Friday, December 21, 2012

Birds of Concord: Crowd-Sourcing a Big Year with Ludlow

On January 1, 2013 a virtual birder will be joining eBird.  His name is Ludlow G., and he will be a virtual field observer of every bird encountered in the town of Concord during 2013.  Being a bit old school, Ludlow doesn't own a computer (even though he enjoys being a avatar), but he certainly understands the value of a database that contains effort details, links to photos and sound files, and that can be mined for data on status and distribution.  After all, he wrote the seminal book, Birds of Concord (1949), using this approach.

On behalf of Ludlow, I will be accepting all shared eBird lists and non-ebird sightings in the town of Concord and entering them on his behalf during the year.  His goal is typical Ludlow, a modest 200 species, which he figures is possible given that several locals have northwards of 160 in 2012 and life lists over 190 in Great Meadows alone.  Ludlow is a bit flexible in how he defines town lines; if he can throw a stone from the town line and reach the location, it's in.  This brings in School Street fields, Kaveski Farm, Hanscomb at Virginia Rd.  Locals will know; out-of-towners can ask.

So, let's do a local Big Year with Ludlow!  In honor of the man and the book, share your sightings and let's see what he can find!

Share your sightings with davidswain79 [at]

Go Ludlow!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Northern Lapwing (Finally)

Over the past month I have agonized over all the sightings of Lapwings that arrived in Massachusetts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and associated weather systems.  The bird in Bridgewater alone remained to taunt me, and today I finally was clear enough from the semester and endless grading and family obligations to go down and see it.  Driving along Summer St., I spotted a pullout with a car by a corn field and figured this must be it.  I pulled up, looked to my right, and saw the lapwing, not 50 feet away.  As I got out, ambling up the road was the inimitable and indefatigable and helpful Bob Lessard, who has directed countless twitchers to the bird and daily checks on its status.  Here's to you, Bob!

There were also two Harriers working the fields, an adult male, and this "pumpkin" juvenile.