any 
indication.

THE CUP:  Good--now you're thinking like a Cupper.  How did you first 
get interested in birding?  

MIKE:   The old fashioned way, the birds themselves got me started. In 
fact, a Great Blue Heron spotted near my house when I was 7 was the 
very vector which infected me with this beloved birding virus. I 
started out slow, birding the woods around my house, until I started 
meeting other local birders (which can be a challenge in areas lacking 
the high birder to non-birder ratio of Ithaca!). Many thanks to all of 
them for their support, expertise, and of course rides.

THE CUP:  Speaking of rides, have you been able to score many free 
rides from fellow Cuppers, or does your rise up the Cup charts have 
them leaving you in their dust as they drive by you?  

MIKE:   I actually have managed to maintain a supply of free rides by 
misleading potential drivers into thinking my list is much lower than 
it is. Thus, they bring me along thinking they have nothing to fear 
from an innocent little freshman. Fortunately for them, they are 
probably right.  Despite my reported totals in this issue of the Cup, 
my list is actually at seven, so feel free to take me out without 
worrying about losing your lead!

THE CUP:  That's a very clever ploy, but I'm afraid that your ruse 
might be up already, Mike.  When I initially came up with the idea of 
this interview, I thought we could discuss your chances of doing 
something that has never been done in the illustrious history of The 
Cup--arriving in the Basin in late August and cracking The 200 Club 
before the end of the calendar year.  

THE CUP:  I thought that if you birded a lot, were the recipient of a 
number of rides to Montezuma, and got a bit lucky, you *might* hit 200 
birds in mid-December.  But, I was obviously wrong.  Amazingly, by the 
end of October, in less than 75 days in the Basin, you've already seen 
more than 200 species of birds.  What has been the secret to your 
success?

MIKE:   My progressing knowledge of the Cayuga Basin allows me to count 
numerous birds outside the Basin limits and then claim ignorance if I'm 
found out.  I hear this has worked in the past.  In addition, the 
aforementioned rides and my skewed sense of priorities (birding being 
number 1) have helped.

THE CUP:  What do you mean, "skewed sense of priorities?"  Can there be 
any other priority besides birding?
  
THE CUP:  Obviously, you are also a very talented birder.  Not just 
anybody can ride around on their bike and find Clay-colored Sparrow, 
Dickcissel, and an Oregon Junco all in one month.  How did you become 
such a skilled birder between that first Great Blue Heron and your 
arrival at Cornell?

MIKE:   Ha, the birding was the easy part.  The biking was tough!  It 
always seemed to start raining when I was at the furthest possible 
point from my dorm.  But what birding skill was involved can partially 
be attributed to various opportunities I have had in the past.  I 
participated in Victor Emanuel Nature Tours' Camp Chiricahua in Arizona 
in 2001 and was on the Leica/American Birding Association Tropicbirds 
birding team that competed in the 2002 Great Texas Birding Classic.  
Aside from that, I have birded even more in New Hampshire than I have 
here, and have traveled to see birds whenever I could save up enough 
money for airfare.

THE CUP:  Can you tell readers a bit more about Camp Chiricahua?  

MIKE:   Camp Chiricahua can be summed up in just one word:  "the-best-
time-a-young-birder-can-ever-have-exploring-Arizona-and-finding-
southwestern-specialties-with-other-birders-their-age."

THE CUP:  Umm, I hate to tell you this, but that's actually 20 words.  
But let me get this straight--summer camp for you was a trip to one of 
the premier birding spots in North America?  What ever happened to Camp 
Hiawatha, where the highlight is arts and crafts with Popsicle sticks?

MIKE:  Sadly, some of us young birders must sacrifice more traditional 
summer excursions in order to pursue our hobby.

THE CUP:  With your considerable birding experience at the tender age 
of 19, what do you think of the David Cup, and its little sister, the 
McIlroy Award?  The last time that a young hotshot birder named Mike 
arrived in the Basin (Mike Andersen, in 2001), we found that he had 
some problems adjusting to "the finer points" of Basin birding.  Have 
you had any problems adjusting to such a high level of birdwatching?  

MIKE:  The number of experts around here is slightly intimidating, but 
in a very good way. They keep me honest and of course whatever tidbits 
of knowledge I can pick up from them are greatly appreciated.

