Date   

Sands Beach

Brad Hacker <bradley_r_hacker@...>
 

Couple of Dunlins the only mild excitement. Dune Pond is shrinking; Snipe still present. 


Good birding,


Barka Slough

John Deacon
 

Nothing really unusual but a nice couple of hours (and 39 species) along San Antonio Road.  The Red Tailed Hawks that nested there last year appear to be pairing up near last year's nest.  Highlights, for me anyway, were a Cinnamon Teal in the creek at the east end of the road and photo ops with a Northern Harrier and a Fox Sparrow.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43232418


John Deacon
iseekbirds@...


[eBird Alert] Santa Barbara County Rare Bird Alert <daily> for Feb 25, 2018

Jamie Chavez
 

*** Species Summary:

- Garganey (4 reports)
- Little Blue Heron (2 reports)
- Sage Thrasher (4 reports)
- Nashville Warbler (1 report)
- Clay-colored Sparrow (1 report)
- Rusty Blackbird (1 report) 

This report contains observations of rare birds in Santa Barbara County.  View this alert at http://ebird.org/ebird/alert/summary?sid=SN35915
Click Date to sort most recent at the top.  Click Show All Details to read checklist comments and see attached photos
NOTE: all sightings are UNCONFIRMED unless indicated 

 
--
Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


Re: Garganey Molt Reveals.......What?

Jamie Chavez
 

Looking at Brad's photo really closely: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparralbrad/39608474265/in/photostream/  you can make out the beginnings of vermiculated feathers on the sides. I see this barely developing on the whitest part of the sides directly above the foot (zoomed-in view).

Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 2:28 PM Brad Schram gonebrdn@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Thanks Wim, and Louis.  The last phrase seems to be the critical issue--"...lacking their typical vermiculated feathers."  Hopefully this critter sticks around for another week or so to get a fuller molt reveal.

Brad Schram   
Arroyo Grande



On 2/26/2018 2:19 PM, Wim van Dam wrote:


​Louis Bevier pointed me to this "Guide to the age and sex of European ducks":

​About ​Garganey it mentions:
> [...] Breeding moult occurs mostly on the African wintering grounds. In juveniles,
 the acquisition of a breeding plumage may only be partial during the
​ ​
first
​ ​
year of life. Birds shot by hunters or trapped by ringers during autumn migration are hence almost always in juvenile or summer adult plumage, the males then lacking their typical vermiculated
​ fl​
ank
​ ​
feathers.

​<

Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA
---
SBCO #376+1: Pine Warbler


--
Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA


Re: Garganey Molt Reveals.......What?

Brad Hacker <bradley_r_hacker@...>
 

Three features suggest a male:
Darkening throat,
Supercilium curves down at the back,
Eyestripe is no longer the darkest part of the face. 


Good birding,


On Monday, February 26, 2018, 15:48, David Kisner david.kisner@... [sbcobirding] wrote:

 

One set of photos I have showed barred feathers on the breast which implied male - opposite of your observation Brad. Your second photo shows these below what I took for older (retained) juv plumage. But ... this was based on a quick review of random photos on the internet :-)

David


On Feb 26, 2018, at 14:28, Brad Schram gonebrdn@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Thanks Wim, and Louis.  The last phrase seems to be the critical issue--"...lacking their typical vermiculated feathers."  Hopefully this critter sticks around for another week or so to get a fuller molt reveal.

Brad Schram   
Arroyo Grande

On 2/26/2018 2:19 PM, Wim van Dam wrote:

​Louis Bevier pointed me to this "Guide to the age and sex of European ducks":

​About ​Garganey it mentions:
> [...] Breeding moult occurs mostly on the African wintering grounds. In juveniles,
 the acquisition of a breeding plumage may only be partial during the
​ ​
first
​ ​
year of life. Birds shot by hunters or trapped by ringers during autumn migration are hence almost always in juvenile or summer adult plumage, the males then lacking their typical vermiculated
​ fl​
ank
​ ​
feathers.

​<

Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA
---
SBCO #376+1: Pine Warbler




On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:12 PM, Brad Schram gonebrdn@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogrou ps..com> wrote:
>
>  
>
> I ran down to Santa Maria last Thursday the 22nd after hearing the
> Garganey had returned to its usual pond.  The purpose was to photograph
> the beast, now in molt, to document its state of progress toward
> alternate plumage.
>
> Today I uploaded a couple photos from last week on my Flickr site.
> Looking at them I realize that I know virtually nothing about
> Garganeys.  Expecting the bird to be on the way to spring plumage for a
> drake, instead I found it molting to female-type breast and flank
> feathers, although the head appears to be moving toward the full
> supercillium with descending hind-part of a drake.  A quick look at
> online sources found a convincing lack of information on the subject.
>
> Does a drake Garganey take multiple years to achieve full alternate
> plumage?  Does the occasional female Garganey show a strong posterior
> descending supercillium?  Does an overdose of white bread cause
> retardation of maturation in Garganeys?  OK, the last question is unserious.
>
> Brad Schram
> Arroyo Grande
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ chaparralbrad/
>
>
> ______________________________ __
> Posted by: Brad Schram <gonebrdn@...>
> ______________________________ __


Re: Refugio Sage Thrasher, etc.

Dave Compton
 

Wim and Tom,

This is important to know, but ultimately it is possibly not that relevant to the debate, based on my understanding, which is that there are options for retaining the entire archive of SB Co Birding and taking it to another service. Others will know more about this. Hopefully, I'm right!

But I want to make one more point (no doubt this will change when someone else responds to this email): I don't see this as eBird vs Yahoo Groups/SB Co Birding/email lists. No doubt eBird would now win any such battle anywhere in this country, as the two-decade ascendancy of email lists in birding seems to be coming to a close. But I have never seen eBird and email lists as mutually exclusive. And I think it's important to get people thinking about what they're losing by potentially chucking what we've been doing successfully for years. 

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara 

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 2:57 PM, Wim van Dam wim.van.dam@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

This discussion a good opportunity to remind ourselves that Yahoo! Groups is at the end of its lifecycle. Yahoo stopped supporting Groups in 2014 and I think it's fair to say that is getting more and more flaky by the year.. One day YG will stop working all together and it's a big question if our old postings will remain available after that day. If you want to save your trip reports, observations, and random thoughts for future birders, please think of a back-up plan. One obvious way would be to use eBird to (re)post your text in the Comment section of an observation. 

Wim


Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA
---
SBCO #376+1: Pine Warbler





On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 11:50 AM, Thomas Turner tomleeturner@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
 

Dave,

Anyone who is paying attention is very aware that many of the sharpest eyes and ears in the county don’t use eBird. I am not asking them, or you, to change a thing. But, as you and others are noting, many of the sharpest up-and-comers prefer eBird to list serves. My point is mainly that asking them to change their habits in the name of “getting the word out” is just wrong. eBird is by far the best way to get the word out to the most people. If people don’t want to use it, no problem. But if people feel like they are missing out because they haven’t signed up, well, it is easy and free. People can listen in to the eBird channel without contributing. I am not going to ask you to retype your notes in two places. But I am always using eBird, whether I see something notable or not, so you are asking me to get the word out in a second, less efficient way. The few times I have found something really good, I got the word out by all possible means. If I am looking at an already reported Sage Thrasher, people might need to follow eBird to know about it.

