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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 22:03   #76
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Morgan said
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Making ABA = NACC is also pointless I feel, because the NACC already exists. Why have two checklists that do the exact same thing.
I disagree that they would have the same role: ABA is meant to help listers, NACC is meant to be keeping the best possible taxonomy.

Why is there only one ABA area? ABA should to my mind support listers wanting to have a NACC list as well as the current area as well as the US + Canada area. That way the people interested can do what they want.

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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 22:42   #77
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I think they aim to see those E Turkey species (Paddyfield Warbler, Mongolian Finch, Grey-necked Bunting etc.) in other Caucasus countries and use Turkey for its more Mediterranean-type species.
If that's the case though then I think it's a bit weird that they go to Caucasus in May and Turkey in June. The opposite would be better IMO. Not many migrants in Caucasus during May but plenty in Turkey.
I would think they would aim to be left with as few species as possible in Turkey (Brown Fish Owl, See-see Partridge, Red-wattled Lapwing, Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Iraq Babbler, Cinereous Bunting, the Petronia's, Asian Crimson-winged Finch, Olive-tree and Upcher's Warbler - some also possible in Israel or Greece).
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Old Friday 23rd September 2016, 23:45   #78
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Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
Morgan said

I disagree that they would have the same role: ABA is meant to help listers, NACC is meant to be keeping the best possible taxonomy.

Why is there only one ABA area? ABA should to my mind support listers wanting to have a NACC list as well as the current area as well as the US + Canada area. That way the people interested can do what they want.

Niels
ABA is more about encouraging and supporting the hobby of birding, which is far larger than listing, even if hardcore listing was one of the major reasons for its founding.

The ABA already allows a variety of categories for listing purposes, from State to world. Creating a separate list that is exactly identical to NACC wouldn't be that useful, anymore than them creating their own world checklist.

one of the major reasons for wanting to add Hawaii to the ABA area is to elevate the public awareness of endangered Hawaiian birds. Adding such birds to the checklist would result eventually in those species being added to field guides covering North America (Which is something several field guide authors have confirmed to ABA folks). By raising awareness its is hoped that more conservation dollars can be spent on Hawaiian birds

Anyway, regardless of your definition of the Western Palearctic, it almost certainly wouldn't include Hawaii So this tangent may best be continued in a new thread or the previous Hawaii and the ABA thread here.
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Old Wednesday 28th September 2016, 13:56   #79
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They may want to review their plans for going to Kuwait, unless they are happy to give a DNA sample on arrival:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...-visitors.shtm
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Old Wednesday 28th September 2016, 14:11   #80
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They may want to review their plans for going to Kuwait, unless they are happy to give a DNA sample on arrival:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...-visitors.shtm
If it's done with the best of intentions, that is to say preventing the free movement of terrorists, I'd have no issue with it.

I suspect another tangent is on the horizon!



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Old Wednesday 28th September 2016, 21:04   #81
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They may want to review their plans for going to Kuwait, unless they are happy to give a DNA sample on arrival:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20...-visitors.shtm
I assume a cheek swab will suffice. As long as they don't sell my data to health insurance providers I wouldn't mind (this could be an excellent idea for money-strapped nations though).
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Old Wednesday 28th September 2016, 23:31   #82
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A bit of a cheek for them to demand it, though.
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Old Tuesday 29th November 2016, 20:55   #83
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They updated their itinerary, I'll message them about their typos again.
They substituted Armenia with Turkey, probably a good choice birdwise. But what do they mean with Aquatic Warbler in Portugal?! Wouldn't that be much easier in the Baltics and does it even occur regularly in Portugal?

https://bigyearwp.com/itinerary/

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Old Tuesday 29th November 2016, 20:59   #84
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Sounds like a great adventure - but presumably just setting a total for John Weigel to smash in 2018?

cheers, alan
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Old Tuesday 29th November 2016, 23:36   #85
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Some rather interesting timescales including eleven days on the Canaries.....

