I know what your'e thinking.....really I do. Oh no, not another post with stats and numbers-SNORE...But how could I not share my latest findings after downloading moon phase tables from NASA and using it with the database to confirm the full moon effect on migrating waterfowl and our very own Worcester County data!!! Yes we've all heard and experienced the full moon phenomenon (well except for me) and its impact on migrating waterfowl and the table above shows its impact. I chose the birds above based solely on personal preference of course as I need them all-but what else is new.
Anyhow, the table above shows that most sightings of waterfowl do in fact happen during some stage of a full moon (54%)-with Black and White-winged Scoters's the most. New moon's had the second highest overall but nothing compared to the full as you can see. Pretty Nifty right???????
I'd also want to look at some of the sample raw data and chose Black Scoter's considering they have the most reported and wanted to look at sightings with over 54 in one location by one person to make sure I wasn't over counting.
Column Q gives you the moon phase info (except where it's blank that I have to fix) and as you can see 50% of all reportings of the 55 & over Black Scoters happen during a full moon. And if you really want to geek out check out column O which gives wind direction the day of the reported sighting and column P which gives it the day prior for nighttime migrating birds. Seriously how can you not find this sh*t interesting!
So naturally the next thing to do is pull the table that will show me the next expected full moon and am happy to report it's happening soon. ;-)
And wouldn't you know the schedule fits perfectly with the reported sightings by week for Scoters which you will see below! ;-)
Of course you still have to look at the forecasts with winds in particular as that has impact as well, but it does help someone like me to have this data nearby so I can schedule some vacation time around deadlines and meetings as I want all my scoters this year if I can do it and they're always the most challenging for me with them being "one day wonders" and all.
And you can also check the eBird maps here and there to monitor reportings which is pretty cool!
Surf Scoter's (who are already having many inland sightings-including Worcester County)
White-winged Scoter (inland sightings already including Western MA)
Take care all