County listserves provide some things that eBird does not (like this conversation, as you said!), but faster or wider distribution of rarity info is not one of them. 

Tom 

Goleta

On Feb 26, 2018, at 10:19 AM, Dave Compton <davcompton60@...> wrote:

Tom,

Not everyone uses eBird, so eBird simply does not capture everything. There are people who do not use eBird and probably never will. And there are people like me who will not alter their use of eBird to accommodate people who think of it primarily as an alert system. Why do I need to complete my notes immediately so that I can get the word out, when we already have a medium that was designed mostly for that purpose? And whether people realize it or not, the majority of the more active and experienced birders in the county probably don't use eBird as a primary means of reporting birds, or they don't use it at all.. Some of us may get a text message when Hugh, Nick, or Wes find a good bird. But eBird won't be the best way to hear about it, for those who don't get the text.  

Of course, it's also undeniable that not everything will ever be captured in SB Co Birding. In fact it's always been the case that plenty of information has never made it here. But it isn't hard to send messages to both, and I am baffled that so many people see fit to get information from email lists and never contribute. What is the difficulty of sending a line to an email list? I am not arguing and I never have argued that eBird isn't useful in many ways. But encouraging the use of one and never the other is just going to further fragment the spread of information.

Another point is that your hourly eBird alerts are only as good as the hourly reporting. If eBird were just a rare bird system (instead of a medium that seems to have added alerts as an afterthought), that would not be an issue. I use eBird as a way of recording the field notes that I've recorded for years, and a way of getting them into a larger database, not as a rare bird reporting tool. If people start to consider the reporting of rare birds as the reason for completing eBird checklists, that seems like another great way to encourage the inclusion of crummy data in eBird. If you're in a hurry to get out the word through eBird (for those who, unlike me, are willing to have their inboxes filled with hourly alerts), you are going to end up creating data in even more of a hurry than you do now. I think it's amazing and wonderful that eBird has gotten so many birders to create full sets of field notes who before may only have created a species list at the most. But between the difficulty of vetting all the information that's entered and the increasing accommodation of the need for immediate gratification by allowing people to enter their data in the field, the data are suspect enough already, as I believe has been well documented. Why make it worse?

By the way, I consider this a bit off the original topic, since we're talking about reporting rare birds, but the forum that SB Co Birding provides for discussions like this is also a great reason to support these lists. Recently, frustrated over these same issues, I decided the only way I could get any of these opinions out through eBird (since, after all, by posting these comments here, you're not reaching all the people who only do eBird), was to add some thoughts to my personal profile. So I typed a nice message encouraging the continued use of emails lists, and the reporting of birds to BRCs and NAB editors. Unfortunately, I used way too many characters, and I had to cut it down to about four sentences.


Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 9:38 AM, Thomas Turner tomleeturner@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
 

Hi Dave,

Just to be combative, I will write a counter-point to this. Plus, there are a few wrong details here (you can get hourly alerts).

I understand that SBCO birding emails add a personal touch that many appreciate. For me, SBCO birding is nice because I like hearing about habitat, reports on places that aren’t visited much, or unusual timing or abundances of common birds, etc. For example, I like to send “trip report” type emails to SBCO if I take a take a trip to Cuyama or Figueroa Mountain. As for keeping up with rarities, however, eBird simply can’t be beat. The alerts can be set to either hourly or daily, as you choose. Personally, I get hourly “county needs” alerts about species I have never seen in the county, and hourly county rarity alerts, but daily “year needs” alerts of birds I haven’t seen in the county this year (I’m not doing a big year, but this is a great way to keep up with uncommon-but-not-rare birds, or see when migrants start arriving). If you are worried about missing emails, you can also go to the website and see a chronological list of all rarities for any county, state, or country on the globe. 

eBird is also totally inclusive. You don’t have to “use” eBird to get the alerts. You only have to make an account (for free) and sign up for alerts (just like people have done at SBCO birding). As for directions, there is no reason observers can’t add directions to eBird comments, as Chris Dean did when she found the Sage Thrasher, and I did when I saw it after her. The only reason to do this on SBCO birding instead is if you don’t want to reach everyone. If you want to welcome local birders into your yard, the listserve might be better precisely because it is less inclusive.

It is also the best way to keep up with what people are seeing at your favorite places. I often browse the complete lists submitted by people (like you!) who are better birders than I am so that I can see what birds I might be failing to detect. That was one of the most important ways I learned how to bird, in fact. It is also the best way to know if a rarity might have departed. If you are wondering if the Gray Catbird is still at Anisq'Oyo Park, you need only check the hotspot web page to see that it was last seen on 1/28, and that there have been 7 complete lists from various people since then without seeing it. So, maybe, but probably not.

My two bits,

Tom

Goleta

On Feb 25, 2018, at 4:08 PM, Dave Compton davcompton60@gmail..com [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


I went to Refugio State Beach early this afternoon and saw the very cooperative Sage Thrasher that, until now, had not been directly posted to this list. As reported (not here), it was hanging out around campsite 29 (as well as 28 and 30), on the east side of the creek. I was there after Brad Hacker had been there, so I missed the dead Black-legged Kittiwake, which also had not been posted to this list before today. RIP Mr. or Ms. Kittiwake.

I previously had missed the Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach (thanks for posting, Joan). My most notable observation here was the 31 Red-throated Loons that I counted in the nearshore waters. The only times I've seen this many of this species has been while watching them pass through during migration.

A short note: I get the feeling that, since Jamie started forwarding the eBird alerts to SB Co Birding, that even fewer people are interested in posting birds to this list, relying only on eBird rare bird alerts or text groups that reach select birders. Please consider:

1.. Many people are interested in birds in Santa Barbara County who don't get your texts.
2. The eBird alerts come out once a day, so are often not very recent compared to posts on SB Co Birding.
3. The eBird alerts will only show up on SB Co Birding if someone takes the time to forward the messages. Right now, that means you're relying on Jamie Chavez to promptly forward the message, and to do it every day. He has no obligation to do that. I'm also sure he likes to take a vacation or something every now and then.
4. eBird alerts may not cover all the observations you're interested in.
5. SB Co Birding always reaches everyone who's willing to subscribe or to check the Birding Lists Digests, messages go out quickly, it's ideal for supplying directions, . . . and it only breaks down once in a great while.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara
Advocate for the quick and effective dissemination of bird information









Re: Garganey Molt Reveals.......What?

David Kisner
 

One set of photos I have showed barred feathers on the breast which implied male - opposite of your observation Brad. Your second photo shows these below what I took for older (retained) juv plumage. But ... this was based on a quick review of random photos on the internet :-)

David


On Feb 26, 2018, at 14:28, Brad Schram gonebrdn@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:

 

Thanks Wim, and Louis.  The last phrase seems to be the critical issue--"...lacking their typical vermiculated feathers."  Hopefully this critter sticks around for another week or so to get a fuller molt reveal.

Brad Schram   
Arroyo Grande

On 2/26/2018 2:19 PM, Wim van Dam wrote:

​Louis Bevier pointed me to this "Guide to the age and sex of European ducks":

​About ​Garganey it mentions:
> [...] Breeding moult occurs mostly on the African wintering grounds. In juveniles,
 the acquisition of a breeding plumage may only be partial during the
​ ​
first
​ ​
year of life. Birds shot by hunters or trapped by ringers during autumn migration are hence almost always in juvenile or summer adult plumage, the males then lacking their typical vermiculated
​ fl​
ank
​ ​
feathers.

