Hi Steve,

Of course we get points for these things! But just as the birds in question 
were not made visible to us, the points we accrue in this way must never be 
visible to others. We may relish them privately, sometimes for years, perhaps 
sharing the pain from time to time with those who also tried but missed the 

And then there is the special category of birds that were in the circle but 
never detected at all! Obviously, we don't don't a lot about these mysterious 
birds, but we do know that they exist. I've played around with curves plotting 
species accumulation against effort on CBCs and compared counts where effort 
imploded, due to the discovery of a rarity on count day, against controls, 
where the effort unfolded normally. I can't remember the details right now, but 
on counts with high species totals, the cost of one Grace's Warbler or Harris's 
Sparrow is the loss of at least several species that would have been found, but 
which instead must be banked in a special place, along with points like those 
you describe.

Shai Mitra
Bay Shre
From: bounce-122147629-11143...@list.cornell.edu 
[bounce-122147629-11143...@list.cornell.edu] on behalf of Steve Walter 
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 4:33 PM
To: nysbird...@list.cornell.edu
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Alley Pond Cackling Goose, Lesser Yellowlegs

Eric Miller found a Cackling Goose this afternoon on Alley Pond (the pond at 
the intersection of the LIE and Cross Island Pkwy in Queens). Canada Goose 
numbers there were much higher than they had been up until now. So quite 
possibly these are new arrivals, making it excusable that the Cackling was 
missed on Sunday’s count. But it is squeezed into count week at nearly the last 
minute. In an odd twist to this story, I was just out doing work in my 
backyard, where I watched two small groups of geese fly over. These were coming 
from the direction of Alley Pond, which is rather close to me. One of the 
groups contained a noticeably smaller goose at the tail end of one of the V’s.

Also seen at Alley Pond was the long lingering Lesser Yellowlegs, which stayed 
out of sight on count day. It makes that CBC thing seem less like an accurate 
survey and more like a game (like Hide and Seek). I think we should get bonus 
points or something to denote that it was actually in the count circle all 
along, as opposed to leaving after the first day of count week.

Steve Walter
Bayside, NY
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