THE CUP:  Do you see yourself as a potential player for either the Cup 
or the McIlroy Award next year?  Competition between Tim and Ken in 
Ithaca could be fierce next year, and if Jay attends Cornell, he could 
be in a position to go for the first Cup three-peat.  How do you see 
yourself stacking up against these guys? 

MIKE:  I can't pretend to be on the same level of any of the Basin 
legends you speak of. Ken's experience, Tim's determination and skill, 
and Jay's knowledge will likely keep them out of my reach.  While the 
variety of birds up the lake is impressive, I sort of like the idea of 
the McIlroy Award.  Not having a car this fall, I enjoyed carefully 
covering local areas like Bomax Road, Game Farm Road, and Mundy 
Wildflower Garden.  Getting to know the smaller selections of birds at 
local places is great and if you are fortunate enough to find something 
unusual at one of these spots it is all the more exciting.  The McIlroy 
Award seems to be a sensible way to concentrate this interest in local 
birding.

THE CUP:  Whoa--you've been hanging out with Tim *way* too much 
already.    

THE CUP:  And then there's Scott Haber.  It seems like he never goes 
birding, but somehow he is on the verge of hitting a very big number 
(250) for the year.  Do you know if he is counting museum specimens in 
his totals again?  We caught him doing that once or twice during his 
rookie season.  

MIKE:  Museum specimens aren't countable?

THE CUP:  No.  And neither are dream birds.  

THE CUP:  Well, it's been a pleasure chatting with you.  
Congratulations on your great fall, and on contributing to the Ithaca 
birding scene so early during your freshman year.  Good luck next year 
in the David Cup...but don't get any ideas about topping my Big Year 
total!

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


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

Cup reporter Mark Chao caught up with McIlroy Award leader Ken 
Rosenberg on a still November morning at East Shore Park in Ithaca.  
Ken, an Ithaca resident, serves as Director of Conservation Science at 
the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  He is a member of the Lab's World 
Series of Birding team, and like a few others in our community, is a 
birder of consummate skill and national renown.

The interview begins as Ken points out a pair of beautiful alternate-
plumage Long-tailed Ducks out on the lake.

MARK:  Finding birds involves a lot of different challenges:  making 
the time, deciding where to go, seeing and hearing birds once you're 
there, identifying birds once you've found them.  Luck is the big wild 
card.  Which of these elements do you find most challenging and most 
important?

KEN:  Actually, luck can be largely eliminated as a factor.  In the 
World Series of Birding, a lot of people think that luck plays a big 
role, but with us, planning and scouting eliminate about 98 percent of 
the luck in finding birds.

I can't spend much time birding these days, so a lot of the challenge 
and the fun part for me is planning strategy.  Where should I go to 
find target birds?  What can I see today that I have a much lesser 
chance of seeing at other times of year?

So today, my target species are Black Scoter, Snow Bunting, Pacific 
Loon, Western Kingbird, Cave Swallow 

MARK:  How did you develop your birding skills?  What factors were most 
important for you: sheer time in the field, focused study of books and 
skins, instruction from mentors?

KEN:  I've been doing this for 45 years, and I'd say that my skills are 
honed mostly by spending lots of time in the field.  I have had a lot 
of mentors in that time, and have birded with many knowledgeable 
people, including Kenn Kaufman and others in Arizona, and Ted Parker in 
Louisiana and South America.  

I'm off the ID-Frontiers list now, but back when I was younger, people 
were really working out identification issues with jaegers, juvenile 
peeps, Thayer's Gulls, and others.  Now, with all the birds that people 
are finding -- birds not previously recorded or considered very rare in 
a given region, like Cave Swallows on the east coast -- you wonder, 
were those things always around?

[Tim Lenz and Mike Harvey arrive.]

MARK:  So now we have the three main contenders for next year's McIlroy 
Award here all together.  

MIKE:  I'm not a contender.  I don't have a car. 

MARK:  Given all the birds that you've found on your walks and bike 
rides around campus this fall, you're a contender, Mike.  Plus, Tim and 
I can drive you around.

So, Ken, besides having a car, what advantages do you have over these 
guys, and what advantages do they have over you?

