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Mindy Smith

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Everything posted by Mindy Smith

  1. Seen March 30 10 am at McNary NWR Burbank slough. I have trouble distinguishing immature Cooper's from Sharp-shinned. Including a photo of the tail and check to show better detail. I think this is a Cooper's but not sure if it meets the thicker legs, rounded tail, and less blurry strips without them standing next to each other... Also, while we were there, a large flock of snow geese flew in. I took these two photos but am wondering about how to estimate the number of birds. Ballpark, I thought about 800 but my partner thought over 1000. Any tips on counting would be helpful.
  2. Thanks. That is helpful, as the demarcation is quite clear in this bird. I have some trouble with light effects on color but from photos online, the color is certainly more vibrant in the commons.
  3. Thanks. I see. I guess I thought there was a range of phenotypes but not that there were subspecies. Explains why some WCSP look so different from others. Best,
  4. Yes, sorry meant chin and what is the Gambel's comment - the only Gambel's I know is the quail.
  5. Hi, the merganser was seen at lost lake in Fresno California on Saturday and the sparrow at Merced NWR. I think the merganser is a common but not seeing a lot of white cheek patch and was at quite a distance. I think the sparrow (2 photos) is an immature yellow-billed white-crowned sparrow but need confirmation (or correction). Thanks in advance.
  6. Thanks Tony. So fortunate to be able to bird here in California for a few months and always grateful for your comments and the help of other birders on this site.
  7. Saw these today at Merced NWR in central California. Are these willets? Thanks in advance.
  8. Saw a large flock of black-bellied plovers today at Merced NWR in central California and these birds mixed in with group. Are these dunlins? Thanks in advance.
  9. Checked out the links that DLecy provided - thanks so much for the additional sleuthing. Clearly the same bird - a survivor and lovely to see.
  10. Seen at Mesilla Valley Bosque SP in New Mexico 2 days ago. Only seen briefly and from the side and back. Is this a black-throated sparrow? Have only seen once before in Texas. Thanks in advance.
  11. Think I may have found it - it looks like photos of a leucitic Black Phoebe. Thoughts?
  12. Seen this afternoon in Merced NWR in central California. Quite distant so cropped all but one photo. White back, wings and tail. Head had a hint of rust color and chest was somewhat gray - maybe a spot of gray on the back. Behavior like a flycatcher or Phoebe. NOT dark wings like a snow bunting but seemed about that size and wrong area for those. Might be a leucistic something. Thanks in advance
  13. Seen on Bob Jones Trail today near Avila Beach in Central Costal California. Never ID'd a rufous but the cap was not split as seen in white-crowned so I think it might be (first 3 photos). Sorry for the sun glare. The next are the warbler on the swaying branch so only caught pieces. Thanks in advance.
  14. Saw a flock of shorebirds as Pismo beach in Central coastal California yesterday looking directly into the sun so few details and then the flock took off. I have been seeing curlews so assumed they were but the bill looks short. Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
  15. I had a similar conundrum yesterday with this bird that I also think is an Anna but the gorget flashed purple and stuck out more than I usually see with the Anna.
  16. Thanks, I forget to think about plovers when I have sandpipers on the brain.
  17. Great morning at Sweet Springs Nature Preserve just after high tide and saw 3 sandpipers together. The smallest are I believe least sandpipers (light/yellow legs) and with them sanderlings. But the bird in the second (and third) photo is larger but the bill is too small for a Dunlin. Help appreciated and thanks in advance.
  18. Agree and nice ladder-backed. At first glance thought it was a Nuttall's so forced to look them up again. Thanks for that - haven't seen a ladder-backed yet.
  19. In coastal central CA at moonstone beach trail. Very foggy. Saw group of cormorants - first was double crested but the others had all dark bills and small orange patches at chin. Are these Brandt's? Also, can you tell me when they Breed - would love to see the blue patch. Thanks in advance.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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