All the best
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Old Wednesday 30th November 2016, 09:50   #86
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But what do they mean with Aquatic Warbler in Portugal?! Wouldn't that be much easier in the Baltics and does it even occur regularly in Portugal?
Actually Aquatic Warbler in Portugal is a gutsy bet, the species is still a rarity in Portugal, but thatís mainly to the lack of coverage, they are regular at the rice fields in Salreu in the end of August beginning of September, so a two day trip can get them Aquatic Warbler, Yellow-crowned bishop, Pin-tailed whydah (probable addition to C category), Red billed leiothrix and if they make a half hour detour they can get Black-headed weaver in Paul do Boquilobo which is a much better location than the ones near Lisbon nowadays.

Then, itís just half an hour to Coruche for Scaly-breasted munia (Lonchura punctulata), and back to Lisbon for the rest of the C categories.
And in rout they have plenty of opportunities for some Iberian specialties that they still need.

But they must count a minimum of two days to get the Aquatic warbler.
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Old Wednesday 30th November 2016, 23:46   #87
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About their itinerary, Atlas Flycatcher is not guaranteed until 5. May. Also Azerbaijan for Shikra may be worth including. There are some tours on Batumi raptor count page.

Fantastic adventure, looking forward to read about it! :)
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Old Friday 2nd December 2016, 18:04   #88
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About their itinerary, Atlas Flycatcher is not guaranteed until 5. May.
The first ones were there end of April when I visited. So 31 April should be OK, haha!
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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 09:59   #89
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As for which borders to use. Difficult question, Initially we wanted to do the "new bigger WP" supposedly soon to be defined by Svenson et al. We decided against though. We have no strong opinions on what the best WP borders are, the main reason for sticking to the old borders were out of respect to all WP listers out there. Quite a lot of folks have spent quite lot of energy (and flying-miles) on their lists. We thought that our project would be more interesting for WP listers if we stuck to the already existing WP borders.
Iran would be awesome though !! Some other year.

Cheers

/klacke
This is my first post in this thread - thanks to Paul for the link. I used to follow Noah Strycker in 2015 and I am following Arjan's world Biggest Year attempt from 1st January onwards. I will quickly switch to the WP attempt after Sylvester 2016 I suppose :-).

So thank you very much Klocke et al for your planned adventure. And it will be much easier for me to follow your journey (there were large proportions of the African and South American leg of Arjan's resp. Noah's Big Years where I hadn't even heard of the observed bird species - that will be totally different in the WP :-))

Some comments on the WP boundaries and your planned itinery:
I think your decision to stick to old boundaries is very good! And the question which boundaries are better from an biogeographical point of view isn't as easy as some posts here assume. For example is the Ural no such natural border (as someone here suggested), the better border would be the river Yennisei in the middle of Siberia (as there are mainly WP species to the west and mainly eastern species to the east of it). The Ural is a more political boundary (as the Iran in the south), because it is clearly the border of the European Russia (but that is more of a human border, not for birds). After all I would say those political borders are best used for an attempt as the WP Big Year (especially when there are historical reasons on top of it).

And now your planned itinerary: as the Brits among us miss GB I am missing central Europe (apart of the Netherlands in winter). Don't you think that visiting let's say the alpes or northeastern Poland in breeding time would be worth a visit. I had problems to get used to the fact that Noah as well as Arjan (apart of something visits home = NL) skipped central Europe completely. But when you decide to do so within a WP attempt I really feel standing aside with my home :-)...

Good luck to you guys and I am really looking forward to being a armchair birder during your adventure!!
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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 20:36   #90
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Not sure what species they could possibly get in central Europe, that they won't get elsewhere... We're a very bird-poor region unfortunately...
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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 20:52   #91
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The first ones were there end of April when I visited. So 31 April should be OK, haha!
30 days hath September, April, June and November......