MIKE:  His advantage is that Tim and I don't see jaegers over the lake.

KEN:  I've been around for longer.  I know some places that maybe they 
don't.  But that also means that maybe they aren't as lazy and tainted 
as I am -- they might actually get up early, go looking in new places, 
and walk through fields finding new birds.  You've also got to be able 
to chase a bird as soon as it's reported to be able to find it.  I 
can't always do that.

MARK:  Why do  

KEN, TIM, and MIKE:  PINE SISKINS!

MARK:  Huh?  Where?

[Mark looks up in time to see some birds with notched tails passing 
over.]

MARK:  What did you hear?  I didn't hear any "krrrrip" calls.

MIKE:  That was the sound they were making.  It was a variation of 
that.

MARK:  Oh.

KEN:  That's another skill to develop:  the ability to talk and still 
hear and ID passing birds.  That'll come in handy if a longspur comes 
by later 

MARK:  OK, I'll try to 

KEN, TIM, and MIKE:  SNOW BUNTING!

[A bird passes over, whistling.]

MARK:  Snow Bunting!

KEN:  The European Starlings at Stewart Park are imitating the chip 
notes of Yellow-rumped Warblers and the flight calls of Snow Buntings.  
It's amazing -- in spring they imitate warblers, plus every shorebird 
in the book -- yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plovers 

TIM:  Semipalmated Plovers 

KEN:  Oh, yeah.  They were doing that one a lot.

MIKE:  Once there was a Northern Mockingbird in New Hampshire that 
learned to imitate a Clapper Rail -- a species that hadn't been seen 
for five or ten years in the state.  It drove a lot of us crazy.

MARK:  Ken, why do you compete for the McIlroy Award?  Do you like the 
challenge of birding in a confined area?  Or is it just a practical 
matter of not having the time to bird farther afield?

KEN:  Mostly, I just don't have the time to bird elsewhere.  So if I am 
going to play the game, then I need to do it close to home.  That means 
Ithaca.  I do also like how the competition forces people to find great 
places -- often, places I would never otherwise think of visiting -- 
and bird them intensively.

I must say that the competition itself makes it fun.  It's what got me 
out birding every day at the end of last year.  But it's different from 
other competitions where the goal is just to beat the other guy; with 
Tim and me last year, the first thing that we did upon finding a bird 
was to call each other, and really hope that he found the bird too.

MARK:  You're getting pretty close to the McIlroy record of 212, which 
Tim set last year.  Do you think you can break it?

KEN:  I didn't think so, but I guess it's possible.  I need to get 
lucky with some owls and other birds.

MARK:  Tim, how do you feel about that?

[Tim grits his teeth and says nothing.]

KEN:  By the way, Jay has shattered my old Dryden record.  I think that 
he's surpassed my total by four species (210 to 206), and it's still 
only November.

MARK:  Ken, let me enumerate some of your finds from this year:  Short-
eared Owl at the Equine Research Park; another Short-eared Owl at 
George Road in Dryden; a territorial Northern Parula and Hooded 
Warblers in late May at Robert Treman State Park; a Yellow-breasted 
Chat along the railroad tracks in south Ithaca; a Parasitic Jaeger 
above Stewart Park; a Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow at Hog Hole; and 
Buff-breasted Sandpiper and American Golden-Plovers next to the Cornell 
campus.  

Whew let's pause to let all this sink in with our readers 

What would you say are your personal highlights among this year's 
amazing finds?

KEN:  It's most exciting for me when I predict that some rarity is 
going to show up, and then I go and find it.  That's what happened this 
year and last year with Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow at Hog Hole.  
Also, this year I was with Hector Gomez de Silva, who is Mexico's top 
birder, and he really wanted to see that species for his life list.  
These days, I get more of a thrill out of finding life birds for others 
than just seeing the birds myself.

MARK:  That Yellow-breasted Chat was a life bird for Steve Fast, the 
Buff-breasted Sandpiper a lifer for me, and the American Golden-Plover 
a lifer for John Baur.

