Friday, October 12, 2012

Worcester County Birding-Last Two Weeks of October

I figured I'd share more of the data collected from Rick's Site in case any of you out there actually find it as interesting as myself and I'm guessing I'm in small company but hell I created all of these neat queries using the eBird taxonomic lookup tables which allows me to group any species of bird by Latin or common name  and with one push of a button, I can get instant data and think it's so cool, I figured I'd share it with my small blog audience, especially the locals.  So with that long sentence said, I have the chart above that shows data for Loons and Grebes for the last two weeks in October (using totals and data from 1998 to 2011) and once again Wachusett Reservoir is the place to be if you need any of the above for your 2012 list with Horned Grebe being a good bet sometime between now and the end of the month which all of you know, but you have to admit I did chose pretty colors for my chart table!

Next is waterfowl in the tiny data table above which is so packed with good info, you can't  see anything (I so wish Blogger would allow me to store PDF files through my blog), but maybe you can see it if your'e under 40.  If not-I'll just tell you to be on the lookout for scoters and some Long-tailed Ducks while your'e looking for the Horned Grebe while at Wachusett Reservoir as they'll be in the same general area but in rafts and further off shore!

But I wouldn't stop at just that of course and one of the biggest things I wanted to do with the data from eBird, HawkCount, Rick's Site, CBC's..etc...etc-was to map it to historical weather data and that's exactly what I did by grabbing CSV files from The Weather Underground.  I'd pull it for Worcester Airport and know weather conditions differ up Northern and down Southern Worcester County, but it will still give you an idea of what conditions were like overall.

And this is what I'd get.  Note the October numbers of waterfowl from 1998 to 2011 are averages as it makes the most sense when dealing with large rafts of birds and multiple reports from multiple people often of the same bird so will start using both total and averages for most of my geeky tables going forward.  You'll notice most of the Scoters being reported during north directed wings as well as migrating geese.  The puddle duck numbers don't make much sense and you'll see a lot of reports during South winds but remember these birds tend to stick around a few days vs the "one day wonder" Scoters so it doesn't mean much.

Another thing to note on the Scoters is my weather table is mapping data by date to the data from Rick's site and the Scoters usually migrate the evening prior so there's some noise there I can fix with a query when I get around to it.

Raw data so you get a visual of what I'm talking about.  One interesting thing I noticed looking at it raw was Bart had 250 at Wachusett the day after WNW winds and then they'd turn SSE and Fran would get 175 the day after that which I can't understand but welcome to the world of data analysis as it always makes you often defies logical thought!

And now for all you laggards out there who still need some sparrows with Lincoln's and White-crowned being most sought after.  As you can see there's still hope with people still reporting them the last two weeks of October, just not as much as the 1st two weeks.  It is also during this time period reports of the winter sparrows like American Tree and Fox Sparrow's start to come in and the Fox is on my must see list this year so hoping I get lucky instead of aimlessly searching for one in late December.

And finally warlbers where the numbers are pathetic except for the Yellow-rumped and Palm's.  I'm actually surprised at how low the Orange-crowned Warbler numbers are but I really shouldn't be considering I have yet to get this as a Worcester County bird, but will be sure to be on the lookout both this week and next as reports are non existent the last week of this month.

eBird data shows the same pattern so get out there and find one while there's still time! ;-)

And last my favorite thing to analyze which are the rare birds coming through as it reminds me why I love to bird close to home than anywhere else as we do get some goodies, but more often then not it's all about being at the right place at the right time as well as the Central Mass birders network who do what they can to get the word out through cell phones, MassBird and Rick's site.

Take care all.

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