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Banding Code Translator | Recent Rare Bird Sightings
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  1. Plumbeous Vireo, John Baca Park, HB LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Marian first spotted it on the west of the catch basin....same area where the Ovenbird was hanging out last year.
    Count Week bird.
    Steve Alter
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  3. End-of-year birds LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Like Tom's post from a few days ago, this is coming a little late and will be rather long. I took all of last week off and spent a lot of time trying to get some end-of-year numbers.
    On Saturday, December 21st, I had a male Scott's oriole at Starr Ranch while bird-banding ( I know they had a Scott's last winter as well so this may be the same bird just returning each year. Note that Starr Ranch is restricted access and you are only allowed entry if you work there, volunteer there, or are there for one of the workshops or free days. However, Trish Gussler did have one up at Ramakrishna Monastery about a month ago, and there was one hanging out in Silverado Canyon two weekends ago as well, so they are around in inland South County.
    On the morning of December 22nd I set out to Capistrano and found Doug's chestnut-sided warbler ( took photos of it for probably 10-15 minutes and I know it was seen by both Trish and Sherry Meddick later in the day as well. I then went to Irvine Regional Park to look for the zone-tailed hawk, mountain bluebird, and spotted dove. I did not see either of the latter two, but when I was up on top of the Puma Ridge Trail (in the short vegetation overlook area) I did have the zone-tailed hawk fly right towards me from the Peters Canyon area and circle nearly overhead for a minute or two before flying back down south again towards Peters Canyon ( I stayed for another 30 minutes or so hoping it would come back but I never saw it again. David Evans was also there as I was leaving and he didn't find it either. I then went to Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary and found one or two slate-colored juncos ( These are a subspecies of the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis hyemalis), not a standalone species, but are a nice change from the typical subspecies that everybody knows around here, the Oregon junco (J.h. thurberi).
    On December 23rd I had a single golden-crowned kinglet at Huntington Central Park (in the usual area) but otherwise missed all eight of my target species for the day. 
    On December 26th Tom Ford-Hutchinson and I went up to the Los Pinos Trailhead before dawn. The wind was pretty awful, but as he mentioned we did have a zone-tailed hawk fly overhead again. We also had a hairy woodpecker. We did not have any other particularly notable birds up there or at either of the two campgrounds. There was a nice rufous-crowned sparrow at the Falcon Group Camp and Tom found a couple purple finches at the Blue Jay Campground.
    On December 27th I had golden-crowned kinglets at Huntington Central Park again in the same area (, and I finally got my lifebird American bittern at Bolsa Chica ( Afterward I met up with Tom again at the PCH lot and we also had a clapper rail just walking around out in the open in the vegetation behind the shrubs at the lot ( Later in the day Tom found me two new lifebirds: Thayer's gull at Sunset Beach and Pacific golden-plover at Seal Beach.
    On December 29th I participated in the CBC in Area 2 and was grouped with Mark Singer and Tjie Poo. Our highlight was two Ross' geese foraging with Canada geese at Clegg-Stacy Park ( These hung around the entire morning (we checked back on them) but I am not sure if they are still there. Later in the morning we had six hooded mergansers, including one male, in the channel southeast of Bolsa and Springdale ( In the afternoon I was part of a lucky group that was taken on a tour by Bob Schallmann and John Fitch onto Seal Beach NWR, where we got fantastic closeups of ferruginous hawk and scoped looks at Pacific golden-plover ( We were not able to find the laplong longspurs previously reported by Bob on the 26th.
    Finally, yesterday December 30th thanks to Trish's post about the Brightwater Trail I was able to get the burrowing owl at Bolsa Chica (
    I'm hoping to stop by Fairhaven Memorial in the afternoon and get the Cassin's vireo to round out my total OC year list at 270 (if I'm lucky). Thanks to everybody for your eBird checklists, OC Birding posts, or personal emails that helped me get many of these birds and eventually motivated me to get out of my little (relatively) secluded section of OC :-).
    Happy New Year and good birding in 2014!
    Ryan Winkleman
    Rancho Santa Margarita
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  5. Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] RE: Hammond's Flycatcher at Tri-city Park LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Ok, I just took another look and I agree with Hammond's. Didn't notice the gray on the head on the first look and I thought that the throat looked yellow then too.
