Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

January 7, 2011

A Flock of Vanity Plates

Filed under: Birds, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, Non Birds — richditch @ 7:33 pm
PITOHUI vanity plate

PITOHUI vanity plate

One way I measure the potential of any birding location is by the variety of birding related vanity plates I can find in the parking lot. Birders who are serious enough to pay extra for a personalized license plate spend a lot of their free time at birding locations looking for reported rarities, or hoping to be the first to discover something rare in one of the prime locations. When I lived in New Jersey I could always count on a good selection around the hotspots in Cape May. When a mega rarity is reported somewhere that I can reach I make sure to check the cars in the lot for any plates I’ve not seen before – I “collected” a lot of plates in the early 90’s when a Ross’ Gull was found at a large sewage treatment facility in Maryland, and again when a Whiskered Tern spent time in Delaware.

HOOPOE vanity plate

HOOPOE vanity plate

I’ve been seeing more vanity plates at the Gilbert Water Ranch lately. Maybe it is the result of the latest mega rarity seen there – a Baikal Teal. The teal hasn’t been seen for a month or so now, but people still show up hoping it will be rediscovered.

XENOPS vanity plate

XENOPS vanity plate

My rule is to photograph any potential plate when I see it at a birding location, even if I don’t know for sure that it is birding related. I can always do a Google search for a strange character string when I get home to figure out what PITOHUI means.

All three of these plates were photographed recently at the Water Ranch.


1 Comment »

  1. Pitohui is a genus of birds endemic to New Guinea. The Hooded Pitohui is poisonous. Happy New Year

    Comment by wendy malmid — January 8, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

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