Since the NYS BBA III has begun this year it becomes all the more important to be accurate in our reporting of checklists from the Wallkill River NWR in Orange County New York. This block is close to the border with NJ, so that most of the refuge is in NJ while Oil City Road and the “platform” are in New York.
One of the dedicated Atlas volunteers from our club described to me someone she met 2 days ago who had just completed the entire Liberty Loop which starts in NY, goes into NJ, and ends in NY, and who had entered all the species seen on one eBird checklist -- as is quite common, and moreover told her that he had entered it on the NYS BBA III; and this club member despairingly texted me “How can we prevent non-NY birds being reported in NY on BBA reports?” My response was that at present it was impossible, and it was up to us to educate individual birders to the problem. This post is written is in the spirit of (though I’m not religious) “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.“ One of the important aspects Julie Hart emphasized in Atlasing in 2020 on one of her workshops is knowing that there are block borders and keeping each checklist to within a specific block. For those unfamiliar with the Liberty Loop Trail. It is a 3 mile rectangular-shaped trail. If you walk the Liberty Loop counterclockwise from the platform, when you come to the long side of the rectangle that goes North-South on the western side of the loop and you start getting to trees on either side of the path, you are already in NJ. If you walk the Liberty Loop clockwise from the platform, when you come to the long side of the rectangle that goes North-South on the eastern side of the loop, when you get to the second large tree on the right, you are close to NJ. If you use the eBird app in the field, block borders are clearly marked. You have to click on the “mileage” you have traveled shown on top and the border will show up in white when you zoom out, with your current location shown as a blue-and-white bull’s-eye. As you walk closer to the border, repeatedly look at your location and when you come to the actual border of Unionville-SE, you should end this checklist and begin a new checklist for NJ -- which you should end when you leave NJ and come back to NY. The remaining portion in New York could be a new checklist, and with the eBird app for both Android and iPhone, there is no effort at all starting a new checklist. Here is a link to Google maps, where under Satellite View you can easily see the trees I’ve mentioned. https://tinyurl.com/ydxogqpo I was told by Curt McDermott (the eBird reviewer for Orange County, New York) that the Refuge plans to place a sign at the NY-NJ border, and I hope that the new information overcomes force of habit and inertia. Ajit I. Antony MD Cornwall on Hudson, NY EA Mearns Bird Club, Orange County, New York -- 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/ --