I'm excited about WEPBirds because it's a way to share sightings that are not appropriate for Ontbirds but might still be of local significance...like high Tundra Swan numbers in the Onion Fields or maybe a good diversity of fall warblers at Point Pelee (like at Blue Heron this year). eBird's needs alerts and rare bird alerts are great but they don't cover every sighting that might be of interest.
Speaking of eBird, WEPBirds also has a link to BirdTrax, where you can see all eBird lists posted in the area in real-time. This is much easier than using the "Explore Data" feature on the eBird website to look for recent lists.What's nice at the moment is that all Holiday Day Beach Migration Observatory lists are being posted daily so you can easily access all that data in one place. BirdTrax also gives you a backstage pass to my AMCO Produce, Inc. incidental lists, so now you can now see how many House Sparrows live in the greenhouse I work in!
When it comes down to it though, WEPBirds is just a good place for like-minded folks, you know, people interested in birds who are awesome, to connect. Because let's face it, nonbirders are wonderful people but sometimes you just want to be all about birds and it's hard to talk birding w/ someone whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of gulls ("You mean, like, seagulls...?").
And now a short play about bringing up birding on a first date:
FOR THE BIRDS
By Jeremy Hatt
SCENE: A coffee shop in Windsor.
[We join two men on stage in a coffee shop.]
[Soft music and light background chatter fade.]
JEREMY: Gee wiz, that’s a nifty watch you got there. You sure do like to check it a lot.
DATE: Uh huh. [Date raises his mug of coffee and takes a long, loud slurp.]
JEREMY: [Jeremy clears throat] I…so, I um…I…hmm.
JEREMY: Oh! Uh, here’s something! On Friday after work I, uh, rushed to Point Pelee to see this rare bird…? Called a Kirtland’s Warbler….? You remember I messaged you about being a birdwatcher…? You didn’t respond but I assumed you had gone to bed and just didn't see the text.
DATE: Sounds interesting. [Date checks his watch.]
JEREMY: Oh...um, well, yes, I-I guess it is. You see, this bird, well, it’s an endange…
Date: Sounds interesting.