Jun 20 2023

A year of bird data

Published by under Uncategorized

This is a csv dump of the BirdNetPi that’s been running in my backyard for over a year. I tweaked the lat log slightly to point to a local park so I don’t totally DOX myself.

Download the file below.

There are over 50k entries. The top line has the column labels. The last column refers to a file name of the sound file used to test. I have a lot of these, but the system is set up to clear them when the hard drive fills, so I’ve lost some of them. I still have a ton tho, not sure what to do with them! ūüėČ

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Oct 17 2022

Geeses! In San Diego?

Published by under Uncategorized

I often get false positives on the BirdNetPi, usually it’s a leaf blower that it thinks is a Turkey Vulture – so I don’t get too excited when I see a weird new bird name for the first time. Combine that with a midnight timeframe, and I was skeptical…

What in the world??? It kinda sounds like geese…? Maybe a loud skunk fight?

Huh, no, that’s geesy! I mentioned it to another birdish friend, and she was convinced she’d heard geese late last night too!

So, here’s what a Greater White Fronted Goose looks like (wikipedia):

And here are their migration paths, one of which looks like it could come over San Diego!

Looks like the device caught them passing over. Here are the other 5 sound clips that were captured:

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Jul 12 2022

Birds found by BirdNetPi in my backyard

Published by under Uncategorized

This is a dump from the database. Started 5/23/22 thru 7/12/22. I suspect a number of the single detections are false, like the Turkey Vulture seems to come up when the mic hears a leaf blower.

Com_NameCOUNTA of Com_Name
California Towhee8710
American Crow1514
Red-shouldered Hawk575
Allens Hummingbird568
Pacific-slope Flycatcher448
Black Phoebe444
House Finch379
Lesser Goldfinch214
Nuttalls Woodpecker197
Cassins Kingbird186
Annas Hummingbird175
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher158
Orange-crowned Warbler116
Western Bluebird112
Mexican Jay95
Bewicks Wren76
Coopers Hawk75
Hooded Warbler35
Hooded Oriole25
Red-tailed Hawk18
Northern Rough-winged Swallow18
Canyon Wren11
Common Raven10
Scaly-breasted Munia7
Turkey Vulture6
Spotted Towhee6
Red-breasted Nuthatch6
Hammonds Flycatcher6
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron6
White-throated Swift5
Huttons Vireo5
Flammulated Owl5
Stellers Jay4
Aberts Towhee4
Rufous Hummingbird3
House Sparrow3
Yellow-green Vireo2
Thick-billed Fox Sparrow2
Russet Nightingale-Thrush2
Red-masked Parakeet2
Red-crowned Parrot2
Red Crossbill2
Northern Mockingbird2
Mourning Dove2
Eastern Screech-Owl2
Common Poorwill2
Barn Swallow2
Barn Owl2
Ash-throated Flycatcher2
Acorn Woodpecker2
Zone-tailed Hawk1
Violet-crowned Hummingbird1
Varied Thrush1
Thick-billed Parrot1
Summer Tanager1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet1
Ridgways Rail1
Northwestern Crow1
House Wren1
Hermit Thrush1
Harriss Hawk1
Great Horned Owl1
Common Nighthawk1
Cliff Swallow1
California Scrub-Jay1
Blue Grosbeak1
Black-throated Gray Warbler1
Black-capped Gnatcatcher1
Belted Kingfisher1
Bells Vireo1
Band-tailed Pigeon1
American Robin1
American Kestrel1
Grand Total14397

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May 24 2022

New Project: Birdnetpi

Published by under Uncategorized

I’ve been messing with a new project to listen to the bird calls in the yard and identify them using Machine Learning. I found this project:


And I built it out:

raspberry pi set up for birdnetpi

The microphone choice was painful! The advice on the site is to get a Clippy – a UK manufactured omni-directional mic. After ordering that, then a comedy of adapters, I found that the UGreen USB Audio adapter that I got would not show up as a recording device on the Raspberry Pi. So I punted, googled around for similar projects, and saw people liking this Samson USB mic that has adjustment for close or omni sound.


And it works! Here’s one day’s data:

graphs of bird data

I didn’t fire it up til right before work at 8a, so I’ll see if there are more morning captures tomorrow. Interesting how it all goes quiet when the sun goes down.

It’s fun to watch the running log. The software does 15 second sound captures, then runs that sample through the embedded BirdNet machine learning model that contains over 3000 songs. It calculates the confidence level, and anything over .7 gets added to the database.

birdnet log

We knew the crows were loud and seemed to show up at certain times, now it’s documented! ūüėČ

Things to mess with now:

Weatherproof the setup, but don’t block the mic.

