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Mindy Smith

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Everything posted by Mindy Smith

  1. Located in southwest Michigan, mid-afternoon, Robert Long Park. Saw this bird nesting, or visiting a nest, and it looks like a robin body shape and head/face but only a few lines of orange on the breast. Is this just shadow or a mutation? Anyone seen this before?
  2. Central MI, West Bloomfield - Robert Long Marsh. Saw two of these birds. Wish I had gotten a better shot but stayed high in the trees. In section with mostly yellow-rump warblers and a few palm warblers today. Thanks in advance.
  3. West Bloomfield (south-central) MI at Robert Long Park. Saw this shorebird, single and deep enough in water I couldn't see the legs. Was too far for a good photo. On the third photo, caught the tail (banded) at the far right of the frame as it flew. Am not familiar with sandpipers in MI. Thanks in advance.
  4. Oops, meant to mention that a slight yellow wash below is mentioned on the Cornell site for female Cerulean warblers.
  5. Thanks all for the conversation/opinions. I did not see a yellow rump on this bird and am quite familiar with YRWA, just not so much with other warblers. Also have not seen the myrtle here, only the Audubon so far. Am here in MI for the next few weeks so will continue to try to photograph as many of the warblers as I can - they have appeared in larger numbers this past week so pretty exciting.
  6. Saw this bird this morning - May 3 - at about 11 am West Bloomfield MI mixed in with 2 Tufted Titmouse (titmice?), two ruby-crowned kinglets, a yellow-rumped warbler, Chipping Sparrows and a robin. Only got this shot amid all the activity. A fairly new bird to me so want to be sure.
  7. I also see faint spotting on the outer tail feathers - also helpful in differentiating downy from hairy. Too bad you couldn't see the beak - much larger in the hairy.
  8. Was going through some unknown photos and took this one when walking along a path above the ocean in central costal CA in February last year. The only bird that is close in size and color without wing bars that I know is a blue-gray gnatcatcher but the colors don't seem right. Suggestions appreciated.
  9. Obviously these two are easy to confuse. I lean towards Brewer's for the three and thicker beak is helpful (so the second for me is a toss up) but the voice might be easier to help distinguish them. The Brewers is a more pure tone and somewhat lower squeak and chuck sound and the grackle is more high pitched and several-toned squeak (like a squeaky gate) and I usually hear a few chucks. The Cornell site is great for sounds.
  10. Birding in Robert Long Park in southeast Michigan (West Bloomfield) and saw this warbler with a group of palm and yellow-rump warblers. Beautiful blue back (slightly darker than blue-gray gnatcatcher), two white wingbars, no eye ring but white line above the eye. Only got this one photo and no blue "necklace" so thinking female? Thanks in advance.
  11. In Mid-Michigan, West Bloomfield area. Saw two small birds, high-pitched song darting in and around a spruce. Unable to get clear picture but saw distinct black stripe at and above eye and yellow top, but only clearly saw this once. Also distinct white wing bar with dark below. Sorry for the blurry pictures but my camera is difficult to focus amid branches (bird is center in both pics). Have seen many ruby-crowned kinglets but not golden. Thanks in advance.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
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