KEN:  The jaeger was nice, because I take pride in being a champion 
scanner.  The Cerulean Warbler that you found on Sandbank Road was 
exciting because it's one of my favorite birds, and I had been looking 
for one in Ithaca.  But I guess that the best moment was finding the 
Buff-breasted Sandpiper.  It's one of my favorite shorebirds.  I was 
actually on my way to look for shorebirds at the new athletic fields 
along Game Farm Road, and happened across the Buff-breasted Sandpiper 
and the golden-plovers in some plowed fields nearby.

MARK:  What are your most frustrating misses?

TIM:  [darkly] Lesser Yellowlegs 

KEN:  Yes, Lesser Yellowlegs has been a nemesis species for McIlroy 
competitors these last couple of years.  This year I missed some summer 
breeders and migrants, like Bay-breasted Warbler, as well as the Cape 
May Warblers and Prairie Warbler that you saw in Sapsucker Woods.

MARK:  Still, given your limited time afield, it's really remarkable 
how many species you've seen.

KEN:  Matt Medler challenges me on this, but I think that I'm the most 
efficient birder in the Basin, in terms of birds seen per hour spent 
birding.

MARK:  I've heard these discussions about birding efficiency.  But my 
goal, at least this year, is just to maximize my enjoyment -- the more 
hours, the better.

KEN:  Hmph!  No time for enjoyment.  

MARK:  I sometimes see you and your daughters Rachel and Olivia out 
together, most recently at the Wells College boathouse, watching the 
Black Guillemot.  Have you been taking any special measures to nurture 
your daughters' interest in birds?

KEN:  I pay them.  Well, I'd get in trouble for doing that.  We do have 
feeders, which they're into watching, and occasionally they have 
interest in seeing species, like the guillemot, to add to their Cup 
list.  They really like the Cupper Supper and getting their 
certificates.  But they don't very often "want to go birding."

MARK:  Your brother Gary is a guide and one of the most skilled birders 
in the country; your wife Anne James-Rosenberg is a bird professional 
too.  What does it mean to you for so many of your loved ones to be 
bird-lovers too?

KEN:  Well, the irony is that my bird-loving wife doesn't always love 
it when I go birding, because time I spend looking for birds is time 
away from family.  She does love birding 

TIM:  Anne once found an Aztec Thrush, you know.  

KEN but at this point, birding isn't the most important thing for our 
family.

TIM:  You need to have more family picnics.

KEN:  That's right!  That way we can have our quality time together, 
and I can still see birds like Golden Eagle and Ross's Goose.

MARK:  Really?

KEN:  Well, last year I saw a Golden Eagle and lots of Snow Geese on a 
picnic in our front yard, but no Ross's Goose.  I did see Ross's Goose 
at the Equine Research Park this year on the same day I saw the Short-
eared Owl.

MARK:  Could you explain your "Louisiana Christmas Bird Count" test for 
identifying Ross's Goose?

KEN:  Down there, where Ross's Goose is pretty common in winter, it's 
just a matter of looking at Snow Goose flocks in the sky and seeing a 
much smaller bird in there with them.  Kevin gives me a hard time about 
this:  "Oh, you can't do it by size, mister!"  Of course, he might be 
technically right, but 

MARK:  But what?

[Ken pauses.]

KEN:  In any case, another thing is seeing more than one bird together.  
It's the same with Cackling Geese now.  If you see two smaller geese 
together, staying with each other, then you have a pair of birds, and 
you can be more confident that they are really different from the 
others, unlike one individual aberrant bird in a flock.

MARK:  Well, we all probably need to be heading home, or heading off to 
look for more birds.  Do you have any parting shots for your rivals 
here, Ken?

KEN:  You suck!  No, really, I hope that you guys will take up the 
challenge next year.  I will.

MARK:  Tim and Mike, what do you say?  Are you going to compete?

TIM:  Yeah.

MIKE:  I guess so.

MARK:  It's on!

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


@#$$%#%$^!(*$)%^@>(#?@<$&%^@(
          DEAR TICK
@#%$^!)$(%*&^>$*%?*%^#*%(*&

Dear Tick,

I noticed in the Pilgrim's Progress, several of the totals are left 
blank (presumably, the editor chooses to do this as a way to throw 
around his power. For example, I'm sure Allison Wells always sends in 
her totals in a timely manner, yet her totals are blank.) Can you tell 
my why the editor puts them in the list in random order? For example, 
Sam and Steve Kelling are listed ahead of Ms. Wells, and poor little 
Evan Wells is put last! Then there's Jeff Wells, who isn't on the list 
at all! I'd like to suggest that all names with blank totals be placed 
at the end of the list in reverse alphabetical order, or starting with 
Wells, which ever comes first.

