iNatting from Airports and Airplanes!

Hello Fellow iNatters!

Many of you are like me and absolutely nuts with iNaturalist, as I have noted from your many observations! I don't know about you, but my mind is almost always on what organisms can be noted and were, regardless of where I find myself - even when nature is hard to come by. At the mall with the family, at the theme park, at the baseball game, the office, and so on, but what about the airport and from INSIDE the airplane?

Recently I have started documenting these observations, almost as a game, to see what I can see from the various airports across the country and internationally. It is some fun! On that layover between your home and final destination, you may be able to see things you won't see in either place. Why not document them? Most airports are well-equipped with large windows allowing you to see whatever exists outside from a 360 degree vantage point. I like to take advantage when possible. Of course, on nighttime or tight layovers or when there just isn't much to see outside, those can be tough.

A selection of my airport/airplane observations are included in this post. Some of the more interesting observations include Bat Falcon and a Jumping Spider in Panama's Tocumen International, Florida Royal Palm and Beach She-oak in Miami International, the rare Purple Desert Lupine and Ives' Phacelia on Borrego Valley Airport property, the Amazon River from the plane, etc. I have even started photographing aerial shots from the plane window mid-flight and submitting them as "Plants". With those international flights, you can photo the image shown on the onboard TV monitor that shows your current position and then later match your specific position using Google Earth. Those "Plants" observations have much less value than shots from the ground since they are not species specific, but are fun nonetheless. I'll try to review my various other observations and photos from the past and add them here in time. Some additional older airport observations:

Bat Falcon, Tocumen International, Panama
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1172706
Jumping Spider, Tocumen International, Panama
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/490456
Surf Scoter, San Diego International
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2557385
Common Loon, San Diego International
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2557382

Before I carried a camera, I recall so many interesting airport observations I wish I had documented. Years ago on one layover on my way to South America at Panama's Tocumen International Airport, I saw two species of parrots, Magnificent Frigatebirds, other assorted bird species and most amazingly, a migration kettle of hundreds of Swainson's and Broad-winged Hawks circling overhead. On another layover in Buenos Aires, Argentina, multiple Fork-tailed Flycatchers on the wires. If only I had photographed all of those...

To me, photographing observations from airports and airplanes is just one more way to contribute to the iNaturalist database and citizen science in general. I hope you agree and give it a shot. Have fun!

Jay

Posted by jaykeller jaykeller, October 03, 2017 01:02

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Ives' Phacelia Phacelia ivesiana

Observer

jaykeller

Date

February 25, 2017 11:08 AM PST

Description

Tom Chester @tchester and Keir Morse @keirmorse found representatives on 2/19/17 at/near this location, which were the first observed locally in 110 years! We returned to this location for a broader search today and found MANY specimens, which I'll enter in the coming days.

Photos / Sounds

What

Purple Desert Lupine Lupinus shockleyi

Observer

jaykeller

Date

February 25, 2017 11:24 AM PST

Description

Tom Chester @tchester and Keir Morse @keirmorse found representatives on 2/19/17 at/near this location, which were the first observed locally in 78 years! We returned to this location for a broader search today and found MANY specimens, which I'll enter in the coming days.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

White Mallow Eremalche exilis

Observer

jaykeller

Date

February 25, 2017 11:18 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Amaranths Genus Amaranthus

Observer

jaykeller

Date

February 25, 2017 11:11 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Frost Mat Achyronychia cooperi

Observer

jaykeller

Date

February 25, 2017 11:13 AM PST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Beach Sheoak Casuarina equisetifolia

Observer

jaykeller

Date

March 22, 2017 07:31 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Beach Sheoak Casuarina equisetifolia

Observer

jaykeller

Date

March 22, 2017 07:42 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Royal Palm Roystonea regia

Observer

jaykeller

Date

March 22, 2017 07:27 AM PDT
Plants

Photos / Sounds

What

Plants Kingdom Plantae

Observer

jaykeller

Date

March 22, 2017 11:22 AM PDT

Description

Primary photo from the plane window overflying Tuburon, Haiti (noting plants) and secondary photo showing the location of the plane from the onboard TV monitor.

Plants

Photos / Sounds

What

Plants Kingdom Plantae

Observer

jaykeller

Date

March 22, 2017 12:20 PM PDT

Description

Primary photo from the plane window overflying Tacuato, Venezuela (noting plants) and secondary photo showing the location of the plane from the onboard TV monitor.

Plants

Photos / Sounds

What

Plants Kingdom Plantae

Observer

jaykeller

Date

March 22, 2017 04:07 PM PDT

Description

Primary photo from the plane window overflying Parque do Xingu, Brazil (noting plants) and secondary photo showing the location of the plane from the onboard TV monitor.

Plants

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Plants Kingdom Plantae

Observer

jaykeller

Date

March 22, 2017 04:21 PM PDT
Plants

Photos / Sounds

What

Plants Kingdom Plantae

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 2, 2017 08:13 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Palms Family Arecaceae

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 2, 2017 09:00 AM PDT
Plants

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Plants Kingdom Plantae

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 2, 2017 09:07 AM PDT
Plants

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Plants Kingdom Plantae

Observer

jaykeller

Date

April 2, 2017 08:56 AM PDT

Comments

Thumb

There is no like button for this post. So let me just publicly say I love this. Airports just got a whole lot more fun. Also, nice Falcon find!

Posted by gantproductions over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Thanks Andrew! It sure helps pass the time during long layovers. Photo quality typically suffers due to the windows and distance, but no big deal.

Posted by jaykeller over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Hah, I thought I was the only one playing this game. I should have known better. Great post. I would only add that it's a good way to get a bit of exercise in, too. I find myself covering a decent amount of ground going from window to window these days, esp. on layovers. It beats sitting in a chair looking at a screen.

Posted by jmaughn 7 months ago (Flag)
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I identified myself with your post,

related to observations in an airport I got one, from inside the airplane:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/8947248
(Belem Airport, Amazon, Brazil)

I extend to other places when moving on, like on the road (I already stoped, more than once, to get a photo), railroad stations (one cannot ask to stop a train to take photos),

or a trip in the Amazon river, by boat:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/6513796
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/8947018
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/6513876
(sailing downstream in the Amazon river)

best regards
Nelson

Posted by nelson_wisnik 6 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Excellent Nelson! That's a nice one for the airport.

I hate to admit how many things I have seen at cemeteries, which tend to be good places for birds and butterflies. ;-)

Posted by jaykeller 6 months ago (Flag)
Thumb

Cemeteries? Sounds like a good Halloween Project for the community :)

Posted by gantproductions 6 months ago (Flag)

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