Friday, December 22, 2006

Life Lists and Double Stars

Lately I've been busy with a few ‘keyboard projects’. One involves retooling all posts on my blog to fit in with the new format. The changes mainly deal with colors, table sizes and the addition of labels. So far 2006 is complete which includes 50 out of 89 posts. I'm currently working on the remaining 39 posts for 2005.

Another project involves creating a ‘life list’ of all birds species I've seen to date. I've never known what this number was and have tried to get the process rolling but didn't have the proper software to get the job done right. It's a fairly involved process when you want to know where, when and how many birds were seen.

Recently I tested out eBird, which is run by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and feel it has enough features to warrant placing all of my birding observations there. A side benefit will be to have this information pooled with others to spot population trends.

I'm adding the most recent sightings first and have completed 15 daily checklists for a current total of 90 species.

The compilation of Couteau's double star list is still in on-going. 315 of his list of 744 stars have been added to the database. The data is cleaned up and brought up to date plus additional information is being added for each star. Processing each takes from 4 to 10 minutes apiece.