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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/07/2018 in Posts

  1. Yellow-rumped Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler by Johnny, on Flickr
    7 points
  2. Anna's Hummingbird, yesterday in Alameda, CA. Anna's Hummingbird 6 by Mark Featherstone, on Flickr
    4 points
  3. This is the planet Mars rising over Devils Tower (taken July 17, 2018). In planning my cross continent drive, I realized I would be near Devils Tower National Monument very close to a new moon. I had never tried my hand at astrophotography (hell, I'm brand new to photography period). But I found an excellent web site with lots of advice and instruction. I researched locations in the monument that would align the tower with the Milky Way, set up my tripod and folding chair and gave it a try. I didn't know Mars would be in the sky, but quickly figured it out when I saw it (star tracking app on my phone). Since I had not had a chance to try this even once before I showed up at Devils Tower, I spent a couple of hours taking lots of pictures. Because of the large amount of post-processing needed, I could not get real time feedback so I followed a plan that systematically took me through a wide range of settings. I had no way to know if any of them were going to be worth a damn until a couple months later when I got home and worked on them. This particular photograph is five 15 second exposures at f/2.4 and ISO 4000 stacked using Adobe Lightroom. I had to post process it twice, once to optimize the Milky Way (which makes Mars an overexposed blob) and then again to optimize Mars (which leaves the Milky Way underexposed). I then had to paste optimized Mars over blob Mars. Lots of specialized techniques involved, but the web site allowed a complete novice to get a decent result. /Edit: looks like uploading degraded the picture a bit. But you get the idea 😉.
    4 points
  4. Lesser Grebe Aransas NWR 10-18 Lesser Grebe Aransas NWR 10-18 by johnd1964, on Flickr
    4 points
  5. Bald Eagle, almost in adult plumage by hbvol50, on Flickr
    3 points
  6. 3 points
  7. For the first time in a long time, I got to do some birding on a new continent for me. My wife had a conference to go to in Guaruja, Brazil (outside of Sao Paulo), and I tagged along, then we went birding for 2 weeks afterwards. Lifers abounded. Good times were had. We accidentally went to the wrong airport, and almost got lost in the jungle, but it was still the best vacation I've taken in a long time. For the first 4 days, I was basically on my own in Guaruja during the day. I had originally planned on just wandering out to the edge of town and looking for some nice trails or back roads to go birding on, but was advised that this wasn't safe. In fact, a few other conference goers tried exactly that and were told by a resident that they had wandered into a bad area, and that they wouldn't be safe even in the daylight. A few conference goers were attacked and robbed outside the hotel as well, after dark. So instead, I confined my birding to the area around the hotel and up and down the beach, which were quite touristy and apparently pretty safe. Day 1: After a 12 hour overnight flight and a 2 1/2 hour drive from the airport, we finally arrived at the hotel. En route I picked up a few lifers, including Southern Caracara, Picazuro Pigeon and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow (amazingly, picked out as we were stuck in traffic on the highway that passed through a large patch of forest). After cleaning up and having lunch, I set out to explore the hotel grounds, which were quite expansive. Rainy weather and sleep deprivation soon forced me back inside, but not before I added one more new species, Eared Dove. Day 2: I had some conference-related stuff to attend to in the morning, but in between talks I still managed some birding around the hotel. Lifers came hard and fast. A pair of Southern Lapwings on the beach nearby were impossible to miss. Palm and Sayaca Tanagers flitted in and out of the palms over the pool. A small group of Chalk-browed Mockingbirds hung out in the courtyard, and Rufous Hornero and Rufous-bellied Thrushes picked at insects on the lawn. Blue-and-white Swallows flew overhead, and a Kelp Gull flew by along the beach. In the afternoon, I took a walk along the entire length of beach in front of the hotel, about 6 miles of walking total. Lifers continued to abound. At an overlook at the end of the beach I added Ruby-crowned Tanager, Masked Water-Tyrant, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird and Mantled Hawk. In a strange swampy area labeled "Central Park" in Guaruja, I added Masked Yellowthroat, South American Snipe and Smooth-billed Ani. At the opposite end of the beach, a patch of forest held Ochre-collared Piculet, Turquoise-fronted Parrots and a flyover Toco Toucan. Day 3-4 Continued exploration of the beachfront and area around the hotel continued to be productive. On the hotel grounds, Creamy-bellied Thrush was a skulking morning visitor, and Plain Parakeet, Brown-chested Martin, Whistling Heron, White-collared Swift and South American Terns were all seen as flyovers. A pair of Cliff Flycatchers hunted from the tall buildings around the hotel. Another trip to the viewpoint at the west end of the beach (which held a small patch of