Ebird has been a wonderful addition to the birding community in many ways – making organizing, preserving and sharing information on a personal, community, national and international level much easier. It is a very powerful analytical tool as well allowing birders and researchers to compare and contrast our data and that of others over time and from place to place. This blog post compares data from my Ebird reports from various trips to Kittitas County from March 2016 and March 2017. It in part updates two posts from last year and my post on my previous trip to the area on March 16 this year. That was covered as part of “Birding in Dibs and Dabs over Miles and Miles” (posted on March 18, 2017). The two earlier posts from 2016 visits were: “Kittitas County Birds – Changing Experiences in March” (posted on March 28, 2016) and “Kittitas County March 5, 2016″ (posted on March 6, 2016)
Last year I visited the area three times in March – once on a scouting trip for a later Seattle Audubon trip, then on the trip itself and then again on March 30 with Brian Pendleton that included going further east. This year I went there on a very windy day and when there was still a lot of snow in the Westernmost part of the county on March 16 and then I returned with Steve Pink last Friday, March 31st. Comparing results on of the trips for the two years trips provided a fun opportunity to use some of that Ebird power.
Combining all observations from 2016 and 2017 results in a list of 103 species. Interestingly, there were almost the same number of species seen in each of the years: 71 in 2016 and 72 in 2017 even though there was one fewer trip in 2017 and one of the 2017 trips had only 40 species. With a total of 103 species seen, there obviously were unique observations one year that were not seen in the other. There were a total of 42 such unique species observations. Of these only six were from this year: California Gull, Hairy Woodpecker, Long Billed Curlew, Savannah Sparrow and Wilson’s Snipe. Photos of many of the species seen (in either year) have already been included in the earlier blog posts. I am adding some from the most recent visit on March 31st below.
Long Billed Curlew
Rough Legged Hawk
Although I am not a “County Lister” per se, Ebird does keep track of observations by county and my Kittitas County list stands at 199 species. I hope to return to one of my favorite birding areas in the State soon and get that 200th species.