    26 Palm AveWoodland, CA 95695530
    On Dec 23, 2013, at 2:20 PM, jpike44 <jpike44@...> wrote:
    It looks like the continuing Hammond's Flycatcher to me (gray-toned head, short well-notched tail, whitish throat, long primary extension with a notably large gap, etc). Granted, not the shortest-billed one I've ever seen.
    Jim Pike
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  7. Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] Hammond's Flycatcher, Aleutian and Cackling and Townsends @ Tri City LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Nice call, I agree.
    26 Palm AveWoodland, CA 95695530
    On Dec 23, 2013, at 1:13 PM, Trish G <trishrg62@...> wrote:
    I'm no expert, but the very bi-colored bill makes this flycatcher look more like Pacific-slope to me.
    Maybe someone else will chime in?
    Trish GusslerAnaheim
    On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM, <canyon53ss@...> wrote:
    Went very early to Tri City Park to try and find the Hammond's first located/photographed by Mike H. on 05 Dec. and photographed by Trish G. yesterday. I believe I found the bird, but it wasn't by Shelter 1 (as reported by both) as there were tree trimmers butchering the trees and a leaf blower active the entire time I was there. Instead, I found the bird as you enter the parking lot (park there) and walk left down the road (not the path). There are some pines there on the left in front of the block wall of that surrounds the building marked Golden State. This is also where I found the Townsend's. I did not hear the Hammond's given the racket going on (if it called at all) and quite honestly, finding it was just dumb luck though I did search for four hours.
    Hammonds photo here:
    Townsend's here:
    Correct me if I am wrong, but in the case of the Geese, I believe I have one each of Cackling and Aleutian in the photos. One bird was distinctly darker than the other.
    Set of three photos begins here:
    Sherry Meddick
  8. -back to top-
  9. Re: American Redstart at Harriett Wieder Park 12-20-13 LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Found him 10 AM this morning where reported. Thanks, Terry. It was one of my easier life birds. It's bright color (especially orange tail feathers when flitting), the thinning willow foliage and the sun behind when viewing from the south side of the ravine made it easy to spot-- or it just pays to be lucky sometimes.
    For those new to Harriett Wieder Park as I was, I parked south of the park entrance on Seapoint opposite the the Cherryhill entrance to the neighboring gated community. Fishers Gulch, I was told, is a short ravine at the south end of the open space. I entered around the end of the chain link fence and went midpoint down the hill on the south side of the ravine. A very short trail went right into the willows and the rim/edge of the ravine. The male American Redstart was actively working the willow right above me. :-). I don't know how far it ranged in the willows or if it is really staying in this spot. With Christmas shopping to do, this was basically a check it off stop and get on my way.
    But a pair of White-tailed kites were kiting over Bolsa Chica and then perched in a snag at the end of the ravine. One was eating some kind of rodent. Also two Northern Flickers were visitors in the short time I was there.
    Chris Johnson
    Yorba Linda
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  11. Confirmed Yellow-Crowned Night Heron LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    A juvenile Yellow-Crowned
    Night Heron has been confirmed by multiple birders at the Bolsa
    Chica Wetlands. The bird was first spotted in mid-October. This is
    the second year in a row; since the late 1970's that they have
    been seen in Orange County.
    The bird was seen by Bill Powell along the shore north of the
    Winterberg Channel Muted Tidal area; just west of the
    Black-Crowned Night Herons winter roosting area.
    John Ehrenfeld
    Hermosa Beach
    P.S. Last year in an effort to get shots of this bird, quite a few
    photographers were rude and negatively intrusive into the birds
    space. I am sure we would all agree of the need to be respectful
    of others and the bird.
  12. -back to top-
  13. Re: Orange Bishop LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Several brightly colored male Orange Bishops and more females still there--Monday morning @ 10 AM. Easily found at Huntington Central Pk location described in earlier email.
    Chris Johnson
    Yorba Linda
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  15. Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] RE: Cassin's Vireo at Seagate Park LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Do you mean John Baca Park?
