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Mindy Smith

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Everything posted by Mindy Smith

  1. 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.
  2. Hope for a few more thoughts on the third photo - solo peep
  3. 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.
  4. sorry, it is a vast area in central California on one of the bird migration routes
  5. Agree and they have a lovely and very exuberant voice
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. Seen at Laguna Lake in SLO, California this morning. Lots of song sparrows and this one (with WC, GC and about 20 moving too fast for me). Lighting not great so couldn't see the face as clearly but I think it is a savannah. Thanks in advance
  14. Seen this morning in Los Osos CA. I think these are Herring gulls, but only one was close to shore. Need to get back into gull IDs coming from BC. Thanks in advance.
  15. Thanks. Very helpful. Wish the first had called - can't miss the sound of a red-shouldered adult anyway.
  16. Seen today at Sacramento NWR in Northern California. I think the first is a Cooper's (two shots), although the eye is rich brown and not light and not sure about the second - long wings and a little larger so maybe juvenile Swainson's? Lots of red-tail hawks and bald eagles today. Thanks in advance
  17. Could be. We had a small group of pintails show up.
  18. Seen yesterday SE British Columbia, Waldie Island Trail, pond. Uncertain about the first one next to the Mallard and Am Wigeon. Never lifted its head, and quite distant, but I think it is a female Wood Duck. Interesting grouping Thanks in advance.
  19. Seen today SE British Columbia. Had just seen 4 western blue birds but I think this one is may be a mountain blue bird. Thanks in advance.
  20. Cleaning up some unknowns from SE British Columbia in spring a few years ago. I can't decide which Empidonax flycatcher so need some help. Tail seems long, pretty distinct wing bars, doesn't seem like a complete eye ring, greenish back, pale chin, maybe some yellow on belly. Did not hear the call so no help there. We have willow, occasional alder, least, dusky, and Pacific slope as the usuals. Thanks in advance and really like being educated in things to look for.
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