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Mindy Smith

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Everything posted by Mindy Smith

  1. Seen today at San Luis NWR in Central California today. Hanging with cinnamon teal and shovelers. Thanks in advance
  2. Was at Merced NWR in Merced, California today and saw black-bellied plovers, dunlins, dowitchers and least sandpipers. A bird was seen a week or two ago with the BB plovers that the birder thought was a Pacific golden-plover based on lighter color and dark spot behind the eye near the back of the head. Check out the plover at the far left and tell me if you think this might be that bird. Thanks in advance.
  3. Agree, confusing as they have striped tails. Great photos. Just saw my first young golden and they are very dark with a white tail with a black band (thought I was looking at the rarely seen common black hawk before I got guidance from this group).
  4. Seen yesterday in Fresno California at the waste water treatment plant on Jensen. Cloudy day so not great for photos plus always at the opposite end of the pond. There were dozens of eared grebes but I saw this one and it looks like a non-breeding horned to me. I remember something about horned grebes riding lower in the water. Thoughts? Added a second photo of a cluster of eared grebes for direct comparison. Thanks in advance.
  5. I'm from BC so we don't see foxes in trees, just bears. Thanks for adding the fox photo and for the laugh.
  6. The bird was very red so I thought so too; have seen sooty sparrows. Have put it up on my ebird. Document somewhere else?
  7. Has anyone seen a Fox sparrow in a tree before? Today at Merced NWR in central California, I saw this bird high in a tree and seemed to be eating bugs. Pretty sure it is a fox.
  8. Seen today at Merced NWR in central California. I think the first small hawk (3 photos) is a sharpie but could be a Cooper; head seems small and somewhat rounded but can't tell if tail is square. Bad lighting of course. The second is either a red-tailed or a Swainson's - long wings and something about the stance makes me think Swainson's but again bad lighting and then flew. Thanks in advance.
  9. Hope for a few more thoughts on the third photo - solo peep
  10. I do think that these are leasts in the second photo but wondering about the third and fourth photos -puffy sandpiper alone and in the middle in the final photo. It was a bit larger than the least to the left of it.
  11. sorry, it is a vast area in central California on one of the bird migration routes
  12. Agree and they have a lovely and very exuberant voice
  13. I think these are smoke phase and am adding the only one that I have seen. The domestics come in various color combinations and the palm variety seems closest but none look quite like these. It seems possible that two smokes would produce smoke offspring.
  14. Hi all, still uncertain about peeps. Was at Kern NWR today and saw many of these peeps that I think are least sandpipers. There were a few that were larger though so wondered if these were Dunlins (see photo with single peep 8524 and one with three birds, largest is a long-billed Dowitcher). Help appreciated.
  15. Wow, never thought of an immature golden eagle but that seems exactly correct. Rarely see Goldens and have never (until now) seen an immature. Thanks.
  16. Birding today at Lost Lake Recreation Area in Fresno, CA. Saw a large black hawk - similar in size to a red-tailed flying low across the field, almost like a marsh hawk but with more undulation and height. Managed to snap one photo before it disappeared towards the river. The body was black although there were some higher patches on the wings but the tail was striking - mostly white band proximally with large black band at the tip. Bill also looked light. Wings did not seem that broad as mentioned in the descriptions of this hawk, but can't imagine what else it could be. I tried to enlarge the photo and add more contrast in the second photo but it is the same photo. Appreciate confirmation of bird - a lifer for sure.
  17. Seen today at Merced NWR in California. Need help with the three sandpipers (white rump on one) but heads tucked and at a distance, with Westerns and a backdrop of snowy egrets. Also, I think this hawk is an immature red-tailed and appreciate confirmation. Finally, saw a very large group of cackling geese - never seen in such large numbers (estimated close to 400) so wanted to share. Some only the size of pintails.
  18. Seen today at Coal Point in Santa Barbara CA. With snowy plovers and a western sandpiper I think. Is this a golden plover or black bellied? Also, confirm second group of Western sandpipers. Still learning these. Thanks in advance
  19. Both seen this morning at Bob Jones Trail near Avila Beach CA. Not sure if the hawk is dark morph red-tailed or a dark morph Swanson's - likely the former. Also, I think this is a red-breasted merganser but bad lighting and couldn't get a good side photo of head. Thanks in advance.
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