Yesterday I was blogging about the top 8 apps eco-travelers and birders (and even normal travelers) should have on their iPhones. As if by cue, I got an update from one of my recommended apps, E-Bird. This is a new one for me so I am very anxious to try it out on our trip to West Papua.
They have some great advice on how to speed up your data entry on their blog. The main one I will have to be concerned with is having the lists and locations stored since I know there won't be any internet where we will be birding.
6) Know the options for creating new locations and choose the fastest one.
"Recent Locations" is the fastest way to create a checklist for a location you have birded, well, recently. The great thing about this option is that it loads the eBird checklist for that location from memory even when there is no internet connection available.
They also recommend preparing your checklists in advance.
3) Start your checklist when you start birding...
...rather than when you finish. This isn't so much a time saver as it is a great way of achieving better estimates of numbers for each bird and also for remembering to include everything that you see. I keep my count as I'm birding and then do a final review before hitting submit.
They have a handy demo of the app.
I am not normally a "checklist" type of birder and especially when I see wild parrots I want to just enjoy them and observe their behaviour, but I do like high-tech stuff too. I'll give it a go, see how it works out. I am not expecting that all of our guides will speak English but they usually have some kind of field guide and point at the picture to communicate with us.