What was your most exciting find on INaturalist?

Last year I stumbled upon black raspberries at my camp, which are an extremely rare species known from less than 10 places in my province, and I was ecstatic! It got me thinking, what exciting observations have other people made? Have you found any rare species?

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A rare sighting of a Mediterranean monk seal mom and her pup!

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I once stumbled upon a juvenile Cooper’s hawk eating a pigeon in a downtown area. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/67479447 The bird isn’t too uncommon here, but this is the only time I’ve seen one on prey.

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I feel like mine would be either this yellow knight anole or this prothonotary warbler, which aren’t common in my area, who happened to show up in my garage.

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This might be the rarest shell I have found. Only this one single valve has ever been found so far on the island of Sanibel, Florida, which is the shell capital of the USA.

I have also found one or two valves of the species on Nevis, West Indies, in years past.

Here is the Sanibel valve:

https://catalog.shellmuseum.org/shells/southwest-florida-shells/basterotia-elliptica

This is the first iNat find of this species, and so far the only find.

The shell does not look very exciting, small, plain, and white, and it is slightly chipped around the edges, but it is nonetheless a very good find!

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Probably A giant field of Toad lillies, Crocus, and Violas. It was a symphony of colors! They weren’t rare, but it was very beautiful!

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Hard to choose but usually they’re species that are endemic to areas outside my region. This Red-Cheeked Salamander comes to mind from when I was in the Smokies. I was hoping to find a salamander while my friends and I were hiking there (it’s hard to iNat with other people, I don’t want to make us stop every couple of feet for me to get some pictures). I saw this one and didn’t notice it had red cheeks until checking the photos after we finished the hike, I thought it was a dusky salamander with a piece of leaf stuck to its face. Little did I know I found one of the premiere salamander species, endemic to a park known for having the most diverse collection of salamanders in the US, and a rare/endangered species at that. Very cool find.

Plus I love to see conifers and cacti anytime I travel, but I didn’t start actually iNatting until the end of 2019, so now I have a bunch of poor quality photos of evergreens and cacti from around the US (mostly) just to have a record of them and of the National Park or National Forest I was in.

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Sorry to interrupt everybody, but this seems very similar to the Rarest Finds on Inaturalist topic. Perhaps they should be merged?

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Ummm… not really, maybe these observations are not that rare but… really important to these people!

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I know the titles are different, but it seems like both have become “what is the rarest or coolest observation that you have made?”

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I think you’re right… in fact I was about to post something similar on this topic… I don’t know…

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I may sound like a broken record but it’s definitely reeling in (and safely releasing) this six-foot sandbar shark

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I’ve seen a few Northern Harriers (considered endangered in my state). Always great to see them. One time one landed not to far away from me!

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Definitely my most exciting find was Chetostoma rubidum in the Sandia Mountains! https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/46517070

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Probably this stingray https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/52621354

which my parents called me over because they thought they were saving it, but the people ended up killing it before my eyes so that was pretty scarring but it was very exciting before that…

I’ve had many other exciting iNat observations that I’m not remembering right now

I have several exciting finds(to me at least) that cannot go below or above one another, so here they are in a random order:
This random naturalized population of Lenophyllum texanum in central MS- far from it’s native range of south Texas/Mexico.

I won’t add my snake observations here, because I have talked about them in the past on the forum, so here are some rare-ish salamanders I’ve herped the past few months.

First on iNat to observe this disjunt population of Webster’s Salamanders in that particular locale.
My lifer Zigzag Salamanders in Northeast MS.
Lifer Green Salamanders also in Northeastern MS.
And finally my lifer Northern Slimy Salamander in Alabama- despite the image being absolutely terrible in terms of detail.

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Two - I have never seen a Bluebird, but have always wanted to. Finally, this spring… inaturalist.ca/observations/74668532.

Not rare, but a first for me. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/74531067

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This is the coolest observation. :sunglasses:

Perky looking chicken you’ve got there!:chicken:

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I’m into fungi, and my most exciting find was a little stand of Hygrocybe astatogala, a small cap-and-stem species of the Waxcap genus. By the time I found them, I’d been on the look out for fungi in the landscape for about five years and the local cemetery was a favorite place.

Hygrocybe sp tend to grow in grassland with unimproved soil and this patch at the outer reaches was certainly unimproved, only getting some mowing every so often. These fungi are considered to be last stage decomposers of leaf litter.

This exciting species has a moist greasy fruitbody with a cap that may be green, yellow and red or combinations thereof. As the cap matures radiating black fibrils will cover and eventually cause the cap to become black. I can’t give you my iNat reference to it yet, as I haven’t reached that far in my inputting. Still doing my backyard …

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