    From: Linette A. Lina <lint6@...>To: orange county birding <> Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 1:34 PMSubject: Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] RE: Cassin's Vireo at Seagate Park
    "That's where I have encountered this bird, and ,occasionally, a drab gray wintering Bell's Vireo. An alternative method would be to play an appropriate app."Just a reminder, please don't play recordings of Bell's Vireo to attract the bird to you. Our local subspecies, the Least Bell's Vireo, is federally and State endangered and it's illegal to play their calls for that purpose. (Playing recordings of Cassin's Vireo is legal...whether one should or not is not this topic...)Ta,LinetteOrange, CA-
  16. -back to top-
  17. RE: Cassin's Vireo at Seagate Park LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Hi David,
    The vast minority (thanks, Doug) of the OC birding community colloquially refer to that park as Seagate, although a few stick-in-the-muds still call it John Baca Park. You might try the latter reference in your Google searches. The park is located along Ellis Street, between Golden West and Gothard, in Huntington Beach. Seagate is a willow-filled basin, transected by two berms within its midsection. I usually ignore the Protected Ecological Area signs, walking down the planted periwinkle slope to the palm-infested bottom, and pish from atop those berms. That's where I have encountered this bird, and ,occasionally, a drab gray wintering Bell's Vireo. An alternative method would be to play an appropriate app. Good luck.
    Jim Pike
    > From: David Starrett <starrettda...>
    > Date: October 17, 2013 at 5:16:28 PM PDT
    > To: jpike44 <jpike44...>
    > Subject: RE: [OrangeCountyBirding] Cassin's Vireo at Seagate Park in HB
    > Jim,
    > I am intrigued by this post. I happen to be in the Anaheim area on business. I am going to be birding Bola Chica and Huntington Beach CP tomorrow morning. Would love to see if I can find this bird. Can you tell me, where is Seagate Park? I can't find it on a (google) map. And where in the park has the vireo been seen?
    > Thanks!!!
    > Dave
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  19. continuing vireo at Seagate Park in HB LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    The least Bell's vireo that is back for its third winter at Seagate made a reappearance at the Ovenbird-end of the park this morning. Clearly this bird doesn't spend all of its time in the park, given how many birders have visited Seagate (and even lowly John Baca Park) and evidently not seen this bird over the past few weeks. Also continuing is the hybrid Townsend x Hermit (TOwHEe?) Warbler.
    Jim Pike
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  21. Santa Ana River and Yorba Regional Park LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Active bird activity this week in the Santa Ana River and the ponds and wooded areas of Yorba Linda Regional Park; just north of the 90 Imperial Highway exit off the 91.
    White-Throated Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Cassin's Kingbird. Juvenile Black-Headed Grosbeak, Black Phoebe, Say's Phoebe, Savannah Sparrow, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Wood Ducks, American Widgeons, Cinnamon Teals, Osprey, White-Faced Ibis, Cooper's Hawk, Canada Geese, Egyptian Goose Gosling, and the usual Egrets and Herons.
    John Ehrenfeld
    Hermosa Beach
  22. -back to top-
  23. RE: Help on ID John Baca Park LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Hi James,
    Although the angle prevents a more definitive answer to your request for help on the ID of the bird in your photos, I believe this is a likely candidate for a Hermit X Townsend's Warbler hybrid, and possibly even a returning individual, one that wintered here in the past.
    Doug Willick
    Orange, CA
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  25. 10/01 Yellow-green Vireo Image LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Here is the link to the picasa album that contains the image of the YELLOW-GREEN VIREO at John Baca Park. It is the first image.
    Michael Park
  26. -back to top-
  27. Help on ID John Baca Park LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    While unsuccessfully looking for the Yellow-Green Vireo at John Baca Park today i very briefly saw this bird. Originally i thought it was a Townsend's but on reviewing the picture that does not seem to be correct. The yellow spectacle looks more Pine Warbler like but I totally defer to the experts.
    Jim Hecht
    Hermosa Beach
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  29. Yellow-green Vireo (John Baca Park off Ellis) LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Spent over 2 1/2 hours trying to find the Yellow-green Vireo today that was seen yesterday (Monday) and just as I was giving up and leaving heard it call once so clearly it is still there (or another one?). Don't know the weather (fog) tonight along the coast but would guess that if it's still foggy again tonight possibly it will stay put and I will try again.
    Monte Taylor
    Irvine / Tustin, California
  30. -back to top-
  31. John Baca Park, Sat. Sept.28 LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Hi All,
    Patrick Temple and I birded John Baca Park Sat. morning. Briefly sighted a Yellow-green vireo at the NW end of the park about 9am, where the
    dg path and pavement meet. It was perched next to the riparian zone, flew to the other side of the path, then out of sight. While looking
    for it again, we got a few good looks at a Yellow-throated warbler near the same area. It flew back and forth from some sycamores and willows.
