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Recent content by Dave Ball

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    Best, Worst, Next! Birding days

    ...and with friends like that...
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    Best way to get documentation photos seawatching

    When I was considering retiring to somewhere I could seawatch regularly (I ended up staying in Bedfordshire where the seawatching isn’t great), I thought about creating a multi-headed tripod, with observation binoculars (15x80 or similar) up on top in the natural position to rest your eyes...
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    Last butterfly of 2020

    Naval attaché in North Korea?
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    Good News!

    Yeah, they might be fine with the skip and the jump, but can they manage the hop as well, Ken?
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    Language question: waterbirds or water birds

    In theory, proofreading is a good idea. In practice, you tend to read what you thought you’d written, not what you actually wrote ;)
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    Language question: waterbirds or water birds

    Could the fact that ‘d’ is next to ‘s’ on a QWERTY keyboard have something to do with it? Finger diet in order? Edit: or proofreading.
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    August Moths

    Sorry, it’s late and I’m trying to browse the interweebs and write a few comments about Lammergeiers while watching cricket highlights (who says blokes can’t multitask - Oh, apparently I can’t). Anyway, it took me several seconds to realise this was a joke. After all, it’s the right time of...
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    Insect IDs please (UK)

    Sorry, should have looked at the photo, shouldn’t I ;) Little Paxo (good site). 13th so recent.
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    Insect IDs please (UK)

    When and where was the Norfolk Hawker, Doghouse? Still trying to get one in Bedfordshire (everyone else seems to have done so), but thought I’d blown it for this year. Might give a Felmersham another go if they’re still flying, though by now there’ll be all the Brown Hawkers to distract me :(
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    UK dragonfly & damselfly sightings 2020

    I was about to say that a lot of things had been early this year, but then I checked back and saw the date was in May. Not that early ;) Fairly amazed no record of Willow Em in VC11. We’ve had them in Beds for several years - thought they’d got all over by now, though I suppose they do have a...
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    Renaming all North American Birds

    Surely you mean Wussy Gull. (Which is probably what they look like when encountering Ivory Gulls ;)) Edit: New question - what size of skua can stand up to an Ivory Gull?
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    UK bird information services - which to use?

    Historically RBA was primarily a pager-based service and Birdguides was primarily web-based, which accounted for the difference in pricing. As time went by RBA added web services and Birdguides introduced phone text alerts. At that time RBA pager news almost always arrived before Birdguides text...
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    Renaming all North American Birds

    Seriously, I think we can all agree that some of the old names were better than their replacements, but some of the new names are also good, and sometimes better than the old ones. Ideally a name should be concise, descriptive and mellifluous. Rosy Starling scores over Rose-coloured on two...
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    Renaming all North American Birds

    Unmentionable Harrier, because all records need to be suppressed to prevent persecution ;) (There are certain sites where the locals might apply the same adjective to many other species ;))
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    Renaming all North American Birds

    Don’t come here spoiling things with your facts ;) On another note, I actually quite like “Ubiquitous Storm-petrel”. Just wish it was a bit more ubiquitous in Britain, particularly inland Britain. After all, if you can get a Great Shearwater in Milton Keynes...
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