​<

Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA
---
SBCO #376+1: Pine Warbler




On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:12 PM, Brad Schram gonebrdn@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
>
>  
>
> I ran down to Santa Maria last Thursday the 22nd after hearing the
> Garganey had returned to its usual pond.  The purpose was to photograph
> the beast, now in molt, to document its state of progress toward
> alternate plumage.
>
> Today I uploaded a couple photos from last week on my Flickr site.
> Looking at them I realize that I know virtually nothing about
> Garganeys.  Expecting the bird to be on the way to spring plumage for a
> drake, instead I found it molting to female-type breast and flank
> feathers, although the head appears to be moving toward the full
> supercillium with descending hind-part of a drake.  A quick look at
> online sources found a convincing lack of information on the subject.
>
> Does a drake Garganey take multiple years to achieve full alternate
> plumage?  Does the occasional female Garganey show a strong posterior
> descending supercillium?  Does an overdose of white bread cause
> retardation of maturation in Garganeys?  OK, the last question is unserious.
>
> Brad Schram
> Arroyo Grande
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparralbrad/
>
>
> ________________________________
> Posted by: Brad Schram <gonebrdn@...>
> ________________________________


Re: Refugio Sage Thrasher, etc.

Wim van Dam
 

This discussion a good opportunity to remind ourselves that Yahoo! Groups is at the end of its lifecycle. Yahoo stopped supporting Groups in 2014 and I think it's fair to say that is getting more and more flaky by the year. One day YG will stop working all together and it's a big question if our old postings will remain available after that day. If you want to save your trip reports, observations, and random thoughts for future birders, please think of a back-up plan. One obvious way would be to use eBird to (re)post your text in the Comment section of an observation. 

Wim


Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA
---
SBCO #376+1: Pine Warbler





On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 11:50 AM, Thomas Turner tomleeturner@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Dave,

Anyone who is paying attention is very aware that many of the sharpest eyes and ears in the county don’t use eBird. I am not asking them, or you, to change a thing. But, as you and others are noting, many of the sharpest up-and-comers prefer eBird to list serves. My point is mainly that asking them to change their habits in the name of “getting the word out” is just wrong. eBird is by far the best way to get the word out to the most people. If people don’t want to use it, no problem. But if people feel like they are missing out because they haven’t signed up, well, it is easy and free. People can listen in to the eBird channel without contributing. I am not going to ask you to retype your notes in two places. But I am always using eBird, whether I see something notable or not, so you are asking me to get the word out in a second, less efficient way. The few times I have found something really good, I got the word out by all possible means. If I am looking at an already reported Sage Thrasher, people might need to follow eBird to know about it.

County listserves provide some things that eBird does not (like this conversation, as you said!), but faster or wider distribution of rarity info is not one of them. 

Tom 

Goleta

On Feb 26, 2018, at 10:19 AM, Dave Compton <davcompton60@...> wrote:

Tom,

Not everyone uses eBird, so eBird simply does not capture everything. There are people who do not use eBird and probably never will. And there are people like me who will not alter their use of eBird to accommodate people who think of it primarily as an alert system. Why do I need to complete my notes immediately so that I can get the word out, when we already have a medium that was designed mostly for that purpose? And whether people realize it or not, the majority of the more active and experienced birders in the county probably don't use eBird as a primary means of reporting birds, or they don't use it at all. Some of us may get a text message when Hugh, Nick, or Wes find a good bird. But eBird won't be the best way to hear about it, for those who don't get the text.  

Of course, it's also undeniable that not everything will ever be captured in SB Co Birding. In fact it's always been the case that plenty of information has never made it here. But it isn't hard to send messages to both, and I am baffled that so many people see fit to get information from email lists and never contribute. What is the difficulty of sending a line to an email list? I am not arguing and I never have argued that eBird isn't useful in many ways. But encouraging the use of one and never the other is just going to further fragment the spread of information.

Another point is that your hourly eBird alerts are only as good as the hourly reporting. If eBird were just a rare bird system (instead of a medium that seems to have added alerts as an afterthought), that would not be an issue. I use eBird as a way of recording the field notes that I've recorded for years, and a way of getting them into a larger database, not as a rare bird reporting tool. If people start to consider the reporting of rare birds as the reason for completing eBird checklists, that seems like another great way to encourage the inclusion of crummy data in eBird. If you're in a hurry to get out the word through eBird (for those who, unlike me, are willing to have their inboxes filled with hourly alerts), you are going to end up creating data in even more of a hurry than you do now. I think it's amazing and wonderful that eBird has gotten so many birders to create full sets of field notes who before may only have created a species list at the most. But between the difficulty of vetting all the information that's entered and the increasing accommodation of the need for immediate gratification by allowing people to enter their data in the field, the data are suspect enough already, as I believe has been well documented. Why make it worse?

By the way, I consider this a bit off the original topic, since we're talking about reporting rare birds, but the forum that SB Co Birding provides for discussions like this is also a great reason to support these lists. Recently, frustrated over these same issues, I decided the only way I could get any of these opinions out through eBird (since, after all, by posting these comments here, you're not reaching all the people who only do eBird), was to add some thoughts to my personal profile. So I typed a nice message encouraging the continued use of emails lists, and the reporting of birds to BRCs and NAB editors. Unfortunately, I used way too many characters, and I had to cut it down to about four sentences.


Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 9:38 AM, Thomas Turner tomleeturner@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
 

Hi Dave,

Just to be combative, I will write a counter-point to this. Plus, there are a few wrong details here (you can get hourly alerts).

I understand that SBCO birding emails add a personal touch that many appreciate. For me, SBCO birding is nice because I like hearing about habitat, reports on places that aren’t visited much, or unusual timing or abundances of common birds, etc. For example, I like to send “trip report” type emails to SBCO if I take a take a trip to Cuyama or Figueroa Mountain. As for keeping up with rarities, however, eBird simply can’t be beat. The alerts can be set to either hourly or daily, as you choose. Personally, I get hourly “county needs” alerts about species I have never seen in the county, and hourly county rarity alerts, but daily “year needs” alerts of birds I haven’t seen in the county this year (I’m not doing a big year, but this is a great way to keep up with uncommon-but-not-rare birds, or see when migrants start arriving). If you are worried about missing emails, you can also go to the website and see a chronological list of all rarities for any county, state, or country on the globe. 

eBird is also totally inclusive. You don’t have to “use” eBird to get the alerts. You only have to make an account (for free) and sign up for alerts (just like people have done at SBCO birding). As for directions, there is no reason observers can’t add directions to eBird comments, as Chris Dean did when she found the Sage Thrasher, and I did when I saw it after her. The only reason to do this on SBCO birding instead is if you don’t want to reach everyone. If you want to welcome local birders into your yard, the listserve might be better precisely because it is less inclusive.

It is also the best way to keep up with what people are seeing at your favorite places. I often browse the complete lists submitted by people (like you!) who are better birders than I am so that I can see what birds I might be failing to detect. That was one of the most important ways I learned how to bird, in fact. It is also the best way to know if a rarity might have departed. If you are wondering if the Gray Catbird is still at Anisq'Oyo Park, you need only check the hotspot web page to see that it was last seen on 1/28, and that there have been 7 complete lists from various people since then without seeing it. So, maybe, but probably not.

