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COMAL is a friendly birding activity... Some see it as a competition. Others
do not. Both viewpoints are fine by me...

I like all the discussion about alternate birding methodologies, and welcome
them...

I just can't get past the point though that there are simply some areas that
are better to bird than others and that having those areas in a given circle
gives that circle a better chance of seeing more species than a circle drawn
somewhere else...

There will always be inequities in the circles / areas we bird...

So... Do as YOU want. Bird in circles, a circle, a county, counties,
state-wide, or chase only lifers / state lifers, etc... WHATEVER you decide,
do it with a smile and SHARE your great finds!

If some form of consensus develops that can be tracked like COMAL on
mobirds.org, I'd be happy to put it together online so that those that
participate can do just that, enter their results online.

Bird on!!!

Patrick 

-----Original Message-----
From: MO Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Robert Fisher
Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2008 11:36 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Big Year--Think Local Anyone?

With the price of gas as it is, maybe it would be a good idea to have local
COMALs rather than a statewide COMAL this year. Once you get yourself away
from the statewide COMAL, you also feel more free to bird in another, nearby
state.

Kansas City is about 36 miles from north to south, so a 75 mile radius from
its extremities is, in effect, a circle with about a 93 mile radius from the
center. Such a circle is large enough to take in Squaw Creek on the North
and the Horton Road (below 4-Rivers) on the south, Swan Lake to the
northeast, Grand Pass CA and Van Meter S.P. on the east and Knob Noster S.P.

and Tightwad to the SE (the last two being stakeout places for Pine Warbler,
Prairie Warbler and Bewick's Wren.) It includes the entire area within which
I saw 260 species in 2006 and know of at least 27 more that others saw and I
missed that year.

If Kansas is to be included, the 93 mile circle from center takes in Lyon
Co. State Lake (where we get L.E. Owls and Smith's Longspurs annually) and
Redmond, Wolf Creek, Melvern, Pomona, Hillsdale, Clinton and Perry
reservoirs, plus Marais des Cygnes W.M.A.

A comparable circle centered in St. Louis could include Carlyle Lake in
Illinois and Ted Shanks CA. A circle centered in Columbia could also reach
lots of good spots.

In my opinion, the circle should be drawn large enough to encourage normal
birding. I would not want to take a normal birding trip and find myself
saying "Oh. Oh. We're about to get out of the circle!" thereby restricting
myself from going where I would normally want to go.

Maybe the friendly competition of COMAL should be between circles centered
in or near Kansas City, Columbia, St. Louis, SE Missouri and Springfield? 
Maybe you get to put your own circle wherever you want. If it's the same
size as someone else's circle, you're in friendly competition -- as a few
CBCs compete for the highest number of species each year?

What say you?


Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
[log in to unmask] 

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