Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Old School Ugly Gull Post




I encountered this beast of a gull yesterday in Waterloo... Conventional wisdom would say it's an ugly intermediate bird in the new "Iceland" Gull spectrum, but I had strong impressions of Glaucous-winged while viewing the bird... Clearly it's not a Glaucous-winged, but a hybrid Glaucous-winged X Herring Gull seemed like a reasonable explanation (other than the fact I don't think there are any documented records of this hybrid in the Province...) I'm lucky to have pretty extensive experience with this combo (esp. for someone who lives in Ontario) during several trips to the northern BC coast... Here's my thoughts:


- it's pretty big (HERG size)
- it generally looks "broad" in flight (wide body, wide wings etc)
- it has a GWGU-ish belly
- has a slightly contrasting whitish head with a bit of a dark mask (something I associate with GWGU hybrids) 
- the tertial/covert/scap pattern is crazy (tiny white flecks?) which I associate w/ GWGU hybrids, and I'm not sure if I've seen it on Kumlien/Thayer types... 
- it has GWGU-like uniformity to the plumage (only slightly darker outer primaries and tail) 
- the primary projection appear(s/ed) short
- it's difficult to tell if it's in juv or 1st basic plumage... (I wouldn't expect this issue with a fresh Kumlien's/Thayer's type?)
- there's something about how the feathers extend up the underside of the bill that reminds me of GWGU and not "Iceland" - but I haven't looked into it enough to be sure... 


Here's 25 pics of the beast - what do you think? Am I on to something, or am I just getting rusty? 




























Sunday, October 29, 2017

Two reasonably unrelated vlogs




#1 is a look at some neotropical insanity happening NOW on in the southern maritime provinces...







#2 is about a monster low pressure system that will pass by (rapidly) tomorrow...






What.. whatcha think?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dunning-Kruger




Perhaps others already know of this, but it was new to me and has obviously direct implications to our collective goal of identifying creatures in the natural world...

Wikipedia:

Although the Dunning–Kruger effect was formulated in 1999, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority has been known throughout history and identified by intellectuals, such as the philosopher Confucius (551–479 BC), who said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”.


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While generally directed at the initial spike in confidence, I felt the more interesting element was the decrease in confidence that follows - and the subsequent rise in confidence once again... A quick internet search hasn't directed me past that initial spike in confidence... Perhaps there is nothing interesting that occurs after that point (e.g. it's straightforward, the more you learn the more confident you become) - but I want to read more!

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Active time of year for weather... Nothing has really been jumping out at me, but maybe we'll get lucky with some Cave Swallows in the next little while... And as always, it only takes one bird...


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pelagic Carpooling!?


HEY! Who want's to carpool to Massachusetts for some killer pelagic birding?

Offshore Oct 14-15 (overnight!) Cost: $330 USD for the pelagic part

Who can say no to this?!

Time is running out!


Details:

http://www.shorebirder.com/2017/09/october-pelagic-opportunity.html



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Vloggin' time! La Nina watch in effect




A lil video that could be an early indicator of good biridng in Apr/May 2018! It's never too early to plan...

Important to note that we're only in a La Nina "watch" and not an official la nina, but thought this would be a good time to chat about ENSO and it's effect on our climate/local weather events.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Weather Vlog Update - Sep 9, 2017





There's actually a chance for some notable birds to come north 'cause of this cane... SW winds & energy from the system might hit lake Erie by Wednesday.... I'll take it - but it's not what I (we?) had hoped for...


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hurricane Irma Update - Sep 7



You better believe it's in video form... Things aren't looking amazing for us right now, but that's possibly still a good thing (as we can at least assume the forecast isn't exact right now - so hopefully it shifts in our direction)...