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ABA Big Year 2016

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Old Saturday 14th May 2016, 21:51   #326
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Mysticete

Yes. 632. This may well be close but the Aussie record holder seems likely to set a new higher ABA record even if Olaf does the same. Olaf needs to improve his twitching.

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Old Sunday 15th May 2016, 01:45   #327
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Mysticete

Yes. 632. This may well be close but the Aussie record holder seems likely to set a new higher ABA record even if Olaf does the same. Olaf needs to improve his twitching.

All the best
I am kind of wondering exactly why they are doing so differently? Olaf is certainly twitching things, but perhaps not as fast? Does John simply have a bigger purse enabling him to get to places faster? Or has he just been super lucky to be closer to rarities than Olaf when they show up? Better networking? Olaf seems to basically do everything himself, so also have to wonder how much assistance John is getting from professional or quasi-professional guides.
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Old Sunday 15th May 2016, 02:35   #328
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To be fair to Olaf, after going through John list, there are a vast assortment of birds, especially eastern spring migrants, that John has so far missed. Olaf has done much better there and has also tried to wrap up birds while he is "in the neighborhood" John is going to need to do a lot of traveling this summer to nail those down, and some will be progressively tougher to get later in the year or on their breeding territories. Olaf looks like he will have much more time to twitch as needed, so this could give him an edge in the lower 48 this summer and fall. He might also get an edge on ticking off the east coast Pterodromas doing Hatteras in Spring.
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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 06:44   #329
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Well 666 as at 16th May plays 641 as at 14th May but what will play out in the next few months will be the rarity comparison as the proportion of commoner birds seen by both increases:-

http://ebird.org/ebird/top100?locInf...ode=aba&yr=cur

http://www.birdingfordevils.com/p/th...es-so-far.html

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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 14:32   #330
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Surely it's birdingfordevils who should be on 666 ... ?


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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 17:44   #331
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Surely it's birdingfordevils who should be on 666 ... ?


The linked websites in Pauls's post show Olaf at 666 and birdingfordevils at 641.

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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 18:30   #332
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Surely it's birdingfordevils who should be on 666 ... ?

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Originally Posted by Kratter View Post
The linked websites in Pauls's post show Olaf at 666 and birdingfordevils at 641.

Andy
Andy

It is a religious reference and a play on the website name - Book of Revelation:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/666_(number)

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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 19:03   #333
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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 20:37   #334
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It's all kicked off:-

http://olafsbigyear.blogspot.co.uk/2...ee-nipple.html

A crying shame if Olaf compromises the integrity of his yearlist by withholding sightings as he goes. It will only damage his credibility at the end of the year.

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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 21:14   #335
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Andy

It is a religious reference and a play on the website name - Book of Revelation:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/666_(number)

All the best
Doh! More caffeine please!
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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 21:59   #336
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Olaf down to 17 Code 1 & 40 Code 2 species needed. John needs 47 Code 1 & 47 Code 2 species.

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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 22:17   #337
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I missed it if it has been discussed, but the Bahama Mockingbird has gone home again?

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Old Tuesday 17th May 2016, 23:34   #338
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Reading the latest blog a few initial thoughts -

Rather a bit of justification going on? Rattled? Chilled?
Rather disappointed if he is going to start messing around with what he reports or doesn't report - there really is no need to lower himself that way.
Not really enjoying the slagging off the opponents thing. Understand the need for him (and supporters in comments) to get a handle on the situation - or is it really just justifiable banter/posturing and actualy adds to the competitiveness (and let's face it - he is pretty competitive )

Strategy - if db John really is that far up on him, then a non-attu strategy could indeed be the thing to make the difference if things play out in a certain (but rather unlikely, unfortunately) way - ie some more lower 48 rares and a quiet Alaskan spring.

... and pot/kettle/black springs to mind wrt eg Black Noddy - seem to recall him not calling his one at the time to the other birders, because his views weren't good enough at the time, but then ticking it anyway? Something like that ...
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 00:48   #339
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Yeah...ABA big years are competitive, but typically they are some what friendly affairs. Olaf's blog post is sour grapes and petty. And there is absolutely zero reason to hold back sightings at this point, unless you yourself are planning to string if you need to bump things up. Other than Alaska (which is basically is not conducive to chasing anyway), it's not like these folks are going to find there own rarities. They are mostly running after stuff other people have found.

