Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Bird App - Sanderling

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Saturday 10th August 2019, 15:57   #1
russkie
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: caithness
Posts: 633
Bird App - Sanderling

Technology is absolutely amazing. Used free app -Merlin Bird ID by Cornell University, the app identified my pic below as indeed a Sanderling - pleased my original ID was correct. Good APP -worth 5 stars
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1771.JPG
Views:	83
Size:	257.1 KB
ID:	701891  Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1812.JPG
Views:	60
Size:	215.7 KB
ID:	701892  
russkie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 07:54   #2
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,232
Merlin is famous for producing some hilarious misidentifications, as well - don't rely on it too much. It's right in this case.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 11th August 2019, 22:47   #3
Paul Chapman
Registered User
 
Paul Chapman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Clevedon
Posts: 8,913
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Merlin is famous for producing some hilarious misidentifications, as well - don't rely on it too much. It's right in this case.

John
John

Have you got examples? I've heard from people who have tested it successfully on Wilson's/Common Snipes.

All the best
__________________
Paul Chapman

I've decided to start a self-find list as self-help to reduce my level of self-harm.
Paul Chapman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th August 2019, 09:39   #4
Fat Paul Scholes
My real name is Mark Lewis

 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 2,633
I tested it a couple of years ago and was very impressed on the whole. It's not perfect, but it will improve. A few issues seperating willow warbler from chiffchaff, and I fooled it with a very 'red-throated' meadow pipit, but it got the majority of things correct.

A few examples on my twitter feed from here forward... https://twitter.com/FatPaulScholes1/...530883073?s=20
__________________
My website: https://lewissparky.wixsite.com/website
Fat Paul Scholes is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th August 2019, 15:30   #5
Paul Chapman
Registered User
 
Paul Chapman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Clevedon
Posts: 8,913
Mark

Many thanks. Presumably it has continued to 'learn' since then as well. A friend was using a plant App recently with which he was impressed.

All the best
__________________
Paul Chapman

I've decided to start a self-find list as self-help to reduce my level of self-harm.
Paul Chapman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th August 2019, 15:35   #6
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Chapman View Post
Mark

Many thanks. Presumably it has continued to 'learn' since then as well. A friend was using a plant App recently with which he was impressed.

All the best
I think (I don't keep records of this sort of thing) the examples I saw (perhaps some while ago) were in the ID forum on here, and the app may have struggled with less than perfect photos. I imagine it would need very good data to do Common vs Wilson's Snipe? The trouble is it is most likely to be used by people who aren't ID gurus and most likely not photography aces either: but what they may well be is accustomed to putting their faith in software....

I expect we've all had the experience of spotting a wildlife error on the TV and then having a partner or other party argue that the expert on there said it was so it must be. This is no different.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th August 2019, 18:16   #7
Paul Chapman
Registered User
 
Paul Chapman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Clevedon
Posts: 8,913
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
I think (I don't keep records of this sort of thing) the examples I saw (perhaps some while ago) were in the ID forum on here, and the app may have struggled with less than perfect photos. I imagine it would need very good data to do Common vs Wilson's Snipe? The trouble is it is most likely to be used by people who aren't ID gurus and most likely not photography aces either: but what they may well be is accustomed to putting their faith in software....

I expect we've all had the experience of spotting a wildlife error on the TV and then having a partner or other party argue that the expert on there said it was so it must be. This is no different.

John
I will have a look for the thread. I do remember something but clearly not with the same final impression. It was a BBRC member that was impressed with it rather than my wife......

Mind you occasionally the inexperienced actually look at birds. I remember handing the Pagham Sandplover photos to our lodger and she had no hesitation matching it to the atrifons Lesser Sandplover in Shorebirds. Something that appeared beyond the observers in the field before its departure.

All the best
__________________
Paul Chapman

I've decided to start a self-find list as self-help to reduce my level of self-harm.
Paul Chapman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 12th August 2019, 19:34   #8
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Chapman View Post
I will have a look for the thread. I do remember something but clearly not with the same final impression. It was a BBRC member that was impressed with it rather than my wife......

Mind you occasionally the inexperienced actually look at birds. I remember handing the Pagham Sandplover photos to our lodger and she had no hesitation matching it to the atrifons Lesser Sandplover in Shorebirds. Something that appeared beyond the observers in the field before its departure.