My two bits,

Tom

Goleta

On Feb 25, 2018, at 4:08 PM, Dave Compton davcompton60@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


I went to Refugio State Beach early this afternoon and saw the very cooperative Sage Thrasher that, until now, had not been directly posted to this list. As reported (not here), it was hanging out around campsite 29 (as well as 28 and 30), on the east side of the creek. I was there after Brad Hacker had been there, so I missed the dead Black-legged Kittiwake, which also had not been posted to this list before today. RIP Mr. or Ms. Kittiwake.

I previously had missed the Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach (thanks for posting, Joan). My most notable observation here was the 31 Red-throated Loons that I counted in the nearshore waters. The only times I've seen this many of this species has been while watching them pass through during migration.

A short note: I get the feeling that, since Jamie started forwarding the eBird alerts to SB Co Birding, that even fewer people are interested in posting birds to this list, relying only on eBird rare bird alerts or text groups that reach select birders. Please consider:

1. Many people are interested in birds in Santa Barbara County who don't get your texts.
2. The eBird alerts come out once a day, so are often not very recent compared to posts on SB Co Birding.
3. The eBird alerts will only show up on SB Co Birding if someone takes the time to forward the messages. Right now, that means you're relying on Jamie Chavez to promptly forward the message, and to do it every day. He has no obligation to do that. I'm also sure he likes to take a vacation or something every now and then.
4. eBird alerts may not cover all the observations you're interested in.
5. SB Co Birding always reaches everyone who's willing to subscribe or to check the Birding Lists Digests, messages go out quickly, it's ideal for supplying directions, . . . and it only breaks down once in a great while.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara
Advocate for the quick and effective dissemination of bird information








No Steller's Jay

Florence Sanchez
 

Today I looked for the Steller's Jay at the Botanic Garden, but it did not put in an appearance anywhere in the canyon. If anyone spots it there again, please let me know. 

It was a good day to llok for ground feeders on the bank that separates the Meadow from the parking area:  four species of Sparrow, both towhees, Thrashers, and Juncos all actively working that area.  The lone Fox Sparrow was a Sooty.  Throughout the Garden several species are singing, including California Thrashers, Bewick's Wrens, Orange-crowned Warblers, and Purple Finches. Some nice flowers are coming into bloom as well.

On the Pritchett Trail, I observed a pair of Nuttall's Woodpeckers assiduously digging out a prospective nest hole in a broken-off oak.  I will continue to watch this location for signs that nesting actually takes place.

Florence Sanchez


Re: Refugio Sage Thrasher, etc.

Florence Sanchez
 

Sorry Tom,

As a non-ebird user, I heartily support Dave's position.  I am very grateful to Jamie for getting out those daily updates.  However, sbcobirding provides a means to get far more info about a sighting than eBird is able to provide.  

This is not a new discussion:  There have been past posts to this effect from other really good birders in our county.

Thank you to all who post!

Florence Sanchez


  


On Monday, February 26, 2018 11:52 AM, "Thomas Turner tomleeturner@... [sbcobirding]" wrote:


 
Dave,

Anyone who is paying attention is very aware that many of the sharpest eyes and ears in the county don’t use eBird. I am not asking them, or you, to change a thing. But, as you and others are noting, many of the sharpest up-and-comers prefer eBird to list serves. My point is mainly that asking them to change their habits in the name of “getting the word out” is just wrong. eBird is by far the best way to get the word out to the most people. If people don’t want to use it, no problem. But if people feel like they are missing out because they haven’t signed up, well, it is easy and free. People can listen in to the eBird channel without contributing. I am not going to ask you to retype your notes in two places. But I am always using eBird, whether I see something notable or not, so you are asking me to get the word out in a second, less efficient way. The few times I have found something really good, I got the word out by all possible means. If I am looking at an already reported Sage Thrasher, people might need to follow eBird to know about it.

County listserves provide some things that eBird does not (like this conversation, as you said!), but faster or wider distribution of rarity info is not one of them. 

Tom 

Goleta

On Feb 26, 2018, at 10:19 AM, Dave Compton <davcompton60@...> wrote:

Tom,

Not everyone uses eBird, so eBird simply does not capture everything. There are people who do not use eBird and probably never will. And there are people like me who will not alter their use of eBird to accommodate people who think of it primarily as an alert system. Why do I need to complete my notes immediately so that I can get the word out, when we already have a medium that was designed mostly for that purpose? And whether people realize it or not, the majority of the more active and experienced birders in the county probably don't use eBird as a primary means of reporting birds, or they don't use it at all. Some of us may get a text message when Hugh, Nick, or Wes find a good bird. But eBird won't be the best way to hear about it, for those who don't get the text.  

Of course, it's also undeniable that not everything will ever be captured in SB Co Birding. In fact it's always been the case that plenty of information has never made it here. But it isn't hard to send messages to both, and I am baffled that so many people see fit to get information from email lists and never contribute. What is the difficulty of sending a line to an email list? I am not arguing and I never have argued that eBird isn't useful in many ways. But encouraging the use of one and never the other is just going to further fragment the spread of information.

Another point is that your hourly eBird alerts are only as good as the hourly reporting. If eBird were just a rare bird system (instead of a medium that seems to have added alerts as an afterthought), that would not be an issue. I use eBird as a way of recording the field notes that I've recorded for years, and a way of getting them into a larger database, not as a rare bird reporting tool. If people start to consider the reporting of rare birds as the reason for completing eBird checklists, that seems like another great way to encourage the inclusion of crummy data in eBird. If you're in a hurry to get out the word through eBird (for those who, unlike me, are willing to have their inboxes filled with hourly alerts), you are going to end up creating data in even more of a hurry than you do now. I think it's amazing and wonderful that eBird has gotten so many birders to create full sets of field notes who before may only have created a species list at the most. But between the difficulty of vetting all the information that's entered and the increasing accommodation of the need for immediate gratification by allowing people to enter their data in the field, the data are suspect enough already, as I believe has been well documented. Why make it worse?

By the way, I consider this a bit off the original topic, since we're talking about reporting rare birds, but the forum that SB Co Birding provides for discussions like this is also a great reason to support these lists. Recently, frustrated over these same issues, I decided the only way I could get any of these opinions out through eBird (since, after all, by posting these comments here, you're not reaching all the people who only do eBird), was to add some thoughts to my personal profile. So I typed a nice message encouraging the continued use of emails lists, and the reporting of birds to BRCs and NAB editors. Unfortunately, I used way too many characters, and I had to cut it down to about four sentences.


Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 9:38 AM, Thomas Turner tomleeturner@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Hi Dave,

Just to be combative, I will write a counter-point to this. Plus, there are a few wrong details here (you can get hourly alerts).

