Date: 10/11/18 11:04 am From: Kimball Garrett <kgarrett...> Subject: [LACoBirds] An eBird mea culpa, and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers
Assuming many or most of you use eBird, I wanted to once again emphasize that you should review your eBird lists before submitting them, or review them immediately after submitting them and revise them as necessary. It is very easy to enter the wrong species, whether using the web-based checklist or pull-down lists of bird names or 4-letter codes, and a quick check of the list should quickly reveal offending entries. I bring this up because twice in the last week or so I failed to heed my own advice, and inadvertently entered 2 Common Ground-Doves from Ventura Harbor (instead of Eurasian Collared-Dove) and 14 Mountain Plovers from Hansen Dam (instead of Killdeer). [Sorry to those who went chasing....!].
In part because of my error, I've now revised the eBird filters for Mountain Plover in Los Angeles County, setting them at "0" year-round and county-wide. This species is now a major rarity in the county, and even the expected wintering flocks in the Antelope Valley have become greatly reduced and more erratic as that part of the county is converted to solar arrays, houses, and a growing dustbowl.
This morning I spent some time trying to "clean up" a number of coastal slope reports of Ladder-backed Woodpecker in the county. Apropos of my opening paragraph, I suspect that in virtually all cases the observer(s) meant to enter Nuttall's rather than Ladder-backed (none of the offending checklists included Nuttall's Woodpecker). Again, a quick check of the list before final submittal is called for. I hasten to add that Brad Rumble nicely photo-documented a male Ladder-backed Woodpecker in Tujunga Wash (northeast of the Angeles National Golf Club) last week, for the first well-documented coastal slope report in the county. So it is possible to get one, especially along the foothills of the San Gabriels near washes, but it's still a mega-rarity.