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Western Cattle Egret

Now the Birdstack import moves into this century, which was my time in California, and I’ve another armchair tick. The lifer that I saw down on the Salton Sea was technically western cattle egret so that the bird I saw in 2008 coming away from Bellingen, New South Wales was… go on, guess. That’s right: eastern cattle egret and the world list is now 1072. That seems to be an old split that really passed under the radar.

If that’s the gain, the pain is a massive number of subspecies sightings for flicker and junco. I recorded these as red-shafted and Oregon respectively when I could identify them and so have a job of tagging each one. Conversely if I wasn’t sure about a yellow-rumped warbler, I logged it as just that – not a myrtle or an Audubon’s. Now I have to commit to one or the other so the latter is most likely but I tag the sighting as ‘unsure’.

The occasional red-winged blackbird was positively a bicolored blackbird but I’d entered it as the Mexican subspecies, not mailliardorum as was probable on the central coast. And finally painted redstart is apparently painted whitestart. Red, white, what’s the difference?

In answer to my question about the ‘Stack it!’ widget, I’ve worked out that it orders sightings by when they enter the database, not the date seen. That explains the odd sequence, so now I sort the files exported from Wildlife Recorder, which produces them backwards!

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