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May 2019


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Ian Worley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 31 May 2019 17:43:42 -0400
text/plain (97 lines)
Eagle-eyed Larry Haugh has spotted a rather key typo.

Here is the proper wording of a sentence below:

"As a general theme, based on eBird data all three species are as close 
to absent as they can be in June, July, and August in the Lake 
Champlain/Champlain Lowlands.  Virtually all reports during these three 
months to eBird are inadequately documented and/or prove to be in error."

Thanks Larry ...


On 5/31/2019 4:12 PM, Ian Worley wrote:
> Hello all,
> Many of you know that I am the eBird reviewer for the four Champlain 
> Valley counties of Vermont.  And eBirders know that Philadelphia 
> Vireos are usually flagged for review.  Pertinent to the ID 
> conversation here started by Bridget is some information of 
> expectations for that species and two species of flycatchers that are 
> often flagged as well ..... Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Olive-sided 
> Flycatcher.
> All three share a similar pattern in the Champlain regarding 
> seasonality and geographical distribution.
> The Champlain Valley counties include Lake Champlain, the Champlain 
> Lowlands, and the Green Mountains (foothills and mountains).
> Most of the ID errors of the three species occur with submissions to 
> eBird from along Lake Champlain and from the Champlain Lowlands.
> As a general theme all three species are as close to absent as they 
> can be in June, August, and September in the Lake Champlain/Champlain 
> Lowlands.  Virtually all reports during these three months to eBird 
> are inadequately documented and/or prove to be in error.
> In spring migration Philadelphia Vireos appear in the Lowlands in 
> quite low numbers, mostly in the last two weeks of May.  ID errors and 
> inadequately documented birds are very common during this period.   
> During fall migration is when the species is most likely to be seen in 
> the Lowlands, almost always in September.  For many birders this is 
> one of the Fall highlight birds.  This is the peak time for their 
> observation in the Lowlands, and well documented individuals seem to 
> help other birders locate the species more easily as the month wears on.
> With a few exceptions Yellow-bellied Flycatcher submissions during 
> spring migration in the Lowlands are usually inadequately documented 
> or errors.  Overall, the few documented individuals have been in the 
> last three weeks of May.  Documented individuals are very sparse 
> during fall migration, from the last week of August through the first 
> two weeks of September.
> Olive-sided Flycatchers, of these three species, are the most scarce 
> in the Champlain Lowlands; at least as reflected in the eBird data. 
> They also have a high level of inadequately documented and mistakenly 
> identified birds.  The very few documented reports are during the last 
> three weeks of May during spring migration. They are essentially 
> absent in the Lowland during the Fall migration.
> ---------------------------------
> Overall, these three species need good quality documentation whenever 
> located along Lake Champlain and the in the Champlain Lowlands. Thanks 
> to Bridget Butler for getting this conversation going!
> If only seen, multiple defining characteristics are important for a 
> successful documentation.  Vocalizations (with no recordings) by 
> themselves are inadequate for documentation, and for Philadelphia 
> Vireo almost useless in most cases.  Audio recordings are best when 
> there are multiple repeats of songs, and when the sonograms are 
> clear.  Multiple photos are much better than a single photo.
> As most of you eBirders know, the same bird is often reported by 
> several birders.  The more birders that see what is likely the same 
> bird at a location, the subsequent documentation of the bird can be 
> somewhat less thorough.  But beware, every season there are instances 
> where some birders will document a bird with the phrase "continuing 
> bird", or "seen by others", or "known to be at location" ..... not 
> knowing that the original observation was found to be in error or 
> inadequately documented.
> -----------------------------------
> As most of us know these last three weeks of May have been an 
> seemingly unrivaled Vermont bonanza of migrants, especially warblers 
> and other passerines.  Included have been numerous reports of 
> Philadelphia Vireos and Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. For the most part 
> I have been holding back on reviewing these submission until the flood 
> is over.  In the near future I will work my way through the three 
> species, looking at all the submissions during this spring.
> Good birding all .....
> Ian