[Tweeters] Re: 2014 first ten (predictions)

Pterodroma at aol.com Pterodroma at aol.com
Wed Jan 1 12:37:49 PST 2014

And the winners are.....

OH NO!!! A major upset with a total out of the literal wee hour 'black',
an unforeseen *wild card* to unseat the long standing #1 champion Anna's
Hummingbird of so many years in a row. Geese..., Cackling Geese, CACKLERS!
3:04am, I'm sitting out on the back porch bathed in the warm red and blue
holiday lights around the trim there, stone dead silent, black and foggy,
and I wasn't even out there with birds really on my mind at all, owls maybe,
but a real long shot. Then, suddenly busting up the utter silence and
calm, a noisy bunch of Cackling Geese flying over, maybe 2, 3, 4 dozen, who
knows. Coming from the north, maybe from Marymoor and heading south, and gone
as quickly as they came. Had I gone back inside minute earlier, I would
have missed them altogether and would have never known the difference, and
January 1 would have proceeded nearer to traditional normal. This goose
'upset' I thought was akin to the Seahawks being upset by the worst team ever
in the NFL in the play offs not to mention the Super Bowl! These night
time Cacklers could have at least waited a day or two, or next week, next
month, or next Fall for that matter. Good thing there wasn't any money riding
on any of this.

I didn't do so well this year as last, but predicting the first ten
species usually isn't too difficult, but in sequential order, 1 thru 10 isn't
exactly a science. So here's the breakdown, 1 thru 11, #2 thru #11 being the
first ten in the more traditional time window (0730-0830) should or could
the geese be disqualified or undone. But a tick is a tick, so I guess the
geese stand even if the circumstance was kind of freaky.

#1 -- Cackling Goose (unseeded) at 0304hrs
#2 -- Anna's Hummingbird (seeded #1) at 0737 and right on schedule
#3 -- Song Sparrow (seeded #2) at 0746
#4 -- Spotted Towhee (seeded #3) at 0747
#5 -- Dark-eyed Junco (seeded #5) at 0749
#6 -- American Crow (seeded #4) at 0754
#7 -- Bewick's Wren (unseeded) at 0755
#8 -- Northern Flicker (seeded #6) at 0756
#9 -- Chestnut-backed Chickadee (seeded #9) at 0804
#10 -- Red-breasted Nuthatch (seeded #7) at 0813
#11 -- Common Raven (unseeded) -- at 0816

Others 'predicted and seeded' yesterday (Dec 31) but didn't show in time
to make the 2014 first ten list, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (seeded #8) and
Black-capped Chickadee (seeded #10).

Richard Rowlett
Bellevue (Eastgate), WA


In a message dated 12/31/2013 10:14:40 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
Pterodroma at aol.com writes:

Hi Tweets -- It's that time again on the calendar. That silly little game
I play during the first hour or so of every new year, trying to predict in
correct sequential order the first ten birds that show up in the yard &
feeders. You might want to play your own version or whatever. I've been
doing dry runs for the past four early mornings and usually amass the first
ten within the first hour of daylight (0730-0830hrs).

Here's my 2014 predictions:

#1 -- Anna's Hummingbird
#2 -- Song Sparrow
#3 -- Spotted Towhee
#4 -- American Crow
#5 -- Dark-eyed Junco
#6 -- Northern Flicker
#7 -- Red-breasted Nuthatch
#8 -- Ruby-crowned Kinglet
#9 -- Chestnut-backed Chickadee
#10 -- Black-capped Chickadee

I had a couple unexpected 'wild cards' during the past 4-days 'dry runs'
that could muck things up. Nice, but..., not counting on either. Common
Raven came in #5 of Dec 28, and Merlin came in #6 on Dec 29.

For the first year ever, Varied Thrush does not make my first ten yard
prediction list. Could happen, but the odds are much lower than a more
typical winter season. Varied Thrushes just aren't around much so far this
winter, at least here in my yard and neighborhood, or even in the Lake Hills
Greenbelt for that matter. I suspect that fact and the seeming scarcity of
Varied Thrushes in the lowlands around here may be due to the 'snow drought'
in the Cascade foothills and mountains and they are just staying up there
for now.

I will report tomorrow once the first ten results are in. Have a Happy
birding New Year!

Richard Rowlett
Bellevue (Eastgate), WA

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