Dave K, et. al.,
First, let me state that I was not a participant of either of these trips, and
am only responding with my eList administrator hat on. While I don’t doubt some
frustration that may have been felt by you or others in having missed the Ruff
on Friday or Saturday, it is not uncommon for field leaders to have authorized
or planned scouting trips ahead of schedule field trips. That being said, it is
not okay to publicly call out people in this way, especially as identified by
religion. Please be respectful of your fellow birders on this eList!
If you were to take a moment to review the eBird checklists from the morning of
the scouting trip as compared to morning of the planned field trip, you will
see very little variation in the species and abundance, with the exception of
the following (Species Name #Friday AM vs #Saturday AM):
Wood Duck 50 vs 5
Gadwall 0 vs 5
Mallard 150 vs 100 (estimated)
American Black Duck 1 vs 0
Green-winged Teal 20 vs 12
Great Egret 35 vs 1
Green Heron 1 vs 45
Black-crowned Night-Heron 4 vs 25
Common Gallinule 6 vs 1
Sandhill Crane 3 vs 11
Semipalmated Plover 50 vs 55
Killdeer 25 vs 15
RUFF 1 vs 0
Stilt Sandpiper 1 vs 2
Least Sandpiper 100 vs 75
White-rumped Sandpiper 2 vs 1
Pectoral Sandpiper 50 vs 25 (estimated)
Peep sp. 0 vs 100 (estimated)
Greater Yellowlegs 3 vs 6
Lesser Yellowlegs 75 vs 150 (estimated)
Ring-billed Gull 28 vs 45 (estimated)
Here are the two eBird checklists these numbers were pulled from:
Friday morning: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S47759874
Saturday morning: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S47787278
If one were to look at the other aspect affecting species mix and numbers,
i.e., the weather, you will see that there was the passage of a cold front
producing favorable migration conditions on the morning of the 10th (the day of
the scouting trip) through the late evening of the 10th (the night before the
field trip). It would not be unexpected to see the species mix and numbers
become affected by the passage of this cold front. Given the time of year and
the turnover of numbers of species, I’m not surprised, and daily variation is
to be expected. It is highly unlikely that the scouting trip on the morning of
the 10th caused this kind of turnover.
It has been claimed that repeated human traffic near mudflat habitat would
cause fewer shorebirds to use or return to that space; however, it has been
arguably demonstrated that once mudflat-using shorebirds are exposed to daily
routines of humans and nearby cars traveling on dikes, those mudflat-using
shorebirds will become accustomed to and less skittish of humans or cars near
them. Please note, this is not the same thing as the impact that humans can
have upon coastal beachfront-using migratory shorebirds—that’s a completely
different habitat type and scenario.
In the future, if there are any concerns or complaints associated with other
birders or their activities, please either contact them directly off-list, or
reach out to me in private first, and not to the entire Cayugabirds-L eList
community of 930 subscribers.
On Aug 11, 2018, at 5:17 PM, Dave K
A group of the usuals (minus one plus an Amish guy) went on a 'scouting trip'
at Knox-Marcellus on Friday preceding Saturdays 'Public Walk'.
Of course, they flushed many of the birds, pushing them away from the dikes and
some, including the Ruff, out of the area.
How could any right minded person think this scouting adventure would have a
positive impact on so many who waited until the scheduled time Saturday morning.
I've only seen reports from one scout so I don't know if any of the others even
bothered to show up today. But hey., they got theirs, right?
Today's participants deserved better.
So elitist and exclusionary.
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