John secretive birding isn't really helping him though. There is really no reason to not share your sightings, if only on ebird or rarity list serves. Give back for god sakes if you are going to take advantage of everyone else's reporting. In the age of the internet there is really no reason not to keep an updated blog if you are performing this undertaking. Even the Global big year folks can pull it off, and some of them are hitting up places like Papua New Guinea! Seems like both people are not really engaging in terribly sportsman like behavior.

Man I totally rooted for Neil Hayward and John Vanderpoel, but at this point I really don't want either to win. Maybe Noah Stryker or someone else can swoop in next year and beat there records?
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 10:20   #340
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Nate Swick, aba blog, 17 May 2016: ABA Area Big Years In Progress: May 2016 Update.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 10:44   #341
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Nate Swick, aba blog, 17 May 2016: ABA Area Big Years In Progress: May 2016 Update.
Good to see they have read the posts on here.

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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 10:46   #342
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Yeah...ABA big years are competitive, but typically they are some what friendly affairs. Olaf's blog post is sour grapes and petty. And there is absolutely zero reason to hold back sightings at this point, unless you yourself are planning to string if you need to bump things up. Other than Alaska (which is basically is not conducive to chasing anyway), it's not like these folks are going to find there own rarities. They are mostly running after stuff other people have found.

John secretive birding isn't really helping him though. There is really no reason to not share your sightings, if only on ebird or rarity list serves. Give back for god sakes if you are going to take advantage of everyone else's reporting. In the age of the internet there is really no reason not to keep an updated blog if you are performing this undertaking. Even the Global big year folks can pull it off, and some of them are hitting up places like Papua New Guinea! Seems like both people are not really engaging in terribly sportsman like behavior.

Man I totally rooted for Neil Hayward and John Vanderpoel, but at this point I really don't want either to win. Maybe Noah Stryker or someone else can swoop in next year and beat there records?
I could not agree more.
Still hope that Olaf doesnt hold back some of his records and then Iam okay with him beating the record, becuase he put in the effort and certainly keeps everyone up to date. ( even though in his blog he sounds very grumpy and stressed).
But starting with a pure list after 5 months makes such a list questioned and for good reasons IMHO.
So I really hope he has good documentations, that there wont be a questioned record at the end of the year.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 12:46   #343
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I must say I can't be bothered with the 'way' one or the other is keeping his keyboard-warrior-interwebs-peers (like me) informed. I don't know John Weigel but I am quite confident from the few bits of info that he is honest and to be trusted.

So either John or Olaf have every reason to do what they deem best to get the record, if that doesn't involve stringing.

But I agree with Mysticete that the way John is doing it, would not be my preferred way; The way Olaf does it, is really great to follow and it would be best if he does not let change his behaviour and tactics for the sole reason of being paranoiac about his big year. Just count on your own strength and go your own way, Olaf!

If that isn't enough to get the record, so be it. Olaf's last blog was a bit childish and he still seems to be in the phase of denial and talking bad about his opponents. A shame after enjoying reading his blog posts for so long.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 12:59   #344
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Sensible comments.

I do think that running a full-blown blog to document the exploits as they occur is going to be potentially detrimental to the overall efforts though. Valuable down-time spent waiting at airports etc could be better employed in sleeping, researching, making contacts etc. There may potentially be some bad decisions/birds missed due to tiredness/lack of proper research, or a drip down effect overall. If they are lucky it won't cost, plus the benefits from extra information gleaned as a result (eg from comments) may outweigh any disadvantages in the end though.

Maintaining a constant updated presence/list online now should still be done though; 15 years ago it wouldn't have.
The flip side is that the information and immediacy of it (ebird etc) must be greater than in the past. It had been said that the record couldn't be broken with dissolution of easy flights after 9/11. Presume tat isn't a problem though.


