Birder's Guide

OCT 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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13 October 2015 | Birder's Guide to Listing and Taxonomy Geneva, Illinois abhaver@sbcglobal.net Ann Haverstock tered with the military police. Bless the army; they let me up the canyon by 7 a.m.! It was surprisingly quiet. Alone, but with the latest NARBA printout in hand, I walked slowly downstream from a bridge. I heard some scratching under a downed sycamore branch and thought I would see a mouse or shrew, but out popped the Sinaloa Wren! I watched it for about 15 minutes and wished in vain for some other birders to come along and share the fun. #696 Sinaloa Wren , Oct. 1, 2013, Hua- chuca Canyon, AZ. I had the rest of the day to drive to California to see bunches of Blue-footed Boobies. By afternoon, I arrived at the Salton Sea—and the shutdown of the NWR. The barricades and signs told me that I would be on my own; there would be no refuge staff to help direct me. My maps guided me to the correct area, but I remained confused. I am from the Midwest, and this place looks like the moon. I was not sure what to do next and found myself alone at the desolate corner of Grubel and Lack Roads, when from the north comes my knight in shining Chevy, Bob Doe from Texas (formerly from California). Would you believe, he was wear- ing a hat that says, "Birding With Bob"? He said, "Follow me," and I did, proving once again that birders are the most generous of people. #697 Blue-footed Booby , Oct. 1, 2013, Obsidian Butte, Salton Sea, CA. The next morning I headed to Ventura and the Laguna Road tamarisk trees. My new friend Dedrick emailed me a location where he had seen some Nutmeg Mannikins, and it was on my route. If I were to see that bird, it just had to be before #699, but I had no luck at Dedrick's location and several oth- ers. When you look at eBird, Southern California is awash with mannikins. Seems they can pop up anywhere. Once near Ventura, I was too busy looking for the Yellow-green Vireo and rows of trees to bother with the mannikin. As a former arboretum employee, I am ashamed to say I hadn't a clue how to ID a tamarisk tree. And if I am honest, I expected to see birders on the road- side to make the search easier. That evening, I called a California friend and, with her help and that of Google, I was enlightened to the ID characteristics of tamarisks. The following morning, alone with these warbler-flled Yellow-green Vireo. Ventura, California. Photo © David Pereksta Rufous-backed Robin. Reid Park, Tucson, Arizona. Photo © Paul Suchanek Island Scrub-Jay. Ventura, California. Photo © Brian E. Small 698 700 699

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