Would love your always wise response.

"Total"ly Confused in Etna


Dear "Total"ly,

The blank spaces are based on a complex mathematical principle known as 
the "absence of information" theorem.  Simply put, this means that if 
you don't send in your totals, you're probably going to get short-
changed.  Slacker.

In order to provide a more complete answer, I corresponded with Cup 
editor Jay McGowan, who said that "Cuppers are ranked by their totals, 
with the highest totals for the month in question being at the top," 
and, "Couldn't you have figured that out by yourself?"  When the 
question was clarified, however, Jay offered more insight into the 
situation.

Apparently, when no totals are received, a line of question marks (???) 
or sometimes dashes (---) is inserted in place of them.  This 
individual is then ranked on the list based on their last received 
number.  Thus, if someone--let's call her Birder A--doesn't send in her 
totals for several months running, she will consequently fall far down 
on the list, even if her actual totals are much higher.  However, she 
WILL remain ahead of all those individuals whose posted totals are 
LOWER than Birder A's last reported number.  Thus, Steve Kelling 
remains ahead of Erin Hewett despite not sending in his totals, while 
Allison Wells remains below Tringa the Dog (who was very prompt.)

Additionally, when a Cupper does not send in his or her totals for a 
exceedingly long time (say ten months, as in the case of Mr. Wells), 
that individual's name may be removed altogether to prevent him or her 
from falling undeservedly low in the standings, except in special cases 
when mild public humiliation is preferable.  (On a completely unrelated 
note, did you notice that Martin the Cat was tied with the David Cup 
record holder last month?)

Now, of course there are no stupid questions, but I just want you to 
know that yours comes pretty close.  I hope this has cleared up you 
befuddled mind on one account at least.  Now send in your totals so you 
don't have to worry about it!


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

"CUP...QUOTES"

Sorry this is late...  I thought Pete might post, but I guess he's not 
subscribed anymore...  The list is not as it used to be.
--Jesse Ellis

I visited on Saturday, and again yesterday and today (oops, too much 
birding)...
--Meena Haribal

I wasn't going to recite my morning's adventures, but after Jay's and 
Mike's posts I decided to illustrate the apparent 6th sense they have 
about where and when to look for birds, as opposed to myself. 
--Steve Fast

Late last night, some verses from a Victor Hugo poem surfaced from the 
depths of my memory.
  Demain, d s l'aube,   l'heure o  blanchit la campagne
  Je partirai.  Vois-tu, je sais que tu m'attends.  
  Tomorrow, at dawn, at the hour when the countryside is in pale light,
  I shall depart.  You see, I know that you are waiting for me.
I told my wife that this was a sign that I should go looking for HUGO 
this morning.  She reacted with laughter but no direct expressions of 
doubt about my sanity.  And so, at dawn, I departed.
--Mark Chao

There were some RING-BILLED GULLS at the lighthouse, and as I watched, 
one yawned, then another, then two more; then I yawned so decided to go 
elsewhere.  
--Steve Fast

To me the added opportunity of allowing Ithaca birders to freeze their 
whatevers off on two days instead of one far outweighs the disadvantage 
of moving the Montezuma count by one or a few days.
--Ken Rosenberg

As some of you might know, I am no longer living in the Cayuga Lake 
Basin, having recently moved to Vermont.  As a result, I have decided 
to pass along ownership of Cayugabirds-L to a resident of the Ithaca 
area.
--Matt Medler

WAHOOOOOOOO! The witch is dead!!!!!!
--Martha Fischer

Upon receiving a call from the redoubtable vicarious Basin birder Matt 
Medler, Anya Illes and I headed up to Myers to scan for the Guillemot, 
where we found the 11 Brant previously reported, and nothing else of 
interest.
--Jesse Ellis

"Medler, pick up your phone!  We have the Black Guillemot at the Aurora 
Boat House."
--Tim Lenz (and Mike Harvey)


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

May Your Cup Runneth Over,
- Jay