All the best
Funny you should say that. Mick Scott's boy Will was adamant it was Lesser from the off (on site, too!) but since he was but a child at the time, was roundly ignored. I had my own epiphany with the thing because I'd heard of it while seawatching in Cornwall and convinced Mum it was practically on the way home, so arrived with no field-guide induced preconceptions, consequently looked at the actual bird more carefully than I otherwise might, and on arriving home absolutely couldn't make it fit Greater. I rang all my mates and advised them to go at once, but half had already left for the Birdfair. I was anything but surprised when the rumour it was being written up in BW as a Lesser began to circulate. If ever there was a bird that taught me to look for myself and make my own mind up, it was that one.

Cheers

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 13th August 2019, 00:56   #9
birdmeister
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,089
John, a couple of comments on Merlin here.

I was actually one of the people who helped "train" the app by manually going through and verifying/rejecting identifications. This was several years ago in the app's early stages (beta, actually!). I remember several egregious misidentifications on these forums, as well as several misidentifications on eBird where the checklist comments were simply "identified by Merlin app", no apparent observer effort.

However, just a couple months ago I downloaded the app (for fun, I don't use it myself) and had at it with my bad pictures.

In short, I was impressed! It's always better when the app is given at least some simple information on timing/location. I'm attaching a link to a terrible Hooded Merganser photo that the app had zero trouble with. It was only the very worst photos where the app was a bit shaky.

https://download.ams.birds.cornell.e.../157896331/480
birdmeister is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 14th August 2019, 10:55   #10
Muppit17
Registered User

 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdmeister View Post
John, a couple of comments on Merlin here.

I was actually one of the people who helped "train" the app by manually going through and verifying/rejecting identifications. This was several years ago in the app's early stages (beta, actually!). I remember several egregious misidentifications on these forums, as well as several misidentifications on eBird where the checklist comments were simply "identified by Merlin app", no apparent observer effort.
My understanding, I cant verify where I saw this, is that Merlin uses AI principles to 'learn' Therefore it gets better with both time and use. I understand that it also uses eBird data to consider the likely (possible/probable) species - again this is getting better as more people use eBird.

Historic comments may not be useful. I have heard that the Central and South American id is very good. Some European may have a bit to go. This sort of reflects the users of system and eBird.
Muppit17 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 14th August 2019, 20:14   #11
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,232
Well, lets give it a chance. But lets not pass up the chance to remark that any birder will learn more by doing it themselves - or does the app tell you why the bird is what it is?

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 15th August 2019, 18:09   #12
Xenospiza
Undescribed
 
Xenospiza's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In a drawer
Posts: 10,694
If you upload any picture into https://waarneming.nl/ or https://waarnemingen.be, it will give you an ID of birds, butterflies, plants, flies, etc, but of course only local species. It is often right, although it has a penchant for identifying the most unlikely plants as Ranunculus nemorosus (which is exceptionally rare in the Netherlands, if not extinct).

Last edited by Xenospiza : Thursday 15th August 2019 at 18:13.
Xenospiza is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th August 2019, 14:28   #13
birdmeister
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
Well, lets give it a chance. But lets not pass up the chance to remark that any birder will learn more by doing it themselves - or does the app tell you why the bird is what it is?

John
I fully agree here! Regardless of its possible benefits, I worry that it will cause people to prioritize photos over careful observation even more than is the case now.

It really gets me when the only comments on a rare bird in an eBird checklist are "identified by Merlin ID App". Where did describing habitat, behavior, etc. go?
birdmeister is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th August 2019, 17:33   #14
DMW
Registered User
 
DMW's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jersey
Posts: 1,742
I know this might sound terribly luddite, but I can't think of any circumstances where I would want to be told what I'm looking at by a computer. Isn't the process of identification a large part of the hobby?

I wonder who benefits from this app, apart from the sort of bird togs who don't own binoculars or a field guide? Certainly not novice birders who should be poring over a field guide and their field notes.

I know, bah humbug... old man shouting at clouds!
DMW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th August 2019, 18:03   #15
Paul Chapman
Registered User
 
Paul Chapman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Clevedon
Posts: 8,913
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMW View Post
I know this might sound terribly luddite, but I can't think of any circumstances where I would want to be told what I'm looking at by a computer. Isn't the process of identification a large part of the hobby?

I wonder who benefits from this app, apart from the sort of bird togs who don't own binoculars or a field guide? Certainly not novice birders who should be poring over a field guide and their field notes.

I know, bah humbug... old man shouting at clouds!
Non-birding members of the public, people who feed birds in their back garden and get an unusual visitor, people who are on holiday, people who don't own books.......

I often get asked by non-birding friends, non-birding family members and non-birding work colleagues to identify birds. The latest was the security guard at my office who had a juvenile European Starling visit his feeder.

