This little exercise is also highlighting errors I have in assigning species names to my sightings. My first record of yellow warbler was in 1997 at my Connecticut home of New Canaan. I would have been using the National Geographic guide back then but I’m supposing it did the same as my current Sibley, which lists the species as Dendroica petechia.
The IOC has this as mangrove warbler, which only occurs in the extreme south of the USA. What I was looking at, and have looked at since another fifteen times, is D. aestiva, American yellow warbler. So maybe it’s a good thing that Birdstack doesn’t match on scientific names!
My subspecies solution is proving useful for Brent goose as well as white wagtail. Mostly I log when I see pale-bellied, hrota, or dark-bellied, bernicla, or even nigricans, as occurs in California. By setting all my sightings to Brent, not Brant, goose, the import prompts me each time a record passes through and I can note the subspecies as a tag. I have now also learned to use this field where I’ve logged heard-only or pending birds.
Specifying accurate locations down to their latitude and longitude is neat. I could have done this in Wildlife Recorder but not by zooming and clicking with the mouse. Birdstack also gives me prefilled county and town names, which I list on. The only effort I’ll have to go to here will be for lists like Somerset, in which I include North Somerset, BANES and so on.
So, that’s the sightings in up to the end of 1997 and the life list still matches at 316 species.