Saturday, 10 October 2009

Some SABAP2 vs SABAP1 Comparisons

This map shows the coverage achieved in SABAP1. I have used the same colours as those on the SABAP2 website.

All the data needed to compile these maps was off the SABAP2 website [].

This is what we have achieved as at 8 October 2009 for SABAP2.

Map of the cards per QDGC in SABAP2 less the cards per QDGC for SABAP1.

The dark red QDGC's are those for which there are more than 100 SABAP1 cards than SABAP2 cards.
The pink QDGC's have 11-100 less SABAP2 than SABAP1 cards.
The pale blue have 10-0 less SABAP2 than SABAP1 cards.
The pale green have 0-10 more SABAP2 than SABAP1, while the darker green have 11-50 more SABAP2 than SABAP1 cards.

I then looked at the species richness per QDGC.

This map shows the species recorded per QDGC in SABAP1.
Again the standard SABAP2 website Species Richness colours have been used, and again all data were of the SABAP2 website.

This is the Species Richness map as at 8 October 2009 for SABAP2, reduced to QDGC's.

Note that the only QDGC in SABAP2 with more than 300 species in KZN [so far] is 2732CB Lower Mkuze.

This map is of QDGC's where the SABAP1 species count per QDGC has been subtracted from that of SABAP2.
The red coloured QDGC's are those where SABAP1 has more than 100 species recorded than for SABAP2.
The pink QDGC's have 26-100 more SABAP1 species than SABAP2.
The pale blue have 0-25 more for SABAP1 than SABAP2.
The pale green have 0-25 more SABAP2 than SABAP1.
The mid-green have 26-50 more than SABAP1, while the dark green at Vryheid has more than 50 SABAP2 species recorded than SABAP1.

To give one an idea of the finer spatial resolution that SABAP2 is using, this is what the species richness map for SABAP2 at the same date, looked like refined back to the project resolution of a pentad.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

This Weekend's Atlas Efforts

This weekend saw me managing to atlas three pentads. Unfortunately no new ones, sorry Trish.

Saturday saw me off bright and early to Lynnfield Park (or Ashburton South) and along the Dardarnelles Road. Managed to clock up a not too bad list. Lowlight of this trip was a single Common Starling foraging with a flock of Euplectes widowbirds. Then back home for breakfast and off to Durban.

While the rest of the family was off have various heads of hair done, I popped in at Umhlanga Lagoon NR, as I have not been there for some time. I see there is now a parking attendant at the car park, who wanted charged me R5 for the priviledge of parking there.

Anyway toddled off into the forest, with birding a little slow, as one can expect in a forest at 11h00. Sat for some time on the bridge across the stretching towards the main lagoon, watching a flock of Little bee-eaters hawking insects above the forest canopy and reedbeds. Then a very young Crowned Eagle made a brief appearance from the hotel end, only to pop into the forest canopy, just out of sight. Duly got to the end of the trail and thought I would nip along the beach and around the corner to see what waders were along the lagoon proper. Well, there may have been all sorts of birds, but I did not get that far as I hightailed it out of there: I was amazed to discover that KZN now has it's own version of Sandy Bay, and this at none other than Umhlanga Lagoon. I simply did not have the heart to stride through this lot with binoculars in hand looking for birds.

Back through the forest I got to watching a Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird. As is so often the case, this was the front-runner to a good bird-party, which included a Puffbacks, a Yellow-bellied Greenbul, a Golden-tailed Woodpecker, a Paradise Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Apalis and then the highlight was a pair of Black-throated Wattle-eyes. This bird party was unfortunately broken up by a couple of prospective users of the lagoon beach, the male of which had already divested himself of most of his kit.

Back to the car park, to remonstrate with the attendant about not warning me about the goings-on on the beach, only to be blandly told that he thought that I knew about it. (Obviously not the only person in khaki shorts and shirt to come past).

Then drove around as much of the rest of the pentad as I could find, not adding too much other than a Stonechat, some doves and mynas.

On the way back I stopped along the Umgeni, hoping to complete another card. Pink-backed Pelican and the usual suspects along the Umgeni. Then into Burman Bush to see what was up. Really quiet forest birding as it was now 13h30. An African Goshawk provided some interest. Then a call from the family to pick them up and back home.

Got no birding done on Sunday [I have a mostly non-birding family], and Monday was work, which to misquote someone (GB Shaw, or was it the other bloke?), must surely be the curse of the birding classes.

