Date: 7/11/19 10:14 pm From: Ed Newbold <ednewbold1...> Subject: [Tweeters] Arboreal Weasel shot from Nisqually; plus, I love everybody!!!
Delia and I and our friend Julie were down at the Nisqually today and heard distress calls from a Douglas Squirrel. A large male Long-tailed Weasel was doing a great Marten imitation, racing up and down the tree trunks trying for lunch--which I didn't know they did, and strangely I got a decent shot, which is at
We had a brief look at a flock of about 16 (presumably) Long-billed Dowitchers and some fleeting glimpses of chinstraps indicating their owners were Bank Swallows, but no Solitary Sandpiper or Great Horned Owl.
On the recent dustup:
I take a different view from many other birders. I see a dying sport with an ever-diminishing future. Young boys and girls in the future aren't going to take up birding if Warblers don't fallout in front of them, like they did for my father-in-law as a boy in Bushnell, IL (19 species) or there aren't huge flocks of Sandpipers on the beach to rouse their interest. I am suddenly, belatedly seeing the thrilling potential of ebird but it also carries its own danger, as it is essentially invisible to the nonbirder in a non-birding and even anti-birding culture. (I took no joy from the recent Jeopardy win-streak, since I am certain none of the answers was "What is a Whimbrel, Alec.") As such it carries the danger of making us even more of an insular cult separated from the normal people even in our language--we had some nice looks at amgos today.
I also had a flash of annoyance at the Phaino report, ("Which City?") and a fleeting thought crossed my mind that it could be inaccurate, but I immediately doused that, esp. since one showed up just last year in Sequim.
But I'd like to suggest some things:
One is to routinely thank people for posting sightings on tweeters. They don't have to, and it makes life more interesting when they do, it helps tweeters and in some important way it helps birds. If it's someone who's name you don't recognize from 25 years of long-winded posts on tweeters like me, then all the more so.
Another is, let's be kind. Because I am a mistake-prone birder, I'm especially appreciative of this. I was thrilled to have Frank Caruso for instance find an ingenious way to make me not feel bad about a mistake I made involving vocalizations of two species, Purple Finch and Cassin's Vireo, and Marv Breece couldn't have corrected me in any nicer way when I recently tried to turn a Red-winged Blackbird into a Trumpeter Swan (or was it a Tricolored Blackbird.) I appreciated this hugely and they were excellent learning experiences.
My last plea is only peripherally related and it has to do with building birding as a sport and eco-tourism as a conservation tool. Why doesn't tweeters open up to birders reporting their trips to other places outside of Washington? Ebird has removed some of tweeters reasons-for-being, which leads me to really appreciate it when people do post on tweeters. But even those of us such as Delia and I who are unable to make trips abroad or to other parts of the country that aren't named New Mexico get a tremendous thrill from hearing about them and maybe going to Flickr pages or websites to enjoy vicariously someone's fantastic trip.
. Tweeters may be more accessible to someone who isn't already represents a threat to tweeters, which is one place someone from outside of birding could go to get news.