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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 20:56   #92
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Not sure what species they could possibly get in central Europe, that they won't get elsewhere... We're a very bird-poor region unfortunately...

... and easier elsewhere in many cases. Would agree that it would be nice to hit some iconic central europe locations like the Alps and Poland (Białowieża Forest) for completeness sake though ...


My issue with not doing the UK is more to do with then missing out on vagrant species that would be hard otherwise. On that note I think that they ought to plan to twitch Western Europe (and elsewhere even) for overwintering American/Asian species etc as much as they can at the earliest available opportunities - in their case the second half of January - eg Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, anything mega-rare african/rare yanks on the Canaries etc etc. Just to be sure.
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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 21:11   #93
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30 days hath September, April, June and November......

Chris
Their homepage mentioned they'd be in Morocco till the 31st of April. That's why I had to laugh!
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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 21:36   #94
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Their homepage mentioned they'd be in Morocco till the 31st of April. That's why I had to laugh!
My apologies, I should have realised your haha meant you'd seen their mistake!
On a more serious note I too will be following with great interest!

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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 21:51   #95
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30 days hath September, April, June and November......

Chris
Perhaps he meant April 1st. He did say haha
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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 21:53   #96
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I think your decision to stick to old boundaries is very good!
Agreed!

In biogeography, Palearctics is divided into the subregions:
- Euro-Siberian: N and C Europe, North Asia to the Pacific
- Mediterranean: Mediterranean, Sahara, Arabian Peninsula and shores of the Persian Gulf
- Irano-Turanian: C Turkey, E European steppes to C Asia.
- Far-Eastern: Tibet, N Himalaya, Russian Far East, Japan, Korea, China

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/...ns-Kozar-1995b

Although different sources differ in details, 'Western Palearctic' does not exist in biogeography. It is artificial construct of parts of three sub-regions.
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Old Sunday 4th December 2016, 22:58   #97
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Not sure what species they could possibly get in central Europe, that they won't get elsewhere... We're a very bird-poor region unfortunately...
I know that! I just don't like to have it presented as clearly and unmistakable :-)
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Old Monday 5th December 2016, 12:07   #98
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Although I think they are planning to spend far too much time in some places, I think the "linear" approach to a big year that is being proposed is the way I would want to do it - in other words, pre-plan an itinerary that will get all the resident / regular migrant species, and look for vagrants as the opportunity presents itself. As a strategy, it's cost-effective, and likely the most enjoyable way of doing things.

However, I also think it is not way to go to maximise species count. Looking at the ABA record currently being set, the way to go is to chase vagrants and fit in regular species in-between. For example, if you decide you are going to spend a designated week on the Canaries, you will probably just see the endemics plus a few common migrants you will get elsewhere. A better strategy is to wait until there is something mega on the Canaries, twitch it, and bag the endemics while there.

The big downside is that it's a very expensive and probably more stressful way of travelling. I'm sure these guys will set the record, as they are the first to give it a proper go, but if somebody with the resources and motivation follows a more vagrant-centric approach, I think they will see significantly more species.
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Old Thursday 8th December 2016, 21:13   #99
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For example, if you decide you are going to spend a designated week on the Canaries, you will probably just see the endemics plus a few common migrants you will get elsewhere. A better strategy is to wait until there is something mega on the Canaries, twitch it, and bag the endemics while there.
This may be the strategy for Iceland, Canaries, Azores, Scandinavia and perhaps Spain and Egypt.

However, most places like Urals, Georgia, Turkey, Corsica or Majorca don't have twitching coverage or reported rarities on a Western Palearctic scale.

Somebody complained that the group is not planning to visit Central Europe. I think they will bird there multiple times precisely as a side effect of twitching megas.
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Old Wednesday 14th December 2016, 20:50   #100
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Club300 in Germany just admitted seven category C species on the list. Domestic Swan Goose and Yellow-headed Amazon and now established in the WP. I am sure they did it to entice the team to visit Central Europe.
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