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Mindy Smith

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  1. Agree with above. Saw my first scaly-breasted munia (also called spice finch) just a few weeks ago in Pismo beach Oceana campground area. I also think your picture may be an immature as the adult male, as you likely know, is quite vivid red with scale all along the breast. A photo of the bird with the male that I saw, one that I assumed was an immature or female, is included although not a great photo and has coloring more like your photo.
  2. Agree with horned. I recently learned that the horned sit lower in the water than the eared making them look less fluffy. Much easier when they are in breeding plumage. I made a mistake reporting a distant grebe as a horned on ebird and was corrected using this distinction. Attached are pics of both that help with this.
  3. Thanks. I thought about Swainson's but the wings didn't seem long enough (according to Cornell site), and I have only seen this hawk once before.
  4. Was birding in the rain at Merced NWR yesterday. Saw this hawk (first three pics) and either the same one or a similar one in a different location (next three) on the auto route later that afternoon. Is this a Harris? Couldn't see the tail clearly. Also not sure about this sparrow. Thanks in advance.
  5. Found a similar nest at Lost Lake in Fresno, CA. There were bushtits and ruby-crowned kinglets nearby so wasn't sure about the owner.
  6. Two groups of about 24 individuals seen at Kern WLR in central California today. Legs looked dark but not as dark in the pictures so now really confused. Size about 6 inches. Also saw this hawk - shown back and front. Is this a juvenile red-tailed borealis? Thanks in advance.
  7. Saw an estimated 200 mixed group of "blackbirds" at Merced WLR in Merced, CA. Need a little help sorting them out (the noise was incredible). There were red-winged black birds and tricolored, a few yellow-headed, brewers blackbirds, some starlings and some great-tailed grackles - some were clear to me and some were confusing. In the first picture, is that a female Brewer's in front of the yellow-headed and tricolor blackbirds? In the second picture, what birds are you seeing and is that a Brewer's on the far right or a great-tailed? The third picture is that same bird on the far right. Beak looks wrong for a great-tailed grackle but the tail seems too long for Brewer's. Finally, who is the female in the 4th picture? Merced is a fabulous place for birding; we recorded 50 species two days ago. Four days ago there were about 10,000 snow/ross geese. Two days ago there were about 3200, so they are on the move.
  8. Was at the Fresno-Clovis wastewater treatment plant yesterday and saw what I think are three different types of swallows all together. I think I caught all three in the attached photo - Bank, Cliff, uncertain, and two Tree. Is this correct? Also, saw nesting hawk at the top of a dead palm that I was uncertain about. I had seen several red-tailed hawks and one that I think was a Cooper but didn't get a good look at it flew by. Last was a gull that was sitting in the road, afraid injured but it never got up as we passed in the car so I didn't get a look at the legs. Any thoughts on which immature - was thinking herring. The eye in the first photo looks dark but in the second light. Thanks in advance
  9. This conversation is really helpful. Also never thought of a hybrid but it makes sense and the last bird does look like the bird in the above link. Adds so much to the complexity of birding but will try not to be too discouraged as such a novice. Nice to be in this community for learning.
  10. Meant to add that I am sure that none of these were California towhees. They were around as well but not up in the tree. Attached is a photo of the towhee that was also on the trail and closer to the ground. A great place for birding.
  11. Sorry, the first three are of the same bird and there were white-crowned sparrows nearby but I didn't see any adult white-crowns with this small group. The second bird was with the first as well as a few others that would not hold still enough for a photo.
  12. On Bob Jones Trail in San Luis Obispo county today and saw a mixed flock of sparrows. Please help with this ID. The last one looks like a gold-crowned.
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