I understand that SBCO birding emails add a personal touch that many appreciate. For me, SBCO birding is nice because I like hearing about habitat, reports on places that aren’t visited much, or unusual timing or abundances of common birds, etc. For example, I like to send “trip report” type emails to SBCO if I take a take a trip to Cuyama or Figueroa Mountain. As for keeping up with rarities, however, eBird simply can’t be beat. The alerts can be set to either hourly or daily, as you choose. Personally, I get hourly “county needs” alerts about species I have never seen in the county, and hourly county rarity alerts, but daily “year needs” alerts of birds I haven’t seen in the county this year (I’m not doing a big year, but this is a great way to keep up with uncommon-but-not-rare birds, or see when migrants start arriving). If you are worried about missing emails, you can also go to the website and see a chronological list of all rarities for any county, state, or country on the globe. 

eBird is also totally inclusive. You don’t have to “use” eBird to get the alerts. You only have to make an account (for free) and sign up for alerts (just like people have done at SBCO birding). As for directions, there is no reason observers can’t add directions to eBird comments, as Chris Dean did when she found the Sage Thrasher, and I did when I saw it after her. The only reason to do this on SBCO birding instead is if you don’t want to reach everyone. If you want to welcome local birders into your yard, the listserve might be better precisely because it is less inclusive.

It is also the best way to keep up with what people are seeing at your favorite places. I often browse the complete lists submitted by people (like you!) who are better birders than I am so that I can see what birds I might be failing to detect. That was one of the most important ways I learned how to bird, in fact. It is also the best way to know if a rarity might have departed. If you are wondering if the Gray Catbird is still at Anisq'Oyo Park, you need only check the hotspot web page to see that it was last seen on 1/28, and that there have been 7 complete lists from various people since then without seeing it. So, maybe, but probably not.

My two bits,

Tom

Goleta

On Feb 25, 2018, at 4:08 PM, Dave Compton davcompton60@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@ yahoogroups.com> wrote:


I went to Refugio State Beach early this afternoon and saw the very cooperative Sage Thrasher that, until now, had not been directly posted to this list. As reported (not here), it was hanging out around campsite 29 (as well as 28 and 30), on the east side of the creek. I was there after Brad Hacker had been there, so I missed the dead Black-legged Kittiwake, which also had not been posted to this list before today. RIP Mr. or Ms. Kittiwake.

I previously had missed the Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach (thanks for posting, Joan). My most notable observation here was the 31 Red-throated Loons that I counted in the nearshore waters. The only times I've seen this many of this species has been while watching them pass through during migration.

A short note: I get the feeling that, since Jamie started forwarding the eBird alerts to SB Co Birding, that even fewer people are interested in posting birds to this list, relying only on eBird rare bird alerts or text groups that reach select birders. Please consider:

1. Many people are interested in birds in Santa Barbara County who don't get your texts.
2. The eBird alerts come out once a day, so are often not very recent compared to posts on SB Co Birding.
3. The eBird alerts will only show up on SB Co Birding if someone takes the time to forward the messages. Right now, that means you're relying on Jamie Chavez to promptly forward the message, and to do it every day. He has no obligation to do that. I'm also sure he likes to take a vacation or something every now and then.
4. eBird alerts may not cover all the observations you're interested in.
5. SB Co Birding always reaches everyone who's willing to subscribe or to check the Birding Lists Digests, messages go out quickly, it's ideal for supplying directions, . . . and it only breaks down once in a great while.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara
Advocate for the quick and effective dissemination of bird information









Re: Garganey Molt Reveals.......What?

Brad Schram
 

Thanks Wim, and Louis.  The last phrase seems to be the critical issue--"...lacking their typical vermiculated feathers."  Hopefully this critter sticks around for another week or so to get a fuller molt reveal.

Brad Schram   
Arroyo Grande

On 2/26/2018 2:19 PM, Wim van Dam wrote:

​Louis Bevier pointed me to this "Guide to the age and sex of European ducks":

​About ​Garganey it mentions:
> [...] Breeding moult occurs mostly on the African wintering grounds. In juveniles,
 the acquisition of a breeding plumage may only be partial during the
​ ​
first
​ ​
year of life. Birds shot by hunters or trapped by ringers during autumn migration are hence almost always in juvenile or summer adult plumage, the males then lacking their typical vermiculated
​ fl​
ank
​ ​
feathers.

​<

Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA
---
SBCO #376+1: Pine Warbler




On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:12 PM, Brad Schram gonebrdn@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
>
>  
>
> I ran down to Santa Maria last Thursday the 22nd after hearing the
> Garganey had returned to its usual pond.  The purpose was to photograph
> the beast, now in molt, to document its state of progress toward
> alternate plumage.
>
> Today I uploaded a couple photos from last week on my Flickr site.
> Looking at them I realize that I know virtually nothing about
> Garganeys.  Expecting the bird to be on the way to spring plumage for a
> drake, instead I found it molting to female-type breast and flank
> feathers, although the head appears to be moving toward the full
> supercillium with descending hind-part of a drake.  A quick look at
> online sources found a convincing lack of information on the subject.
>
> Does a drake Garganey take multiple years to achieve full alternate
> plumage?  Does the occasional female Garganey show a strong posterior
> descending supercillium?  Does an overdose of white bread cause
> retardation of maturation in Garganeys?  OK, the last question is unserious.
>
> Brad Schram
> Arroyo Grande
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparralbrad/
>
>
> ________________________________
> Posted by: Brad Schram <gonebrdn@...>
> ________________________________


Re: Garganey Molt Reveals.......What?

Wim van Dam
 


​Louis Bevier pointed me to this "Guide to the age and sex of European ducks":

​About ​Garganey it mentions:
> [...] Breeding moult occurs mostly on the African wintering grounds. In juveniles,
 the acquisition of a breeding plumage may only be partial during the
​ ​
first
​ ​
year of life. Birds shot by hunters or trapped by ringers during autumn migration are hence almost always in juvenile or summer adult plumage, the males then lacking their typical vermiculated
​ fl​
ank
​ ​
feathers.

​<

Wim van Dam
Solvang, CA
---
SBCO #376+1: Pine Warbler




On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:12 PM, Brad Schram gonebrdn@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
>
>  
>
> I ran down to Santa Maria last Thursday the 22nd after hearing the
> Garganey had returned to its usual pond.  The purpose was to photograph
> the beast, now in molt, to document its state of progress toward
> alternate plumage.
>
> Today I uploaded a couple photos from last week on my Flickr site.
> Looking at them I realize that I know virtually nothing about
> Garganeys.  Expecting the bird to be on the way to spring plumage for a
> drake, instead I found it molting to female-type breast and flank
> feathers, although the head appears to be moving toward the full
> supercillium with descending hind-part of a drake.  A quick look at
> online sources found a convincing lack of information on the subject.
>
> Does a drake Garganey take multiple years to achieve full alternate
> plumage?  Does the occasional female Garganey show a strong posterior
> descending supercillium?  Does an overdose of white bread cause
> retardation of maturation in Garganeys?  OK, the last question is unserious.
>
> Brad Schram
> Arroyo Grande
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparralbrad/
>
>
> ________________________________
> Posted by: Brad Schram <gonebrdn@...>
> ________________________________


Garganey Molt Reveals.......What?

Brad Schram
 

I ran down to Santa Maria last Thursday the 22nd after hearing the Garganey had returned to its usual pond.  The purpose was to photograph the beast, now in molt, to document its state of progress toward alternate plumage.

Today I uploaded a couple photos from last week on my Flickr site. Looking at them I realize that I know virtually nothing about Garganeys.  Expecting the bird to be on the way to spring plumage for a drake, instead I found it molting to female-type breast and flank feathers, although the head appears to be moving toward the full supercillium with descending hind-part of a drake.  A quick look at online sources found a convincing lack of information on the subject.