forest) yielded a nice mixed flock, and I added Gray-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Versicolored Emerald, Pale-breasted Thrush, and Orange-headed, Brazilian and Swallow Tanagers. eBird checklist with some pictures: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S47729653 Day 5. At last, a few of us from the conference planned a morning expedition with a local tour guide to a trail outside the city. I could finally bring my camera along, though I quickly learned just how challenging photography with a superzoom could be in the rainforest. The trail we went on led along the edge of the river to an old mission, from the 1600's according to the guide. This was my first real taste of the Atlantic Forest, and it didn't disappoint. A Dusky-legged Guan destroyed some fruit in a tree directly over the trail. Saw-billed Hermit and Glittering-bellied Emerald gave brief, tantalizing looks. Two Green-backed Trogons showed themselves much better. Violaceous Euphonia, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Red-necked Tanager, Southern Rough-winged Swallow and Blue Dacnis were all seen in quick sucession. Yellow-headed Caracaras made strange noises in the treetops. Maroon-bellied parakeets went screaming through the canopy. A female Swallow-tailed Manakin was unfortunately all by herself. Spot-breasted Antvireo and Long-billed Wren were puzzled over for several minutes before we eventually identified them. A small flock of Red-rumped Caciques kept chasing eachother around the tree tops. And just as we were leaving, a Blond-crested Woodpecker flew in and gave us great looks as it fed on dead branches nearby. eBird checklist, with a few pictures: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S47759886 More to come later, once I go through some more pictures and start uploading them to eBird.
    1 point
  8. Welcome! Assuming that's a standard 2x4 he's perched, that bird appears too small to be an adult Raven. I think the transition from bill to head is more abrupt in ravens. I'm going with crow. Also, it's very helpful if you post where you saw the bird (city or other geographic region). That can eliminate some possibilities.
    1 point
  9. 1 point
  10. Agree with Green-winged Teal.
    1 point
  11. I'd say Green-winged Teal based on the greenish speculum, its size relative to the Mallard, and its distinctive facial patterning. Leg color isn't as reliable because their legs are often dirty and can appear to be different colors.
    1 point
  12. I suspect the pigeons only stayed because the grain elevator was rent controlled.
    1 point
  13. eBird will have no choice with those photos. Fabulous shots of a Blackpoll!!!
    1 point
  14. Shaggy head/neck feathers and heavier bill point to Reddish Egret.
    1 point
  15. Olive-backed and Yellow-crowned are the only euphonias supposed to be in that park according to eBird, so I think that Olive-backed is a safe bet. 17. Looks good for a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird.
    1 point
  16. And man is his crop full. He definitely just finished off one of those pigeons.
    1 point
  17. Structure, face pattern, and bill are off for a lark. Lesser Short-toed Lark has also not been reported in eBird in that province before. Face pattern matches Eurasian Linnet quite well.
    1 point
  18. Plymouth Beach, Plymouth, MA - Oct. 89th, 2018. https://www.google.com/maps/place/41°56'32.4"N+70°37'20.1"W/@41.942335,-70.622252,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.942335!4d-70.622252 I knew I had these suckers. The previously mis-identified photos of the Common Eider were taken on the 8th. These are from the same place, a day later.
    1 point
  19. This is a young Cooper's Hawk. Merlins have dark tails with thin light bands, dark eyes, pointed wings, and a more compact body.
    1 point
  20. 1 point
  21. This has been one of the better fall migrations, in my LI backyard at least. Lots of birds this year that normally don't show up, like Chipping Sparrows, Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Redstart, and Common Yellowthroat. Major highlights have been: 1. Brown Thrasher 2. Flock of Cedar Waxwings 3. And biggest thrill of all - this adorable little group of Purple Finches has been hanging around for the past week. Seeing (and observing) them for the first time ever, I can see just how distinctive they are from House Finches. They are beautiful birds! When I think of how much time I've spent scanning drab flocks of House Finches hoping for a Purple, not realizing what to even be looking for... 1 2 3
    1 point
  22. Palestine Lake, Union Co., Fla. IMG_0155-001 by littlebear_elder, on Flickr
    1 point
  23. 1 point
  24. North Cascades NP is so beautiful it hurts your eyes to look away. I can't wait to hike this next year.
    1 point
  25. That's wonderful! Really beautiful 🙂 Here's a pic I got of a Pine Siskin (I was feeding him, this is right after I ran out of seed)
    1 point
  26. Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
    1 point
  27. Speaking of sunsets... Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan on August 30. I suppose this could go under "critters" as well.
    1 point
  28. Sunrise yesterday in south jersey
    1 point
  29. Heceta Head, Oregon
    1 point
  30. 1 point
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