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Mindy Smith

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Everything posted by Mindy Smith

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. I think this there are a few cackling geese in this mixed group of Canada and two white-fronted geese on the Bob Jones trail, San Luis Obispo CA, on golf course lawn. They were similar in size to the white-fronted and seemed to have the short black with more abrupt take-off from the forehead. Golfer's startled the group and the final photo is of one that I suspect as Cackling with the white-fronted.
  10. Seen flipping over leaves on Bob Jones Trail in San Luis Obispo county, California today. I think it is a Swainson's but is a new bird. Did not call or sing. Seems to me to be duller than Hermit thrush with more spotting on underbelly and not as bright cinnamon color tail. Thanks.
  11. Was birding around the lagoon at Pismo Beach Oceano, CA campground area. Saw what I thought was a Western Kingbird but Cassin's is apparently seen here, and I have never seen one, so wanted to be sure. Also, still in search of Hutton's vireo but think this is also a ruby-crowned kinglet so need confirmation (figures 2 and 3 same bird). Finally, surprised to find a scaly-breasted munia - adult and maybe immature unless females also are yellow. They traveled together. First ever and wanted to share. Thanks in advance
  12. Thanks. Saw another bird today that I hoped was a Hutton's vireo but it was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet - finally saw the dark/black bar under the white wing bar that helps distinguish between the two.
  13. Could one a Bewick's. Marsh usually have rusty coloring and black and white streaks down the back.
  14. Could have been a kinglet, but I was pretty sure that I saw two white wing bars and the song was not musical whistle that Cornell has for the kinglet. Hutton's are seen here but I have never seen one so that is certainly a possibility. Sorry I couldn't get more of the bird in the photo.
  15. Hi, was out at Washburn campground along Highway 1 in California, near Cambria. The bird from today was a small flycatcher - lots of flitting around so not a good shot (bird is low in the middle) - but had clear eye ring that was fairly symmetric as best I could tell, two clear white wing bars, olive color on top (definitely not gray) and underside yellow. Song was short two note tweet and some whistling. Two days ago saw this shorebird fly in among the sanderlings - larger than those but not a lot. I think it is a black-bellied plover but I still suck at sandpipers vs. plovers. Also, please confirm sanderlings - ran back and forth and flew in an amazing coordinated group. Thanks in advance
  16. Saw this bird at the bird feeder. With white-crowned sparrows, one Lincoln sparrow and a few California towhees. Was bigger than the white-crowns but not towhee size.
  17. Was visiting Kern WLR in central California and saw this bird. In flashes of sunlight the top of the head, chin and belly were red. Camera was facing the sun so not the greatest shots. Vermillion flycatchers are rare here and only fall and winter. I have only seen a Vermillion flycatcher once before in Texas, years ago.
  18. Agree. The white stripe going up the neck is a helpful ID feature. Your bird was unfortunately sitting low so you didn't see the classic tail. Attaching a favorite photo of mine (also with a Northern Shoveler).
  19. Was looking at a Kestrel this morning in Los Osos CA in Sweet Springs Audubon Sanctuary and noted these two birds chatting (mostly short peeps) within 5 feet of the kestrel. Flew off before I could get another photo. Distance shot but beaks seem thick for warblers - have been looking for a Wilson's that are seen here and we have lots of yellow-rump warblers. Can someone ID these two?
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