    Lynn Miller
    Riverside, CA
  32. -back to top-
  33. Swainson's Hawks & more LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    On Friday night I refound the VIRGINIA's and CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLERS at Mile Square Regional Park. I also had a phalarope sp. on the lake and was surprised when 2 SWAINSON's HAWKS flew over at dusk.
    As Benson mentioned some of us refound the Yellow-GREEN VIREO at John Baca at 3:30pm. Per usual the bird was not cooperative. The PALM WARBLER was also present and feeding in the grass.
    I met up with Rob McNab at Laguna Niguel Regional Park in the evening but we could not refind the Prairie Warbler along the willows south of the spillway. We did find a (continuing?) TENNESSEE WARBLER. I also spotted a female BLACK&WHITE WARBLER, an orestera Orange-crowned Warbler, a BLACKPOLL WARBLER and a BREWER's SPARROW in the same area.
    I posted pictures of the SABINE's GULL and many of the other birds listed above onto my flickr page here;
    Tom Ford-Hutchinson
    Irvine, CA
  34. -back to top-
  35. Sabine's Gull, Northern Waterthrush, other stuff LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Sea & Sage Audubon held their annual fall pelagic trip today (Sep 21). The highlight of the trip was a juvenile Sabine's Gull at the northeast corner of Lausen Sea Mount, approximately 13 miles off shore.
    Afterwards several of us headed over to John Baca Park where the Yellow-green Vireo was relocated around 3:30 or 4:00 PM. It was in the trees and shrubs on the slope below the houses along the northeast edge of the park.
    I also got a call from Robert McNab that he found a Prairie Warbler at Laguna Niuguel Regional Park this afternoon, in the willows at the bottom of the spillway. I also heard from Tom Ford-Hutchinson that there were a Tennessee Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and a Brewer's Sparrow in the same general area.
    Yesterday (Sep 20), I spent the day birding with Curtis Marantz. We were able to re-find the Chestnut-sided, Virginia's, and Lucy's Warblers at Mile Square Park. We were unable to re-find the Tennessee Warbler at Centennial Park, but did briefly see a Northern Waterthrush before it made a long, fast flight toward Edinger and presumably left the park.
    Tom Benson
    San Bernardino, CA
  36. -back to top-
  37. Huntington Beach Central Park & Bolsa Chica LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Today, I joined the San Fernando Valley Audubon bird walk at Huntington Beach Central Park and Bosa Chica led by Richard Barth. Some of the highlights at Huntington Beach Central Park were the Blackpoll Warbler shared with us by Jim Pike and Leo Ohtsuki at the ampitheatre area in the eucalyptus trees. Also of interest was a late migrating female Bullocks Oriole, a Pintailed Whydah and Orange Bishop in the now dry lake area viewed from the picnic area behind the Park Bench Cafe, and always a favorite, the Great Horned Owl near the library. There were multiple sightings of Western Tanagers and flocks of 50 plus Nutmeg Mannikin at the restroom area at the Slater Street parking lot.
    At John Baca Park, Bruce Aird put us on the Yellow-green Vireo at about noon. We parked at the Ellis entrance and proceeded to the viewing area in the first group alders on the right. The bird seemed to return the that area at about fifteen minute intervals. We birded from the concrete walkway and had good views of the bird.
    At Harriett Weider Regional Park we walked through the park parking lot to the end and exited the park to the area between the park to the fence at Bolsa Chica. In a distant pond below the park, we viewed one Pectoral Sandpiper. We then followed the fence line going toward the ocean and crossed Fischer?s Gulch to the next pond. There was another Pectoral Sandpiper against the far bank. I have included a long distance digiscope ID photo with the Flicker link below.
    At Bolsa Chica there were 2 Reddish Egrets viewed from the boardwalk and 2 others on the far side of the Least Tern nesting area at the end of the Boardwalk.
    David Campbell
    Newport Beach
  38. -back to top-
  39. John Baca Park Yellow-green Vireo Continues LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    The Yellow-green Vireo reported yesterday in Huntington Beach was still present today. I saw it briefly at about 1130 in the riparian vegetation near the area where last year's Ovenbird hung out. It flew to the south across the turf grass into an isolated alder tree before continuing to the ornamental vegetation on slope below the homes. Its a total pain in the butt.
    Good birding,
    Brian Daniels
    Long Beach, Orange County
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  41. Masked and Brown Boobies off Huntington Beach 9/2/2013 LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    OC Birders,
    My apologies for the late report, but it took me a while to analyze the locations of some birds on our whale watching trip out of San Pedro (Los Angeles County) yesterday Monday Sept-2-2013.
