2020 The Year in Birds

January 1st, 2021

This was a super low year thanks to quarantine. I finished the year with 197 species, less than I’ve seen probably since I started counting. I never left New York City and rarely left Brooklyn. I didn’t even get to Jamaica Bay. Nonetheless I did get one life bird in 2020, a King Eider that was hanging out at the Brooklyn Army Terminal pier in December.

Besides the Eider, I added five birds to my Kings County list including:

  • A Western Tanager that spent a week or so in Greenwood Cemetery.
  • A Short-eared Owl flying around the Fountain Ave. Landfill on the Christmas Bird Count
  • Cliff Swallows that nested at Canarsie Beach Park under the Belt Parkway
  • A Harlequin Duck at Sheepshead Bay early in the year

What Incumbent Advantage?

December 13th, 2020

It’s almost a truism that the incumbent has an advantage in U.S. elections. In many cases that’s true. Congressional incumbents very rarely lose, for instance. But in modern presidential elections? I don’t see it.
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2019 The Year in Birds

January 1st, 2020

eBird tells me I saw a reasonable 346 species last year. There are probably a few here and there I didn’t report. 165 of those were in Kings County. That’s not awful given that I didn’t take any international trips or birding tours last year. Thanks to a Shearwater pelagic out of Monterey, I added 4 life birds to my list:

  • Black-footed Albatross Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 5/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Sabine’s Gull Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 3/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Red Phalarope Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 1/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Ashy Storm-Petrel Monterey Bay pelagic–inshore Monterey Harbor to Pt. Pinos (MTY Co.)
  • Black-throated Magpie-Jay Kit Carson Park US-CA 23 Aug 2019

That’s actually five species, but the Black-throated Magpie-Jay isn’t officially countable in the U.S. since it likely either is or descends from escaped pets and does not have an established population. Still a gorgeous bird though.

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Watchmen Post Episode 6 Hooded Justice

November 26th, 2019

Episode 6. Wow. Hooded Justice is the character I’ve wanted for decades and never, ever seen. Superman may have fought the klan, and Captain America fought the Nazis; but no superhero I can think of has ever taken on real, non-cartoon evil in their own society quite so directly. Indeed that’s the fundamental flaw of all the godlike beings like Superman, Captain Marvel, and Green Lantern. For all their power, they never turn it toward building a better world. The Joker is a psychopathic serial killer, but he doesn’t have a body count anywhere near a run-of-the-mill U.S. president.
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Watchmen Post Episode 5

November 23rd, 2019

Veidt’s in space. I had pretty much figured that out already, but now it’s confirmed. I didn’t recognize exactly where, perhaps one of the moons of Jupiter? I assume Dr. Manhattan put him there. I can’t imagine anyone else could have done it, but why?
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Watchmen Post Episode 3

November 9th, 2019

So Laurie Jupiter, now Laurie Blake, showed up and finally we have a character we can root for. That’s a big step forward. I don’t know why she;s using her father’s name now. He was a pretty bad guy and she was not fond of him to say the least. Perhaps this will be revealed later. Anyway, I’m still watching.

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