iNat

I’ve been aware of iNaturalist for some time but, because eBird serves reasonably well, I’ve not bothered to explore other avenues of wildlife recording. I have a photo database of Odonata, Lepidoptera and other stuff and iNaturalist allows you to enter the sightings, with a photo, to contribute to their database of records from around the world, this much I am fine with. The system utilises identifications from other naturalists to accept your submissions, rather than the generally experienced eBird reviewer system, and I’m not very sure about that yet. After a few submissions, made to check out the system and get started, I thought I’d build a Cape Sable Island project, whereby everything wild found on the island, except perhaps some of the rowdier locals, would be entered and available for naturalists researching the island’s wildlife – perhaps as a precursor to a visit.

It seems that you can’t have a favourite location, like the eBird Hotspot or personal location system, for each submission you have to enter the location into the Google map thing, although I may have got this wrong. When the map opens you get a circle that you can resize to fit your recording area, here I made the error of not reducing the circle to just a dot anywhere on CSI, resulting in many of my submissions scattered around the local area, some as far as Blanche! I had to do a block re-edit which, once I worked out how to do it was easy enough. The locations do not seem to have changed but there may be a time consideration on that.

The other weird thing is, when I’d entered my stuff for CSI, and then visited my project within my account, there was a slew of other people’s photos of the same species I’d logged but from elsewhere in the big, wide world!! Maybe there is a filter I have to set up, but here is the thing, the help files are not much use, in fact I suspect the Californian designers of iNaturalist may be the Grand-children of hippies, and prone to frequent hereditary LSD flashbacks as parts of iNaturalist seem to make little sense at all; remember, California is where the Apple technicians also live and work, you know the ones that designed an iPod that turns on in your pocket and that does other stupid things that no sane person would want it to do. Microsoft may well have an office nearby too.

I soldiered on a while until I could figure out whether it is me or them, and then decided ‘sod it’ so I deleted the project but not the records. I’ll keep adding stuff as I go especially CSI records, if nothing else it makes me label my images properly, I have been a little slack with that at times. If you are interest then I’d recommend going for a browse (link below), search a few species and see what you think. If nothing else iNaturalist is a repository of things other than (but including) birds. Ideally we’d have one big recording agency and I suppose there is a chance that the two universities than run the projects might get together and produce a fertile offspring, for me the facility to enter a field day complete with all of the various things I took an interest in would be great. https://www.inaturalist.org/

There has been a dribble of migration on Cape Sable Island, the American Oystercatchers arrived at about the right time, Piping Plovers started coming in too, let’s hope their breeding efforts are not futile as happens so often because people just do not care. Swamp Sparrows have crept in, a Tree Swallow should not be very far behind and Palm Warblers are probably gagging to get back to their summer home. Clyde did find a Blue-winged Teal, a smart male, but it didn’t linger too long although we’ve not been back over to The Cape recently and they do like to use the pools there. One nice event is the presence of tooting Northern Saw-Whet Owls in Clam Point. We reckon there may be two, each becoming a nice yard-tick for the resident birders – that would be Mike and me.

 Another little yard event has been the digging of a pond. We rented a back-hoe and I dug a reasonable sized hole, a lumpy dig that illustrated well the derivation of the name Stoney Island! As it develops I’ll post a few images and all so I can get a waterthrush in the yard!

Two of the four, maybe five Piping Plovers on Daniel’s Head recently. These were tagged U9 and X3 and were from Daniel’s Head originally.

Above, a dodgy shot of the CSI Blue-winged Teal and below a Red-necked Grebe getting all dressed up for summer. Yes they do look startled.

Above, some of the 300 or so Brant around CSI at the moment, the Clark’s Harbour ball-field is often utilised for grazing. Below a territorial Golden-crowned Kinglet who found me and my pishing offensive so I pished off. Also a “cronking” Raven.

The fangled contraption below is a phonescoping adaptor. I’ve not had much chance to use it yet but it is very simple to use. There is an expanding clip that sits on just about any spotting scope eye-piece and a simple system for aligning you phones camera lens. Good for some doc-shots and probably good for decent images of relatively static items, I see odonatan applications.

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