If it was me I'd also want a decent ground team - research and to maintain the web presence. Presume none of these 3 really have that?

Paul was talking about books earlier akin to the Big Year - interesting to note all 3 are seemingly going to be writing a book of their year themselves?
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 13:45   #345
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eh...I am skeptical keeping a blog is really that much of a time sink. I mean it doesn't need to be updated daily or even need to be that well written or long. There is a decent amount of down time that doesn't involve sleeping/driving/birding over the course of the week. And tablets and such are small enough they can pretty easily be packed and pulled out during random lulls. At the very least ebird and such could be done; hell there are phone apps that let you easily generate lists in the field.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 21:38   #346
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eh...I am skeptical keeping a blog is really that much of a time sink. I mean it doesn't need to be updated daily or even need to be that well written or long. There is a decent amount of down time that doesn't involve sleeping/driving/birding over the course of the week. And tablets and such are small enough they can pretty easily be packed and pulled out during random lulls. At the very least ebird and such could be done; hell there are phone apps that let you easily generate lists in the field.
You are absolutely right that a basic blog and updates can be and should be done these days.

I guess I was basing my comments above on a combination of my own experience of trying to be organized on this kind of thing - ie I'm not (plus I'm a bit of a techno-phobe), along with seeing Olaf perhaps struggling in some of his over-lengthy blog posts (if I were to want to enter the consciousness stream of another individual on a regular basis, it wouldn't necessarily be his ... ) , and muddling up a little with the thread on the World Year List record attempt, where there really is a need to be birding almost 24/7. An ABA one will get busy at times, but there are quieter spells, agreed.

Christian Hagenlocher (birdingproject) seems to have struggled a bit imo with blog content and sensible updates (and as Paul says accurately listing perhaps) - it ain't necessarily easy.

wrt John Weigel - I'm sure there may be a cultural thing going on too - Australians perhaps respecting privacy and not assuming everyone has to be so open (I'm basing this on comments from the Night Parrot thread and linked forums wrt the other John -true?)
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 22:07   #347
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Apologies for wittering on again ...

One thing I was going to link the other day was the birdingproject >blog< (don't know if others have been reading it regularly?)- eg

http://www.thebirdingproject.com/blo...rding-big-bend

Interesting posts a bit of a rarity (think he's saving them up for his book), but this one struck as a bit more hardcore outdoors natural birding and well written. From an earlier posting it would seem that he is still working at times (not full time though) - the parallels to 'The Big Year' continuing wrt Greg Miller the nuclear power plant worker, although I believe him to be a fair bit younger and probably in somewhat better shape ... kudos if he can hit a big year total whilst still having to support himself along the way.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 22:19   #348
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Finally (for now) ...

Haven't come across an ABA listing online of the birds recorded in the area this year ... is there a summary somewhere? What I did find was that you can see some (just about all?) of the coded birds recorded by looking at the current ABA ebird listing total 'last seen'

http://ebird.org/ebird/region/aba?yr=cur

but scrolling up from the bottom of the page - ie the last 30 or so of the 796 (currently) indicate rares such as Black-tailed Gull last seen Jan 16th, Nazca Booby 1st Feb etc ... and then scrolling up to some interesting Sibe species on a vessel in the Aleutians on the 11th May (!)

Presumably almost all birds are entered to ebird, but there are a number of 'dodgy/suspect/escape' eg Budgerigar, Black-necked Swan? etc which means the total genuinely gettable birds is a little lower than the 796 posted (and of which eg Olaf has seen 667 (83.79%))?

Should be poss to get a good overview of the coded birds seen this year though ...


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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 22:38   #349
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Dan

About 50 non-countable species included in that year to date eBird total last time I checked.

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Old Wednesday 18th May 2016, 22:55   #350
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Yes ... lots of parrots and the like, hadn't totted them up myself. Question would then be, what % of total possible/available coded (3, 4 and 5) birds have the 3 contenders seen ... ?
(Which could, with further analysis, perhaps provide more clues as to some strategy success?).

And putting your head above the parapet on the Olaf blog comments section - . Most comments for any of his blog posts with the latest controversy of course - interesting stuff.
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