Friday, January 6, 2017

Post #87 - New for 2017: Travel info, Art contest, ABA list

First off, Happy New Year! I hope 2017 holds good stuff for everyone! Anyway, this is just a quick update to let everyone know about some new stuff that I have added to the blog for this - the blog's third - year. These new features are presented as tabs below the main banner photograph, so please take a few minutes to check them out. But, before I dive in, I'll give you this Ruddy Duck from last week to get things started.

Ruddy Duck - Oxyura jamaicensis (winter plumage)
Los Angeles County, CA
Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO + 2x III on EOS 1D Mark IV
1/800 at f/8, ISO 800

Without further photographic interruption, the first new feature is a the "International Travel" tab. On that page I will archive posts from my various international trips. I hope that my experiences abroad will inspire you to visit some of the amazing places I have been fortunate to visit in the last few years. I have some really exciting travel planned for 2017, but you'll have to check out the page to see where I'm headed. I might at some point try to create a similar directory for domestic destinations, but I'll start with international for now.

The second new tab is the "Art contest". As the Speckled Hatchback is an imaginary bird, I invite (nay, beg!) readers to submit renderings of what the bird looks like in your respective heads. Submissions will be displayed and archived under the tab, and links to contributing artists homepages or online portfolios will accompany each submission (if so desired). There's a special incentive for the first submission.

The final tab is my "ABA list". As an unapologetic ABA lister (though not enough to fly for single birds), I figured I may as well formally present my ABA list, as much for myself as anyone else. As a fun challenge (should anyone be serving a life sentence or be generally bored to tears), I'm missing one Code 1 bird. It's painfully embarrassing, so much so that I'll only tell the story of how I've missed it if someone figures out it's missing.

*note - Tim Avery correctly pointed out that I am missing the Code 1Willow Ptarmigan. Interestingly, I overlooked this bird so there are two Code 1 birds that I am missing. The absence of WIPT isn't awful since I've only a few days in their usually range, well north of my various points I've ever called home. The other missing Code 1 bird, by contrast, is inexcusable considering I lived in the heart of its nesting range!

*another note - Shelley Rutkin has correctly pointed out that I am missing the Code 1 Horned Puffin. She is correct but again, that's not the bird about which I was thinking. I should clarify that I've never birded Alaska or Northern Canada. The bird I'm missing is a regular in the lower 48, which generally rules out WIPT and HOPU.

*yet another note - Tim Avery has figured it out. I'll hold off posting the answer in case anyone else wants to take a crack at this silly thing.

OK, that's it for right now. I am trying my best to make this blog as informative and as fun as possible. I hope to add new features as ideas strike me. If you have ideas for things/features you'd like to see, please let me know.

I'll leave you with this guy. He was photographed at absolute last light, and the small hill behind which he was standing cast a horrible shadow over his lower ~third. I decided to go with a portrait to eliminate it.

Burrowing Owl - Athene cunicularia
Imperial County, CA
Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO II + 1.4x III on EOS 7D2
1/500 at f/5.6, ISO 800

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