Tuesday I had planned to atlas two new pentads, both on the edge of the Dalton sugar belt and going on down to the communal areas along the Umvoti River. At the door on my way out, my eldest asked if she could come along, 'Yes, of course'. Do not want to stifle any interest in birding [or atlassing], but definitely a change of route. I do not mind losing the trusty old Sentra as much as my daughter. So, instead we covered a pentad with 6 cards returned - if you cannot go where you wanted to , one might as well chase the Chamaeleon points.

In the end we had a really good morning's birding, despite a howling pre-frontal wind. Highlights were a trio of White-backed Ducks chasing each other around on the most unlikely looking location: a small dam right next to a really dusty District Road. This was soon followed by a Black Crake climbing a bugweed that was hanging over the pond.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

This week's Atlassers

Here is a summary of the atlas card submissions for the last week.
To summarise: we had 23 observers who submitted 89 cards, 13 of which were for new pentads.
This is against 20 observers last week who submitted 62 cards, 23 of which were for new pentads.

Friday, 5 June 2009

SABAP2 Coverage SHP File

I was thinking about the easiest way of planning an atlas trip, and if one is using a GIS viewer like Christine [or if you are lucky enough, ArcView], it did occur to me that if the most recent coverage and species richness data were available in SHP file format, it would really make life a whole lot easier.
So instead of instead of trying to get back to sleep this morning, I downloaded the pentad shp file off the SABAP2 web site. I also copied all of the Gap Analysis data for KZN off the web and into Excel. I then manipulated these data in Excel to create a dbf file [a format that ArcView uses], joined this onto the pentad shp file and copied to a new shp, and presto the result is alongside.
So if anyone is using GIS for their atlas trip planning, and would like a relatively up-to-date shp file with all the data (plus some quarter coverage info) from the SABAP2 website, contact me.
[The shp file displayed on the image here is only 74KB when zipped].

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

SABAP2 Targets

The following graphs are summaries of where the respective KZN Bird Clubs are with respect to achieving the stated SABAP2 targets.

This target is to cover at least one pentad in every Quarter Degree Square in KZN. The idea was to have covered at least one pentad for 60% of the QDS's (equivalent to a 1:50 000 topo map sheet), by the end of March. All areas were already beyond this in January 2009.
Most notable is that this week Port Natal achieved 100% coverage.

This target is to cover one third of the pentads in each QDS. The interim target was to be at 33% at the end of March 2009. Again KZN was at the fortunate position to be above this in January already, though Northern KZN just managed this. What is most encouraging is that is the KZN line (labelled Total) has only been level for three reporting periods between January and now, otherwise we have had a steady upward climb, with Trogons (South Coast) at the top of the tree with 78%.

The last two targets are a little strange in that the wider our coverage is, the poorer we fair, provided we do not follow up and re-visit pentads. SABAP2's interim target for March was to be at 50%.
Only two clubs failed to reach this target, with Northern KZN being most disadvantaged simply because they have a very larg area coupled to the fewest birders. Trogons are an interesting case because they were well ahead, but then dipped below as they expanded their coverage, climbed back up as they do follow ups, and then dip below as their cover broadens again.
Overall as a province we have been on a downward trend as our coverage increases. North, Trogons, Sisonke & Midlands are all only slightly better off now, than they were at the beginning of January.

This target, like the last, is harder to achieve as coverage increases. The interim target was to be at 13% at then end of March. As a province we did achieve the interim target.
What is very encouraging, is that unlike the last target we are on an upward trend, with no club being worse off now than they were at the beginning of the year. I suspect that we can thank those atlassers who are diligently atlas their home and adjacent pentads. (Also thos who plan their atlassing according to the pentad charts, links on the right).
All of these graphs are in the
QDS Summary with Project Targets file. A link to this file is on the right.

Who has been atlassing in KZN

The adjacent table lists the observers who have submitted cards for pentads within KZN over the last week. Note that some of these cards are for periods before this last week.

To summarise: 20 observers submitted 62 cards, 23 of which were for new pentads.

Pentad Chart for Kruger National Park

A pentad chart is now available for KNP for those who would like to plan their atlassing within the park.
The format is as per the post below, except that the QDS responsibilty is shown at province level, ie either LP for Limpopo or MP for Mpumalanga, and the park boundaries are shown in a broad dark green line.
If anyone would like a copy please contact me by leaving a comment below.