Does a drake Garganey take multiple years to achieve full alternate plumage?  Does the occasional female Garganey show a strong posterior descending supercillium?  Does an overdose of white bread cause retardation of maturation in Garganeys?  OK, the last question is unserious.

Brad Schram
Arroyo Grande

https://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparralbrad/


Re: Refugio Sage Thrasher, etc.

Thomas Turner <tomleeturner@...>
 

Dave,

Anyone who is paying attention is very aware that many of the sharpest eyes and ears in the county don’t use eBird. I am not asking them, or you, to change a thing. But, as you and others are noting, many of the sharpest up-and-comers prefer eBird to list serves. My point is mainly that asking them to change their habits in the name of “getting the word out” is just wrong. eBird is by far the best way to get the word out to the most people. If people don’t want to use it, no problem. But if people feel like they are missing out because they haven’t signed up, well, it is easy and free. People can listen in to the eBird channel without contributing. I am not going to ask you to retype your notes in two places. But I am always using eBird, whether I see something notable or not, so you are asking me to get the word out in a second, less efficient way. The few times I have found something really good, I got the word out by all possible means. If I am looking at an already reported Sage Thrasher, people might need to follow eBird to know about it.

County listserves provide some things that eBird does not (like this conversation, as you said!), but faster or wider distribution of rarity info is not one of them. 

Tom 

Goleta

On Feb 26, 2018, at 10:19 AM, Dave Compton <davcompton60@...> wrote:

Tom,

Not everyone uses eBird, so eBird simply does not capture everything. There are people who do not use eBird and probably never will. And there are people like me who will not alter their use of eBird to accommodate people who think of it primarily as an alert system. Why do I need to complete my notes immediately so that I can get the word out, when we already have a medium that was designed mostly for that purpose? And whether people realize it or not, the majority of the more active and experienced birders in the county probably don't use eBird as a primary means of reporting birds, or they don't use it at all. Some of us may get a text message when Hugh, Nick, or Wes find a good bird. But eBird won't be the best way to hear about it, for those who don't get the text.  

Of course, it's also undeniable that not everything will ever be captured in SB Co Birding. In fact it's always been the case that plenty of information has never made it here. But it isn't hard to send messages to both, and I am baffled that so many people see fit to get information from email lists and never contribute. What is the difficulty of sending a line to an email list? I am not arguing and I never have argued that eBird isn't useful in many ways. But encouraging the use of one and never the other is just going to further fragment the spread of information.

Another point is that your hourly eBird alerts are only as good as the hourly reporting. If eBird were just a rare bird system (instead of a medium that seems to have added alerts as an afterthought), that would not be an issue. I use eBird as a way of recording the field notes that I've recorded for years, and a way of getting them into a larger database, not as a rare bird reporting tool. If people start to consider the reporting of rare birds as the reason for completing eBird checklists, that seems like another great way to encourage the inclusion of crummy data in eBird. If you're in a hurry to get out the word through eBird (for those who, unlike me, are willing to have their inboxes filled with hourly alerts), you are going to end up creating data in even more of a hurry than you do now. I think it's amazing and wonderful that eBird has gotten so many birders to create full sets of field notes who before may only have created a species list at the most. But between the difficulty of vetting all the information that's entered and the increasing accommodation of the need for immediate gratification by allowing people to enter their data in the field, the data are suspect enough already, as I believe has been well documented. Why make it worse?

By the way, I consider this a bit off the original topic, since we're talking about reporting rare birds, but the forum that SB Co Birding provides for discussions like this is also a great reason to support these lists. Recently, frustrated over these same issues, I decided the only way I could get any of these opinions out through eBird (since, after all, by posting these comments here, you're not reaching all the people who only do eBird), was to add some thoughts to my personal profile. So I typed a nice message encouraging the continued use of emails lists, and the reporting of birds to BRCs and NAB editors. Unfortunately, I used way too many characters, and I had to cut it down to about four sentences.


Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 9:38 AM, Thomas Turner tomleeturner@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Hi Dave,

Just to be combative, I will write a counter-point to this. Plus, there are a few wrong details here (you can get hourly alerts).

I understand that SBCO birding emails add a personal touch that many appreciate. For me, SBCO birding is nice because I like hearing about habitat, reports on places that aren’t visited much, or unusual timing or abundances of common birds, etc. For example, I like to send “trip report” type emails to SBCO if I take a take a trip to Cuyama or Figueroa Mountain. As for keeping up with rarities, however, eBird simply can’t be beat. The alerts can be set to either hourly or daily, as you choose. Personally, I get hourly “county needs” alerts about species I have never seen in the county, and hourly county rarity alerts, but daily “year needs” alerts of birds I haven’t seen in the county this year (I’m not doing a big year, but this is a great way to keep up with uncommon-but-not-rare birds, or see when migrants start arriving). If you are worried about missing emails, you can also go to the website and see a chronological list of all rarities for any county, state, or country on the globe. 

eBird is also totally inclusive. You don’t have to “use” eBird to get the alerts. You only have to make an account (for free) and sign up for alerts (just like people have done at SBCO birding). As for directions, there is no reason observers can’t add directions to eBird comments, as Chris Dean did when she found the Sage Thrasher, and I did when I saw it after her. The only reason to do this on SBCO birding instead is if you don’t want to reach everyone. If you want to welcome local birders into your yard, the listserve might be better precisely because it is less inclusive.

It is also the best way to keep up with what people are seeing at your favorite places. I often browse the complete lists submitted by people (like you!) who are better birders than I am so that I can see what birds I might be failing to detect. That was one of the most important ways I learned how to bird, in fact. It is also the best way to know if a rarity might have departed. If you are wondering if the Gray Catbird is still at Anisq'Oyo Park, you need only check the hotspot web page to see that it was last seen on 1/28, and that there have been 7 complete lists from various people since then without seeing it. So, maybe, but probably not.

My two bits,

Tom

Goleta

On Feb 25, 2018, at 4:08 PM, Dave Compton davcompton60@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


I went to Refugio State Beach early this afternoon and saw the very cooperative Sage Thrasher that, until now, had not been directly posted to this list. As reported (not here), it was hanging out around campsite 29 (as well as 28 and 30), on the east side of the creek. I was there after Brad Hacker had been there, so I missed the dead Black-legged Kittiwake, which also had not been posted to this list before today. RIP Mr. or Ms. Kittiwake.

I previously had missed the Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach (thanks for posting, Joan). My most notable observation here was the 31 Red-throated Loons that I counted in the nearshore waters. The only times I've seen this many of this species has been while watching them pass through during migration.

A short note: I get the feeling that, since Jamie started forwarding the eBird alerts to SB Co Birding, that even fewer people are interested in posting birds to this list, relying only on eBird rare bird alerts or text groups that reach select birders. Please consider:

1. Many people are interested in birds in Santa Barbara County who don't get your texts.
2. The eBird alerts come out once a day, so are often not very recent compared to posts on SB Co Birding.
3. The eBird alerts will only show up on SB Co Birding if someone takes the time to forward the messages. Right now, that means you're relying on Jamie Chavez to promptly forward the message, and to do it every day. He has no obligation to do that. I'm also sure he likes to take a vacation or something every now and then.
4. eBird alerts may not cover all the observations you're interested in.
5. SB Co Birding always reaches everyone who's willing to subscribe or to check the Birding Lists Digests, messages go out quickly, it's ideal for supplying directions, . . . and it only breaks down once in a great while.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara
Advocate for the quick and effective dissemination of bird information







Re: Refugio Sage Thrasher, etc.

