Sean's report of his and Doug's efforts in Brooklyn yesterday reminded me of the "Long Island Rarity Roundup" Doug proposed six years ago, which proved to be a lot of fun.
His original conception of it was described like this: >>>>>>>>> Hey all, In case you're not familiar with a rarity roundup, it is essentially a Christmas Count, except instead of counting all the individuals you look for rarities. So basically, in a selected region, everyone covers one area (or more if possible) and instead of having to count, say, 13,573 Brant you just do what many of us already tend towards anyway, which is combing areas for rarities. It's basically a birding scavenger hunt! The other difference is that it is done in the window when amazing vagrants show up. While this of course can be just about any month, they seem concentrated in November in the Northeast (mid-late October as well, but more-so in November). The Maryland birding community has been doing a rarity roundup for several years now, and Cape May will be doing it for the 2nd year in a row next week. The Maryland one is confined to just Worcester County, while the Cape May one, I believe, includes 2 counties (Cape May and Cumberland). Both of these roundups are held over the course of 2 days, maximizing rarity-ness. One for Region 10 would involve up to 7 counties, which might be a bit excessive. However, I think that at least a couple of counties would be doable, or even 2 per day. A county like Brooklyn could, while it has a great recent history of vagrants (though no November ones that I can think of strangely enough), be covered in one day by only a couple of people, and Manhattan and even the Bronx are the same. The Counties that would be more effort intensive are Nassau and Suffolk. After all is said and done we would gather for an after-count tally/discussion/drunken revelry/hanging out somewhere centrally located. Below I will attach the text of the E-Mails that went out concerning the Maryland and Cape May ones this year. They (especially the Maryland one) are worth the couple of minutes it takes to read through them. Unfortunately I can't find the E-Mail from the Cape May one from last year which was, like this one, a bit of an introduction to the concept. This E-Mail is to gauge the interest level of local birders, and to start a dialogue about ideas for how big of one we could get away with while still maintaining reasonably good coverage, as well as (very importantly) where the after party festivities would be held. Thoughts? ReadySetGo! -Doug >>>>>>>>>> Given that familiarity with eBird has greatly increased since 2011, I would suggest that people simply cover one or a few potentially productive patches, ideally covering about 0.5 miles over approximately one hour. It's much easier to do simple analyses and comparisons by hand if people divide their effort into these sorts of comparable checklists. For instance, we can examine how detection of particular species varies from county to county or from hour to hour through the day. Doug thinks insectivores will be more active in the late morning; I counter that my three target species of Tyrannus will most likely be found around 08:00. If all goes well, everyone will collapse onto a mega-rarity somewhere, so the data will be hopelessly non-independent anyway! The two days of this weekend will likely produce some significant discoveries. Late fall 2017 is a MUST-BIRD opportunity for people interested in scarce and rare birds. A fascinating incursion of Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, Summer Tanagers, Hooded Warblers, Northern Parulas, and White-eyed Vireos occurred in early November and is still being sorted out. Even if we don't find anything of great rarity, it is a very productive exercise to rehearse one's CBC routes in late Nov/early Dec. Some CBC targets (e.g., Palm Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet) are easier to find now than they will be in a few weeks. Others (e.g., Eastern Towhee and Gray Catbird) are actually scarcer now than they will be after mainland refugia freeze up during December. Check it out! Round-up wrap-ups are a lot of fun, and we plan to gather on at least one night at Sea Levels, in Brightwaters, Suffolk County. We will post an update after we get our itinerary straightened out, and encourage others to do the same. Shai Mitra, Patricia Lindsay, and Doug Gochfeld -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --