This post is only tangentially related to birding but ultimately this web tool I am working on will be a widget to draw data specific to a birding location at Western Maryland Birding from the eBird database. This tool will allow users to generate a table of birds seen at the location by specifying how many days back and how many miles away from that location they want to search (with some limits set so as not to tax the e-bird database).
I just saw that there is a new feature on eBird. It is the top 100. It ranks birders by number of species seen or by number of checklists submitted. I am currently ranked number 1 in my home state of MD for the 2514 MD checklists I've submitted (and 6th by species though I've only gotten to the first 332 of the 363 species I've actually seen in the state). My ranking by species of 98th in the ABA area is misrepresented too.
As a budding nature photographer, this story hit home. I guess you can never be too careful. This poor guy fell into a jetty while trying to photograph a Common Eider. The link below has the whole story, some decent photos, and a poem to go with all of it. Thanks to June Tveekrem for posting this to the best Birding List out there (MDOSPREY). http://www.howardsview.com/Jetty/Jetty.html
I created a Google Earth / Google Maps file of all the Christmas Bird Count Circles in Maryland (those whose centers occur in the state). I hosted the file on my website http://www.westernmdbirding.com/
I downloaded all the circle centroids from The National Audubon Society and imported them into ESRI's ArcMap software to create a shapefile. Then I created a second shapefile that was a buffer of those points with a buffer distance of 7.5 miles. Then I exported the second shapefile into KML using KMLER.
This may not make as much sense to those who aren't birders but I enter all my birding data into an Access database (and later to a MySQL database - jb-bird) using the 4 letter alpha codes that bird banders use. Lately I've also been uploading all my data to eBird which is a website that makes good use of all that kind of birding data and makes everyones data available to anyone interested.
I'm getting a little frustrated. I'm trying to figure out a way to send SMS from my phone to a service that will forward my message to my gmail address. Then I would theoretically set up a filter in gmail to forward the message to a LISTSERV.
I'm relieved that I am done entering all the bird count data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) Route that I ran on Tuesday. It looks from the summary on the website that this was my 6th year running the route. It really is a lot of fun yet its a pain too because there is a lot of preparation that goes into it. I often check a nearby stream gage because when the water is high, the first few stops (along Spring Lick Road) near the Savage River Reservoir can be very loud (which makes it tough to hear birds).