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Mindy Smith

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Everything posted by Mindy Smith

  1. Working on gulls this week. At Morro Strand Beach in central, coastal California yesterday afternoon. Collection of 250 gulls in two large groups including Western, California, Ring-Bill and this smaller gull (actually 3) that I think are Mew but I have not officially seen them before (the time when gulls were just gulls). Also a Royal tern that I have only seen once before so included that as the 4th photo. Bird is smaller, pale legs, and has a more delicate bill with no markings. Third photo - in front of and behind Western. Thanks in advance.
  2. Seen yesterday at Laguna Lake Park in San Luis O. I think I see white at the tip of the tail. The head seemed dark but less so in the second photo and the lighting wasn't great. Have not seen a Cassin's before so want to be sure. Thanks in advance.
  3. The size is right for red-tailed but doesn't the back have too much checkerboard black/white appearance like a red-shouldered? Too bad the lighting is poor we can't see the chest.
  4. Likely long-billed as the short-billed are uncommon in California and the neck seems too long.
  5. Birding at Kern WLR in Southern CA yesterday and saw this bird down by the water. Coloring almost of a Fox sparrow. No idea what this is but I think there was a second bird like it nearby and I took a photograph of that one too. The third is a group of resting ducks behind the little ruddy that I saw today at the Fresno Water Treatment Plant - some I think are canvasbacks as I saw a small flock of them in another pond but was wondering if there are goldeneye or maybe ring-necks in there too. Thoughts appreciated. Also, saw an amazing sight there that I wanted to share. A young peregrine falcon tried to attach a good sized great blue heron while it was on the move. He moved off when it landed but as soon as the heron took off, it tried to attach again, then gave up.
  6. Thanks all. I think the water is fresh water. I also see now that there are two types of sandpipers in the flying group so thanks for making me look more closely. They were in such synch that I thought they were a single species when I took the picture.
  7. Just wanted to add - lovely photos of the Rusty. I am still looking for one. Also, birding while kayaking is almost as bad as driving - I keep drifting off when trying to take photos.
  8. Was in the Sacramento CA NWR two days ago and saw this hawk (will I eventually get better at IDs?). Quite a few Red-Shouldered Hawks along with Red-Tailed and lots of Northern Harriers this trip. Also need help with the ID of the small finch maybe, next to the Red-Winged Blackbird. In the next shot, what are the sandpipers flying in and the final one I think are long-billed Dowitchers but how can you tell from short-billed, especially at a distance? Thanks in advance.
  9. Going through a few older unidentified bird photos and need some help with this one. Sept 2019 in South Eastern BC. Young sharp-shin but head seems too round? Was at quite a distance so photos are a little grainy - sorry. Both of same bird. Thanks in advance.
  10. They also have a very characteristic call when they fly - I think of it as a trill but it is also called a bugling rattle. A lovely bird.
  11. Seen among a flock of ring-billed gulls at Robert Long Park in West Bloomfield, Michigan Dec 8. Are these herring gulls or just young ring-bills or something else? Pink legs and light eyes. Thanks in advance
  12. Birding yesterday in southern BC and have been seeing lots of ring-necks and buffleheads along with Mallards and Barrow's goldeneye and I think there are scaups mixed in, but the groups are usually at the far end of the pond and often sleeping so I am having trouble differentiating them (unless I clearly see the white inverted V in front of the wing in the ring-neck males). In the first photo, I think the brown duck in the center is a female lesser scaup and, the second photo, the duck on the far left behind the female bufflehead is a male lesser scaup. Can someone verify or correct me? Thanks in advance.
  13. Southern BC this afternoon, Selkirk oxbow trail, castlegar - saw 31 "black" birds fly into several trees that I thought were crows - they were at a distance so not the best shot but the eye on this one looks yellow. Is this just a closed eye? Also saw these 5 gulls from a distance. Looks like pink legs and large so I'm thinking herring but I am not the best with gulls - we see ring-bills and Thayer's are sometimes here. Thanks in advance.
  14. Good point. Wish the guys would stick to their pretty colors - easier to ID. Thanks, Mindy
  15. The best way for me to tell is the presence of a dark bar below the lower white wing bar in the Kinglet. Not there in this bird.
  16. Birding at Waldie Island Trail in Southern BC this afternoon. Lots more ducks and saw these three smaller ones that I think are blue-wing teal females but not sure. They were hanging with a group of ring-necked ducks and a hooded merganser. There were also Mallards nearby but these were smaller with dark bills and not orange legs. Thanks in advance.
  17. Seen yesterday in Kelowna (central British Columbia) in the morning at Munson pond. Dark falcon that I think is a "black' merlin flew to the water and then back up to a dead tree. Mobbed by three magpies (it was really an interesting morning) but came back several times to the tree. Joined later by a second one. Also saw this grebe. There were 2 pied billed and further away this fairly large grebe. At first glance thought horned but the bill was light/yellowish and the eye seemed dark but it was far from me and I had trouble focusing the camera with the shimmering water so wasn't sure about the reddish color. Is this a red-necked grebe? Would be a first sighting. Thanks in advance.
  18. Thanks. NOW I can find it under eclipse plumage. Never seen one before.
  19. Yesterday afternoon at Robert Lake in Kelowna BC. Lots of ducks including mallards, Northern shovelers, female common (and maybe Barrow's) goldeneye, green and blue-wing teal, gadwalls, bufflehead females and ruddy female. Then these two that could just be goldeneyes but the lighter brown color back, dark beak, and sort-of darker eye threw me. First one in front of the gadwall and other was with three similar birds. Thoughts?
  20. Southern BC this morning. Saw this small group of finch fly in just after a large flock of siskins. Sorry about the distance but they never came closer before flying off. Are they Cassin's or possibly house? I don't see any red on the chest and some of the crowns seem peaked. Thanks in advance.
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