I'm sending this back to the group as this might be of more general interest since not everyone may know about the eBird alert function.
The eBird alerts might be a bit overwhelming if your state or county eBird list is either not very high or you haven't entered historical data. It's based entirely on birds reported and matched up with the content of your personal eBird lists. So, if you're fairly complete, you would likely set your eBird alert for hourly instead of daily. That way, within an hour of a new bird being submitted to eBird, you will get an automated email with a link to the checklist. If your county or state list is not very complete, a daily setting might be better because your inbox might explode especially during spring and fall migration.
If you don't have alerts activated but are interested, here's a link:
https://ebird.org/alerts The other issue, as with the Curlew Sandpiper, is that when it showed up on whatever media, since it wasn't found by people on those groups, it wasn't reported beyond that for a while until Gail Mackiernan, I believe, posted it here. It surely was on the MD Notable Birds Facebook group but perhaps not on MD Birding? Sometimes it's hard to keep track. More typically, when a rarity is found by a Maryland birder who is tapped into the network, it will appear there pretty soon afterward. Sometimes they slip through the cracks. I don't believe it was an intentional slight to the overall birding community, though. Some birds do require a slow release if the circumstances don't allow the location to be made public but in this case, access isn't an issue.
Ah, the phone tree. Do they even exist anymore?
On Sunday, October 25, 2020, Rick Borchelt <rborchelt...> wrote:
You'll have seen my note to George about success this afternoon. Good luck tomorrow.
The CUSA sighting does, though, bring me to ask about the current landscape for notifications of rarities in the MD region. I only happened on this yesterday afternoon when someone helpfully posted to the FB page on MD Notable Bird Sightings; and I've noted over the last year that important sightings don't show up here or in FB's MD Birding with any timeliness. I do track eBird and might have seen the report there but again there's a 24-hour lag.
So I'd like to ask the community how it finds out about rare or uncommon bird sightings? A Twitter network? A private listserv? Email/phone trees?
Time was when MD Osprey had rarities within hours if not minutes. Perhaps the community is so fractured around multiple social media that we lack a good go-to place these days. If so, I count that a real loss for the birding community and especially for junior/aspiring birders who may not be part of the "in crowd".
On Sun, Oct 25, 2020 at 5:36 PM 'James Tyler Bell' via Maryland & DC Birding <mdbirding...> wrote:
Jane Kostenko and I have been unable to chase the Curlew Sandpiper over the weekend and Monday will be our first opportunity. Anyone else going? We'll post results when we get there if there isn't an update via eBird, Facebook or MDBirding. I see an eBird report from just before 5 so hoping it sticks around another day at least!