Sure the optics weren't great by today's standards. In fact just earlier this week I was reminiscing with a former colleague with whom I worked at Rondeau 42 years ago, that the old Bushnell Spacemaster telescopes and the Bushnell Sport Custom binoculars, both of which were the industry standards for birders of that era, aren't much better than museum pieces or door stops now (packrat that I am, I still have my original Spacemaster, and both of my original Sport Customs (7 X 35 and 9 X 36) from the 1970s, but not my even earlier two pairs of binoculars...a Kmart special 7 X 35 and a model of Tasco 7 X 50 :-).
|Prothonotary Warbler, first discovered nesting in Ontario and Canada in the early 1930s|
It was submitted by yours truly.
I didn't realize it at the time, of course, but was contacted a short time afterwards to inform me of that event. (I didn't get any prize, just the notoriety :-) And interestingly it was an historic checklist that I submitted. You can read about that occurrence, and the way ebird has taken off in Ontario by clicking on this link.
Just like birding, I was at the right place at the right time to have submitted the list that reached this significant milestone for Ontario birders. In reality, I have only been submitting to ebird for about a year and a half, with a total of 522 lists submitted in that time. Some of them are historical ones.
|American Avocet, June 2013|
|Black Vulture, March 2009|
(Note to self: get busy with all of those other historical lists!)
Just like optical equipment, bird checklists have evolved. In digging through Rondeau's historical files, the park staff very recently came up with the two featured in the next photo. The one on the left is dated 1956, and had accumulated 268 species by that time, and the one on the right is dated 1959, with 275 species. The park naturalist of that era, R. D. Ussher (RDU), was a forester by training, but a pioneer in natural history interpretation of Ontario's provincial parks, and he was at Rondeau from 1952-1969. He compiled and maintained checklists of birds, mammals, plants (both woody and herbaceous) as well as reptiles and amphibians. There were records from Rondeau even back into the 1800s, all of which he or others scoured through to come up with these lists, and were the basis for checklists that followed.
By 1976 there were 301 species on the list.
|Say's Phoebe, Sept 17 & 18, 2015|
|Magnificent Frigatebird, 2012|