Thanks Jo and SLB

Great, it’s pouring with rain, so I can use my “water dying plants time” to do this instead!

A big thanks to Jo and SLB for the help with photo-editing etc, I’ll be putting that to good use in the coming days and months I’m sure.  Oh I hope I don’t have to turn off the pc because of lightning – I’d hate to have a second computer fried!

SLB:  Don’t worry about the CGD picture, I took plenty and I can always slap in another if someone wants to see it.  I laughed at your “#501” comment!  One of these days, when I’m really bored, I’ll have to add them all up and see the exact number, but then, who really cares?  There are 10,000 bird species on the planet and I’ve seen ‘several’ but there are ‘several more’ to see and ID, so I keep looking at every branch and every dot in the sky.  I did pop onto WBIT? last night and help someone with an Indigo Bunting ID, so I am visiting both sites.  I keep meaning to write a “So, I went to Europe and I saw a…” blog, but then I remember this is a FLORIDA site and I need to add that to Georgia Wilson’s new WLBs clone called Bird.Joy.com, maybe if it keeps raining I’ll do that later.  I’ve often pondered the fact that some birds migrate south to cold England (and anywhere else on that line of latitude) from even colder locations, but some from cold England migrate south away from there.  I guess temperatures are relative and depend on whether you’re a warbler or a goose with an inch of fat around your belly.  If so, then maybe I should return to the Arctic tundra for the summer?!  Too many French pastries I think!

Jo:  Yes, the CGDs are extra tiny!  They almost don’t look real!  Every time I see a very small mourning dove I briefly think “Is that a CGD?” but when I see a real CGD I know it’s not an MD, so my rule is now “if I might be a CGD, it isn’t” (if that makes sense).

As for eBird, I didn’t have access to the internet where I was in the UK (and the hotel’s wifi was a little fiddly) so I ended up writing them all down and bringing my checklists home with me.  That’s fine, but it took forever to do the lists (all 100 of them) and then it would ask “So where did you see the birds?” and I’ve have to scroll around a Google-map of Paris (in French) to find each location!  Anyway, that’s all done now and I added 90 species to my life-list (even though I felt that I saw very few birds over the so-called ‘summer’).  I guess every single bird I saw was a “new” species, so my hit-rate was pretty good in the initial stages!  One thing I did notice, oddly, was there wasn’t a single gray squirrel (or squirrel of any colour) in Paris!  The UK has many of them (but not the amount the USA has) and I suppose I expected every major city to be stuffed with them.  The predominant species (boringly) was pigeon and there were house sparrows too and lots and lots of swifts (great!) but that was about it really (although I did see a pair of redstarts and and a grey wagtail).  Anyway, they’re not Florida birds, so that’s all you get of that!  😉

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