Dave Compton
 

Tom,

Not everyone uses eBird, so eBird simply does not capture everything. There are people who do not use eBird and probably never will. And there are people like me who will not alter their use of eBird to accommodate people who think of it primarily as an alert system. Why do I need to complete my notes immediately so that I can get the word out, when we already have a medium that was designed mostly for that purpose? And whether people realize it or not, the majority of the more active and experienced birders in the county probably don't use eBird as a primary means of reporting birds, or they don't use it at all. Some of us may get a text message when Hugh, Nick, or Wes find a good bird. But eBird won't be the best way to hear about it, for those who don't get the text.  

Of course, it's also undeniable that not everything will ever be captured in SB Co Birding. In fact it's always been the case that plenty of information has never made it here. But it isn't hard to send messages to both, and I am baffled that so many people see fit to get information from email lists and never contribute. What is the difficulty of sending a line to an email list? I am not arguing and I never have argued that eBird isn't useful in many ways. But encouraging the use of one and never the other is just going to further fragment the spread of information.

Another point is that your hourly eBird alerts are only as good as the hourly reporting. If eBird were just a rare bird system (instead of a medium that seems to have added alerts as an afterthought), that would not be an issue. I use eBird as a way of recording the field notes that I've recorded for years, and a way of getting them into a larger database, not as a rare bird reporting tool. If people start to consider the reporting of rare birds as the reason for completing eBird checklists, that seems like another great way to encourage the inclusion of crummy data in eBird. If you're in a hurry to get out the word through eBird (for those who, unlike me, are willing to have their inboxes filled with hourly alerts), you are going to end up creating data in even more of a hurry than you do now. I think it's amazing and wonderful that eBird has gotten so many birders to create full sets of field notes who before may only have created a species list at the most. But between the difficulty of vetting all the information that's entered and the increasing accommodation of the need for immediate gratification by allowing people to enter their data in the field, the data are suspect enough already, as I believe has been well documented. Why make it worse?

By the way, I consider this a bit off the original topic, since we're talking about reporting rare birds, but the forum that SB Co Birding provides for discussions like this is also a great reason to support these lists. Recently, frustrated over these same issues, I decided the only way I could get any of these opinions out through eBird (since, after all, by posting these comments here, you're not reaching all the people who only do eBird), was to add some thoughts to my personal profile. So I typed a nice message encouraging the continued use of emails lists, and the reporting of birds to BRCs and NAB editors. Unfortunately, I used way too many characters, and I had to cut it down to about four sentences.


Dave Compton
Santa Barbara


On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 9:38 AM, Thomas Turner tomleeturner@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:
 

Hi Dave,

Just to be combative, I will write a counter-point to this. Plus, there are a few wrong details here (you can get hourly alerts).

I understand that SBCO birding emails add a personal touch that many appreciate. For me, SBCO birding is nice because I like hearing about habitat, reports on places that aren’t visited much, or unusual timing or abundances of common birds, etc. For example, I like to send “trip report” type emails to SBCO if I take a take a trip to Cuyama or Figueroa Mountain. As for keeping up with rarities, however, eBird simply can’t be beat. The alerts can be set to either hourly or daily, as you choose. Personally, I get hourly “county needs” alerts about species I have never seen in the county, and hourly county rarity alerts, but daily “year needs” alerts of birds I haven’t seen in the county this year (I’m not doing a big year, but this is a great way to keep up with uncommon-but-not-rare birds, or see when migrants start arriving). If you are worried about missing emails, you can also go to the website and see a chronological list of all rarities for any county, state, or country on the globe. 

eBird is also totally inclusive. You don’t have to “use” eBird to get the alerts. You only have to make an account (for free) and sign up for alerts (just like people have done at SBCO birding). As for directions, there is no reason observers can’t add directions to eBird comments, as Chris Dean did when she found the Sage Thrasher, and I did when I saw it after her. The only reason to do this on SBCO birding instead is if you don’t want to reach everyone. If you want to welcome local birders into your yard, the listserve might be better precisely because it is less inclusive.

It is also the best way to keep up with what people are seeing at your favorite places. I often browse the complete lists submitted by people (like you!) who are better birders than I am so that I can see what birds I might be failing to detect. That was one of the most important ways I learned how to bird, in fact. It is also the best way to know if a rarity might have departed. If you are wondering if the Gray Catbird is still at Anisq'Oyo Park, you need only check the hotspot web page to see that it was last seen on 1/28, and that there have been 7 complete lists from various people since then without seeing it. So, maybe, but probably not.

My two bits,

Tom

Goleta

On Feb 25, 2018, at 4:08 PM, Dave Compton davcompton60@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


I went to Refugio State Beach early this afternoon and saw the very cooperative Sage Thrasher that, until now, had not been directly posted to this list. As reported (not here), it was hanging out around campsite 29 (as well as 28 and 30), on the east side of the creek. I was there after Brad Hacker had been there, so I missed the dead Black-legged Kittiwake, which also had not been posted to this list before today. RIP Mr. or Ms. Kittiwake.

I previously had missed the Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach (thanks for posting, Joan). My most notable observation here was the 31 Red-throated Loons that I counted in the nearshore waters. The only times I've seen this many of this species has been while watching them pass through during migration.

A short note: I get the feeling that, since Jamie started forwarding the eBird alerts to SB Co Birding, that even fewer people are interested in posting birds to this list, relying only on eBird rare bird alerts or text groups that reach select birders. Please consider:

1. Many people are interested in birds in Santa Barbara County who don't get your texts.
2. The eBird alerts come out once a day, so are often not very recent compared to posts on SB Co Birding.
3. The eBird alerts will only show up on SB Co Birding if someone takes the time to forward the messages. Right now, that means you're relying on Jamie Chavez to promptly forward the message, and to do it every day. He has no obligation to do that. I'm also sure he likes to take a vacation or something every now and then.
4. eBird alerts may not cover all the observations you're interested in.
5. SB Co Birding always reaches everyone who's willing to subscribe or to check the Birding Lists Digests, messages go out quickly, it's ideal for supplying directions, . . . and it only breaks down once in a great while.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara
Advocate for the quick and effective dissemination of bird information




Re: Refugio Sage Thrasher, etc.

Robert Lindsay
 

Monday, 2/26, 9:15 am

 

Sage Thrasher continues in Refugio campsites as described in Dave's post yesterday. Cooperative is not a generous enough term to describe this bird. Camp sites 28-30 and those past them are empty with no obstructions. The birds was seen this morning foraging around in the open on a beautiful, sunny morning with no other birds nearby to distract. It is a handsome specimen. Go see it before the rain gets here (if it does).

 

Rob Lindsay


Re: Refugio Sage Thrasher, etc.

Thomas Turner <tomleeturner@...>
 

Hi Dave,

Just to be combative, I will write a counter-point to this. Plus, there are a few wrong details here (you can get hourly alerts).