Try other placements in the yard for more songs, maybe set up bird feeder closeby.

Understand how the machine learning model was built and is used.

Add other sounds to the model, especially the jet sounds as they pass – perhaps identifying type of jet?

See if the Clippy would be a better mic. Have to figure out the mess of adapters I got to make it connect. Also have to get a proper USB Audio recording device – UGreen looked right from the Birdnet site, but I may have gotten the wrong one.

UPDATE: added a full day chart:

full day bird chart

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Apr 12 2018

Some San Diego Beer and Food Maps – with Recommended Dishes

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Downtown San Diego beer places:



30th St (close to downtown) beer and food places



Foodie friends’ recommendations for great restaurants and their favorite dishes:


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Apr 09 2016

Timelapser v3

Published by under Declan,Fun,Photography,Tech

This is a follow up to the timelapser devices I’ve been making based on the Raspberry Pi. ¬†Earlier posts here:


Timelapser Project

I wanted to teach a class on how to build these at work, so I ordered 20 kits.  The newest case design is much more stable, but can be tricky to put together.  I got it here:



2016-03-31 08.39.56 2016-03-31 08.40.03 2016-03-31 08.40.08 2016-03-31 08.40.13 2016-03-31 08.41.02 2016-03-31 08.39.54

I really like how it grabs the camera module, keeping it still.

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Nov 05 2015

Slack as a social platform

Published by under Uncategorized

I want to try an experiment. ¬†It might end up as a mess, but that’s why we experiment. ¬†I’d like to try to enable a social circle using Slack. ¬†This post got me thinking about trying this:


Mostly the parts about getting people talking before and during a conference. ¬†Why can’t we do that for an ongoing social circle? ¬†So, I created:


When I say social, I mean joking around, event planning like parties, happy hours, bottle shares, and general get-togethers. ¬†I bet other things happen too, but that’s part of the experiment. ¬†I’m kind of trying to get that early Twitter vibe where we all met new people and got together for random stuff and had fun.

To sign up, go to this Google Form and add an email address and you’ll get an invite from Slack:


It’ll be interesting to see how this works out, or doesn’t ūüėČ ¬†We’re getting a LOT of utility out of Slack at work and in some community forums so I hope it works for this too.



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Jul 26 2014

Lost and Found Dog Story

Published by under Declan,San Diego

This was kinda neat, so I thought I’d get it down before I forgot it.

Elaine and I had to grab our dog Pepper and head out in the car because someone was coming to see the house we are selling. ¬†As we drove down the very busy, 4 lane Carmel Valley Rd. we saw a medium sized dog loping down Black Mountain Dr. and turn onto Carmel Valley. ¬†She was on the sidewalk, but all by herself and looked like she could dart out into traffic at any time. ¬†I was sick of seeing dead dogs by the road so, even though I’m really not a dog person, I asked Elaine to pull over and let me see if I could do anything.

I grabbed Pepper’s leash and walked back toward the dog, and she disappeared up into the bushes next to the sidewalk. ¬†I approached where I’d seen her go in and found her plopped up under a bush, panting like crazy. ¬†It was a very hot day and she had been moving pretty quickly, so I think she was exhausted. ¬†She also looked older once I could get this close to her. ¬†I don’t know much about dogs (Pepper and I co-exist and that’s about it, he is a mama’s boy), so I was chicken to put my hands too close to her collar. ¬†I could see tags, so I was hopeful to get a name and number. ¬†I called Elaine, who was still up the street in the car with Pepper, and asked her to get some water and I’d see if I could make friends with this scary beast.

I also called Animal Control. ¬†They said they had no one available, but would put the dog on the list and have someone come look in the area when they could. ¬†I sat and talked to the dog and waited for Elaine to come back with the water. ¬†My phone rang and it was my buddy Mike wanting to know why I was sitting on the sidewalk talking to a bush on the side of the road. ¬†I told him I like it there. ¬†Elaine came back¬†with a big bottle of water and a bowl, then took the car and Pepper back down the street to not spook the dog. ¬†I filled the bowl and edged my way toward her slavering jaws… ok, not really slavering… She actually would just stop panting and kind of hold her breath when I got close. ¬†She let me put the water right under her nose, and after a couple minutes she started lapping it up and quickly drained the bowl.

