The challenge for August was to explore new hotspots where you have never birded before. We hope you enjoyed this challenge and had some adventures! We would love to hear them: do send your stories (between 500- 1000 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Given the harsh summer this year followed by torrential rains, birding activity has been generally low in most parts of the country. But with the South-West monsoon now receding and the season’s early migrants trickling in, it is time to intensify our birding efforts!!
Hopefully, we can do this with September’s eBird challenge, which is, to upload at least five eligible checklists every week, counting the last nine days of the month (22nd to 30th) as the last ‘week’.
Note: Eligible checklists are those that report all species seen/heard (and are therefore marked ‘complete’), report numbers for all species rather than Xs, and are 15 minutes or longer in duration.
The change in seasons means a change in bird activity. While some passage and early winter migrants have already arrived in India, there are more to be expected this month. Birding frequently will help you discover what species arrive in your area and when.
You may see season’s first leaf warblers like Green and Greenish foraging in the canopies. Here’s how you identify them. Many of the confusing little brown warblers like Blyth’s Reed, Sykes’s and Booted have arrived to spend the winter months in India. Do familiarise yourself with their plumage, calls, movement, and behaviour before you go out for birding. Photographs are sometimes useful to tell them apart.
Get your fingers used to typing ‘iwe’ instead of ‘owe’ in the eBird app as with the 2019 eBird taxonomy change, the name for our ‘Oriental White-eye’ is changed to ‘Indian White-eye’. The change has also affected in lumping and splitting in a few species. Here is more information on this year’s taxonomy change.
The results of the September monthly challenge will be announced soon after 10 October 2019, so please submit all your checklists before this date
Also, take a look at the global eBird website for the global birding challenge of the month; and here in India, we also have a series of year-long challenges
Banner image: Chestnut-crowned Warbler Phylloscopus castaniceps by Sharma BC/ Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab, from this checklist