Anything that encourages people to engage with nature and broadens that and maybe gets people into birdwatching is good news. I have a friend who uses the plant identification equivalent.

I occasionally spend time playing with the quiz, very rarely reidentifying or flagging photos and on the odd occasion having my own photos corrected though I swear my Great Cormorant identified as a Common Buzzard was a labelling error!

All the best
__________________
Paul Chapman

I've decided to start a self-find list as self-help to reduce my level of self-harm.
Paul Chapman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th August 2019, 18:35   #16
DMW
Registered User
 
DMW's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jersey
Posts: 1,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Chapman View Post
Non-birding members of the public, people who feed birds in their back garden and get an unusual visitor, people who are on holiday, people who don't own books.......

I often get asked by non-birding friends, non-birding family members and non-birding work colleagues to identify birds. The latest was the security guard at my office who had a juvenile European Starling visit his feeder.

Anything that encourages people to engage with nature and broadens that and maybe gets people into birdwatching is good news. I have a friend who uses the plant identification equivalent.

I occasionally spend time playing with the quiz, very rarely reidentifying or flagging photos and on the odd occasion having my own photos corrected though I swear my Great Cormorant identified as a Common Buzzard was a labelling error!

All the best
Fair comment, but is this really engaging with nature? Isn't it better to get such people involved in the process of ID rather than just giving them the answer on a plate? We've got a wetland centre locally where kids come to learn about wildlife. It has TV monitors and live cameras you can operate with a joystick. All I ever see is the kids playing with the cameras rather than looking out of the windows with binoculars at the actual birds.
DMW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 16th August 2019, 18:42   #17
Britseye
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Isles of Scilly
Posts: 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
I expect we've all had the experience of spotting a wildlife error on the TV and then having a partner or other party argue that the expert on there said it was so it must be. This is no different.

John
According to the one game of Trivial Pursuit I played many years ago, the bird whose Latin name is Crex Crex is the Grey Partridge. The glee on the faces of the other three members of the family when I got it 'wrong' was enough to convince me to never play the game again - and I haven't, since that moment. (Then again, as I like to state while making my excuses not to join in another game, the things I know about aren't trivial.
Britseye is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 00:16   #18
Paul Chapman
Registered User
 
Paul Chapman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Clevedon
Posts: 8,913
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMW View Post
Fair comment, but is this really engaging with nature? Isn't it better to get such people involved in the process of ID rather than just giving them the answer on a plate? We've got a wetland centre locally where kids come to learn about wildlife. It has TV monitors and live cameras you can operate with a joystick. All I ever see is the kids playing with the cameras rather than looking out of the windows with binoculars at the actual birds.
Yes. It is engaging with nature and I don't set a threshold entry level for what counts. The security guard from our office has gone from enjoying our local breeding peregrines, to taking the odd photo on holiday, to enjoying the local goldfinches, to feeding the birds in his garden, to being intrigued by the identity of a mystery bird (the juvenile starling), .....

Maybe one day he will buy a field guide.

And you do not know whether any of those kids will develop further interests or indeed does so already unseen by you.

It is all about pushing entry levels further and making nature accessible. In a world with so much to be negative about from a wildlife perspective, increased accessibility through technology is one straw worth clutching.....

All the best
__________________
Paul Chapman

I've decided to start a self-find list as self-help to reduce my level of self-harm.
Paul Chapman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 07:10   #19
Farnboro John
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Farnborough
Posts: 13,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britseye View Post
According to the one game of Trivial Pursuit I played many years ago, the bird whose Latin name is Crex Crex is the Grey Partridge. The glee on the faces of the other three members of the family when I got it 'wrong' was enough to convince me to never play the game again - and I haven't, since that moment. (Then again, as I like to state while making my excuses not to join in another game, the things I know about aren't trivial.
I would have got a book and showed them, then taken a biro and corrected the card and listened gleefully to the howls of dismay that I'd defaced the game. Then I'd likely have gone through all the other cards looking for similar mistakes and correcting them.

John
Farnboro John is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sanderling? Martin16 Bird Identification Q&A 5 Thursday 31st December 2015 15:30
Sanderling? Declanworld Bird Identification Q&A 3 Monday 1st June 2015 00:36
sanderling ?uk kawwauser Bird Identification Q&A 4 Wednesday 29th May 2013 08:06
sanderling? alanc Bird Identification Q&A 3 Thursday 7th May 2009 19:55
Could this be a Sanderling? Neil Bird Identification Q&A 8 Friday 29th April 2005 18:56

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.19984293 seconds with 34 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 09:05.