I refilled the bowl and got the courage up to sneak my phone in to see if I could shoot a picture of the tags…

2014-07-24 18.35.37


But it was too blurry. ¬†I finally got the nerve up to scritch her on the head, and while she didn’t seem to like it, she didn’t snap at me which is good because I like all my fingers. ¬†I eventually got to her collar and tags and rolled them around to read a name, “Ohana”, and a phone number! ¬†Cool!!! This would be over soon and I could get a friggin taco. ¬†I was hungry.

So I called the number and get… a fast busy signal! ¬†Over and frickin over again! ¬†Damn it. ¬†The other tag had a dog license number, so I called Animal Control again, told them the story so far, and they gave me another number to call. ¬†Cool! ¬†Good deed almost done, right? ¬†RIGHT? ¬†“I’m sorry, this user is not receiving calls at this time.” ¬†What does that even mean? ¬†Someone went to all the trouble of cutting a dog loose AND canceling all of their phone lines? ¬†WHILE LEAVING THE NUMBER ON THE DOG?!? ¬†My mind was racing and I was getting pissed. ¬†Did I tell you I was hungry?

Since I was delirious with hunger and sick of sitting on the sidewalk, I tried hooking up the leash with my left hand, thinking that losing that one would impact my life less. ¬†She was cool with this and came out from under the bushes and walked along beside me for a bit. ¬†Then she stopped dead and wouldn’t go a step. ¬†I pulled on the leash because I wanted to walk up the block and tell Elaine what was going on, but this dog was having none of that. ¬†As an experienced technical diagnostician, I tried walking the other direction to see what those results would be and VOILA! she had no problem going that direction. ¬†All of a sudden THIS WAS AN ADVENTURE GAME!!!

I called Elaine and said that I think Ohana¬†might have some sense of the neighborhood, so I was gonna see where she’d let us go. ¬†So we headed back toward Black Mountain Drive, another really busy street. ¬†Ohana was anxious to get across but impatiently allowed me to hit the crosswalk button and wait a bit til it was safe. ¬†We progressed up Black Mountain until the next corner and I did the same trial and error to see where she’d go, and we went left on Sundance. ¬†I was getting excited now and we started walking faster up the little hill. ¬†Well I did, Ohana was showing her age and slowed down a bit on the hill and at the next corner. ¬†We did the Magic Compass moves again and she wanted to cross the street. ¬†A few times as I was walking and saw someone I’d ask if they knew this dog, but no luck…

We continued¬†down the street, house after house, looking for people to ask about her, when BAM! she stops dead again and won’t keep going. ¬†We’re in front of a bluish house with no indication of anyone home. ¬†Just to test the Magic Compass idea, I walk up the driveway and Ohana is happy go that way. ¬†Oh great, now I have to see this through and go around to the front door, all the while wondering what the hell I’m going to say and how to NOT make this look like some sort of weird con game. ¬†I heard a TV as I walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. ¬†Nothing…. ¬†I waited what seemed like 5 minutes and went to ring it again and heard “Ohana?” come from over the back fence.

I wondered if Ohana normally rang the bell and what the heck was going on here (remember… still hungry) when the door opened and a lady stood there. ¬†I said “Yep, I found Ohana out by the traffic.” ¬†She thanked me and was very happy to see her. ¬†She’d been looking around the house for her and couldn’t find her. ¬†I told her that I’d called the number on her collar and the woman said that she was in the middle of moving and all her numbers were disconnected. ¬†At this point I kinda didn’t care, I was just stoked that this dog had led me half a mile back to her home! ¬†I fist pumped, patted Ohana on the head (still a little scared to be honest, but out of my mind with hunger) and headed back to Elaine.

Then we got some friggin tacos.

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Jul 22 2014

Totes bloggoats

Published by under Declan,Friends,Fun

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 7.36.16 PM

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Jun 23 2014

Latest incarnation of the timelapser

Published by under Declan,Photography,Tech

I’ve been looking for a better case for my Raspberry Pi with camera kit, and ordered this ($17.25 shipped):

Raspberry Pi and Camera Enclosure

Link to the case


2014-06-23 07.18.49

I especially liked that it had a tripod mount:

2014-06-23 07.19.12


I’ve used it to capture a party at work, and it worked well! ¬†The camera chip mounts upside down, so I had to flip all of the images before I made my movie. ¬†Also, the power plug is in front with the camera, which seems like it would get into the picture, but it’s actually not a problem.

2014-06-23 07.30.04

So far I really like it!  Other than the screws to mount the camera chip, the whole thing just snaps together.  The little white snaps are kind of tight, but not too hard to use.  I use the timelapser a lot outside, so I wonder if clear is the best option.  I can always paint it though.


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