    Our preliminary review of the location suggests that both the adult Masked Booby (found by Darren Dowell) and immature Brown Booby (John Garrett) were seen in Orange County waters. The Masked Booby also crossed into LA County waters.
    The flickr link below provides an overview of where the birds were seen if anyone is interested in chasing them. Both birds were SW of the oil rigs off Huntington Beach near the edge of the San Pedro Escarpment:
    The trip was the noon whale watching cruise run by Harbor Breeze. Unfortunately they follow different routes every day depending on weather conditions and where they think they will see the most whales. Don't expect them to stop, slow down or to change their route to help you see birds.
    Here is the eBird checklist: Better photos were obtained by others. The photos seem good enough to rule out Nasca Booby.
    Dave Bell
    Pasadena, CA
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  43. Clapper Rail at Bolsa Chica Today LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    This morning (Aug. 31) about 10:30, the Clapper Rail walked from the pickleweed on the left side (facing the walkbridge) of the parking lot, going under the walkbridge and heading to its normal side (south?). Also present today were 2 white Muscovy Ducks just to the south of the parking lot, at least 1 Reddish Egret, 3 Red Knots, 1 White-faced Ibis, several Ruddy Turnstones, and at least 3 Royal Terns. Lots of birds seen from the first viewpoint. I was there from about 8:15 to 10:30. I too have found this new set-up confusing. At first, I thought something was wrong with my computer! So you're not the only one, Jim Pike! Terry Hill Huntington Beach, Calif.
  44. -back to top-
  45. Harriett Wieder results LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    This morning's survey at Harriett Wieder Regional Park turned up only small
    numbers of birds. The ponds at the south end of Bolsa Chica are quite dry and
    there were few shorebirds or waterfowl. The exception was a flock of about 50
    Wilson's Phalaropes in a small remnant pond on the John Thomas oil lease area
    below the inland end of Harriett Wieder Park.
    Vic Leipzig
    Huntington Beach
  46. -back to top-
  47. WFO Annual Conference Registration Open LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    Registration is now open for the 38th Annual Conference of Western Field
    Ornithologists. Go to the WFO web site
    ( to get more info and
    Given the many options available, we recommend that you download the
    Conference Details document from the website before you click on the REGISTER
    NOW button to begin registration.
    This joint Conference with the Washington Ornithological Society, hosted
    by Black Hills Audubon Society includes:
    - Workshops to enhance your field skills
    - Fall Warblers: Jon Dunn and Kimball Garrett
    - Sapsuckers ? ID challenges and research update: Steve Shunk
    - Gull Identification: Mike Donahue
    - Dragonflies: Dennis Paulson (includes both classroom and field sessions)
    - Wilderness First Aid: Heath Wakelee
    - Making full use of eBird: Brian Sullivan
    - Keynote talk by John Marzluff on those amazing Corvids
    - Two sessions of talks on recent research in the region with a plenary
    talk by Dennis Paulson
    - A full set of field trips (including Pelagics)
    - Photo and Bird Sounds ID sessions
    This year WFO is awarding two Pasadena Audubon/WFO Youth Scholarships to
    defray expenses of attending this conference. Go to
    ( for details.
    Ed Pandolfino
    Sacramento, CA
  48. -back to top-
  49. Palm warblers, Red Knots LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 1969 @ 4:00pm, TODAY
    On our annual spring trip from Huntington Central Park to Bolsa Chica, we had a
    full day with 95 species! Highlights included Palm Warbler (thanks to the
    birding acquaintances who helped us locate it), several Hutton's Vireos
    ('singing' loudly) and a Willow Flycatcher at Huntington Central Park. We saw
    the Solitary Sandpiper that wintered at John Baca Park (it flew north, hope that
    wasn't the last of it!). The highlight for us at Bolsa Chica was 62+ Red Knots
    in every plumage from very basic to beautiful breeding plumage. Initially we saw
    them along the inner channel where it parallels PCH, north/west of lifeguard
    station 21 at about 4:30. By the time we got back to the parking lot, they were
    near the wooden bridge. One was banded with 2 bands, one red bead-like one with
    a yellow pennant-type above it. Could not distinguish numbers, but have not
    looked at photos yet.
    Good birding!
    Ann and Eric Brooks
    Los Angeles
  50. -back to top-

-revision history-
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'. 

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