33,000 Sightings To Go

Mallards & Pochards, Slimbridge

33,044 to be precise. That’s how many I have in Wildlife Recorder. Together they make an Access file of 290Mb – outrageous, especially when the export CSV file is only 1% that size. Even so this’ll take at least twenty batches to upload to Birdstack at 150Kb a throw. Add to that a loooong process of converting species names.

So I’ll have to run the two in parallel for a while. I wanted to avoid that but needs must. I’ll upload from my 1994 records onwards, rather than backwards, which would make running in parallel harder. In fact, I’m trying just the 1994 sightings, which amount to a mere 22 records. These are the birds that surely everyone can recall seeing at some time, the beginning birder’s starter pack. Sparrow, robin, blackbird, starling, blue tit, sanderling, pied wagtail –

Sanderling? Well yes, for me I remember seeing them at Blakeney years ago. Most of us have some less common species that registers and maybe inspires a growing interest in our feathered friends.

Anyway, from these 22 sightings I may have an armchair lifer – Mexican duck, a recent IOC split from mallard and it also occurs in Arizona. It may have been around while I lived out in Phoenix and I did log mallard on my 2001 trip back to my old Tempe home. What I didn’t log was exactly what it looked like, so there’s another that got away.

The import process flagged this for me, which was nice. Also nice is that it promises not to flag it again, which would truly have been a pain given the number of mallards I’ve seen. Blackbird also got a highlight because of a split but no danger of that adding to my life list, the new species being tucked away somewhere in Asia. These flags may happen a bit during the early stages of populating the database.

So, check out my fledgling world life list of 22…

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