I understand that SBCO birding emails add a personal touch that many appreciate. For me, SBCO birding is nice because I like hearing about habitat, reports on places that aren’t visited much, or unusual timing or abundances of common birds, etc. For example, I like to send “trip report” type emails to SBCO if I take a take a trip to Cuyama or Figueroa Mountain. As for keeping up with rarities, however, eBird simply can’t be beat. The alerts can be set to either hourly or daily, as you choose. Personally, I get hourly “county needs” alerts about species I have never seen in the county, and hourly county rarity alerts, but daily “year needs” alerts of birds I haven’t seen in the county this year (I’m not doing a big year, but this is a great way to keep up with uncommon-but-not-rare birds, or see when migrants start arriving). If you are worried about missing emails, you can also go to the website and see a chronological list of all rarities for any county, state, or country on the globe. 

eBird is also totally inclusive. You don’t have to “use” eBird to get the alerts. You only have to make an account (for free) and sign up for alerts (just like people have done at SBCO birding). As for directions, there is no reason observers can’t add directions to eBird comments, as Chris Dean did when she found the Sage Thrasher, and I did when I saw it after her. The only reason to do this on SBCO birding instead is if you don’t want to reach everyone. If you want to welcome local birders into your yard, the listserve might be better precisely because it is less inclusive.

It is also the best way to keep up with what people are seeing at your favorite places. I often browse the complete lists submitted by people (like you!) who are better birders than I am so that I can see what birds I might be failing to detect. That was one of the most important ways I learned how to bird, in fact. It is also the best way to know if a rarity might have departed. If you are wondering if the Gray Catbird is still at Anisq'Oyo Park, you need only check the hotspot web page to see that it was last seen on 1/28, and that there have been 7 complete lists from various people since then without seeing it. So, maybe, but probably not.

My two bits,

Tom

Goleta

On Feb 25, 2018, at 4:08 PM, Dave Compton davcompton60@... [sbcobirding] <sbcobirding-noreply@...> wrote:


I went to Refugio State Beach early this afternoon and saw the very cooperative Sage Thrasher that, until now, had not been directly posted to this list. As reported (not here), it was hanging out around campsite 29 (as well as 28 and 30), on the east side of the creek. I was there after Brad Hacker had been there, so I missed the dead Black-legged Kittiwake, which also had not been posted to this list before today. RIP Mr. or Ms. Kittiwake.

I previously had missed the Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach (thanks for posting, Joan). My most notable observation here was the 31 Red-throated Loons that I counted in the nearshore waters. The only times I've seen this many of this species has been while watching them pass through during migration.

A short note: I get the feeling that, since Jamie started forwarding the eBird alerts to SB Co Birding, that even fewer people are interested in posting birds to this list, relying only on eBird rare bird alerts or text groups that reach select birders. Please consider:

1. Many people are interested in birds in Santa Barbara County who don't get your texts.
2. The eBird alerts come out once a day, so are often not very recent compared to posts on SB Co Birding.
3. The eBird alerts will only show up on SB Co Birding if someone takes the time to forward the messages. Right now, that means you're relying on Jamie Chavez to promptly forward the message, and to do it every day. He has no obligation to do that. I'm also sure he likes to take a vacation or something every now and then.
4. eBird alerts may not cover all the observations you're interested in.
5. SB Co Birding always reaches everyone who's willing to subscribe or to check the Birding Lists Digests, messages go out quickly, it's ideal for supplying directions, . . . and it only breaks down once in a great while.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara
Advocate for the quick and effective dissemination of bird information



Clay Colored Sparrow

John Deacon
 

All:

While performing my FeederWatch duties, I discovered a Clay Colored Sparrow on the ground below my feeders.  I took this photograph, but he was caught on my GameCam numerous times throughout yesterday and today.  Photo included in the E Bird link below.

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S43196481


John Deacon
iseekbirds@...


Refugio Sage Thrasher, etc.

Dave Compton
 

I went to Refugio State Beach early this afternoon and saw the very cooperative Sage Thrasher that, until now, had not been directly posted to this list. As reported (not here), it was hanging out around campsite 29 (as well as 28 and 30), on the east side of the creek. I was there after Brad Hacker had been there, so I missed the dead Black-legged Kittiwake, which also had not been posted to this list before today. RIP Mr. or Ms. Kittiwake.

I previously had missed the Little Blue Heron at Goleta Beach (thanks for posting, Joan). My most notable observation here was the 31 Red-throated Loons that I counted in the nearshore waters. The only times I've seen this many of this species has been while watching them pass through during migration.

A short note: I get the feeling that, since Jamie started forwarding the eBird alerts to SB Co Birding, that even fewer people are interested in posting birds to this list, relying only on eBird rare bird alerts or text groups that reach select birders. Please consider:

1. Many people are interested in birds in Santa Barbara County who don't get your texts.
2. The eBird alerts come out once a day, so are often not very recent compared to posts on SB Co Birding.
3. The eBird alerts will only show up on SB Co Birding if someone takes the time to forward the messages. Right now, that means you're relying on Jamie Chavez to promptly forward the message, and to do it every day. He has no obligation to do that. I'm also sure he likes to take a vacation or something every now and then.
4. eBird alerts may not cover all the observations you're interested in.
5. SB Co Birding always reaches everyone who's willing to subscribe or to check the Birding Lists Digests, messages go out quickly, it's ideal for supplying directions, . . . and it only breaks down once in a great while.

Dave Compton
Santa Barbara
Advocate for the quick and effective dissemination of bird information


Nashville Warbler and Little Blue Heron this a.m.

Joan Lentz (cox.net address)
 

Hi All:  I had an unexpected NASHVILLE WARBLER while doing a bird survey south of the dam at Lake Los Carneros.  It was  a fairly bright individual that I hadn’t seen this season;  not that the species is every regular on my surveys, and certainly a first winter record for this particular property.  
The WHITE-TAILED KITES appear to me to have perhaps selected the Norfolk Island Pine up near Stow House for nesting this year.  Although I observed one kite hunting south of the dam, then perched on a dead conifer nearby, as I was leaving and walked across the dam, I looked north towards Stow House and saw one bird (is the other on a nest?) perched high in the westernmost tall pine near Stow House.  
I then parked at the end of Ward Dr. and walked west about .25 mi. along the Atascadero Creek trail to a spot where the LITTLE BLUE HERON was foraging.  However, after about three minutes, the heron took off and flew down the Atascadero Creek channel and completely around the corner under the pipe that crosses there, so from then on it would’ve been visible from Goleta Beach.
And while I have your attention, ahem!, I would like to recommend one of the best bird books I’ve ever read.  This was recommended to me by Hugh Ranson, and it was first published in England, now available in the U.S.  It’s called “THE SEABIRD’S CRY” by Adam Nicolson.  And yes, it’s about seabirds, but this man writes in such an elegant way, and you will learn so much about a selection of seabird species, that even if you’re never going on a boat, you will appreciate this book.  Adam Nicolson is the grandson of two famous writers, and his family OWNS a group of islands called the Shiants, off the coast of Scotland in the Hebrides group.  Granted, I am going on a trip around the U.K. on a boat, so of course this is a fabulous book for my needs, but I wanted to throw it out there as an example of “the perfect bird book”:  good science, good writing!
Good birding!

Joan Lentz