Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bird a Day MkII update

My project of starting a Bird-A-Day competition on 1 July (to match the efforts of the Northern Hemisphere participants who start on January 1) is still going.  I have currently logged 117 days and have quite a few code 1 birds left.  The task was made considerably easier by having 4 weeks in Western and Northern NSW for most of July.  This is shown by the following Chart.
The score used here is derived from eBird frequency stats showing how many times a species has been recorded in NSW in 2013.  It is going to be influenced by the density of observers, so species seen often in Sydney get high scores (and by and large are also common birds in this area.  So after our month away with lots of inland birds my average score was low, but when I got home and had to start relying on the birds found over Winter it rapidly rose.

The code is a little more subjective being my assessment of how frequently a species will be seen where and when I saw it.  In this case the higher the score the rarer the bird.  We did seem to find a few oddities earlier on and have been holding on between 2 and 4 recently.

I have compared the codes for this project with those for the first 117 days of my January effort.  Obviously things were are bit harder in August than in February, but from mid-August onwards the correlation looks very good.
I have only used a few code 1 birds (and have about 20 of them up my sleeve) so should make it through November.  Best birds thus far have been Grey Falcon and an addition to the Canberra list in White-winged Black Tern.

With respect to the formal competition there are still 4 people in the running. with one each from California, North Carolina, Queensland and Victoria.  The message board suggests the NC entrant is feeling the pressure and the Queenslander has retreated to Italy to make life a bit easier!  After a pelagic to score an Albatross the Victorian entrant has used a couple of code 1s!

Good luck to all!

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