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simonthetanner

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  1. Correction: the date for this photo was June 27, 2020. Anyway, after looking through more Dusky Flycatcher photos I see that a fair few do have distinct yellow on the lower mandible — some even looking yellow with a black tip, like a textbook Gray. So the bill coloration of my original flycatchers is within normal for Dusky. But maybe it's best to simply leave them as "Empidonax sp." rather than trying to identify them to the species level.
  2. I agree that habitat and breeding range point away from Gray, but as I mentioned the unique habitat of this site has led eastern OR species to appear there. It's very open and scrubby, and I have documented Gray Flycatchers at this site in June/July in both 2019 and 2020 (for example, https://ebird.org/checklist/S70910898 ). So while the site is in western OR where Gray is not expected, we have had individuals singing at this site for 2 of the last 3 breeding seasons. Probably due to increasing drought conditions in the Klamath basin, we had several pairs of Gray Flycatchers that breed here in the Rogue Valley last year, in atypical habitat. So, all that is to say season and habitat would not entirely preclude Gray. The bill is short, and that was part of my initial reason for thinking Dusky. Is it too short for a Gray? I haven't seen many Grays, and I'm used to identifying them by call rather than structure; but at least compared to most Duskies I've seen, this seems like a lot of yellow on the bill. And again, there's that vest-like pattern to the breast. I can't quite tell from my shots whether there is yellow on the belly, but the overall pattern is interesting. I just don't have enough experience with Gray to know what is normal variation for that species. Hammonds and Duskies are enough to challenge me, without throughing Gray into the mix! Thanks again for the thoughts so far! (Just for comparison, here is a photo of a Gray Flycatcher at this same site on July 16 of 2020. This one was an easy ID due to tail-wagging and calls.)
  3. I was birding in southwestern OR yesterday at fun mountain lake that I try to visit every year. It's loaded with birds that are relatively hard to find locally like Canada Jays, White-Headed Woodpeckers, & Green-tailed Towhees, and once in a while we'll get a rare bird from eastern OR up there because the habitat is vaguely similar. Anyway, I found a pair of empids up there that, in the field, I decided were Dusky Flycatcher (as opposed to Hammond's or any of the other expected western OR flycatchers). But now that I'm looking at the photos, I don't think that's right. The bill seems too yellow, and the bird has a bit of a "vest" on the breast. I'm wondering if it is a Gray Flycatcher. Normally I look for downward tail-wagging to solidify my ID of Grays, but these birds were not doing a tail dip. So, they have to be identified the hard way... Anyone else able to weigh in on these little guys?
  4. Awesome! Thank you for the feedback everyone! 🙂
  5. 'Tis the season for sorting out dowitchers, and I'd love some feedback on this individual I found this morning in the Rogue Valley of southern OR (where Long-billed is the expected species). Earlier in the morning I and several other birders heard a definite short-billed calling at a local pond, so I went back in the afternoon to see if I could locate it. Other than a large flock of obvious long-bills, there was just one lone dowitcher off by itself. It never called so I don't feel comfortable making the call, but to me it looked interesting and I'd like some help with it. Obviously it's looking pretty ratty, and that may be part of why it stood out so much from our usual long-bills. But I also notice it is relatively pale underneath and there is spotting on the sides of the breast rather than barring. But I don't really know much beyond that for trying to separate the two species since I rarely see short-billed in our area, and I'm not positive if I'm just seeing some transitional plumage as its molting. Would love any insights!
  6. On May 7, 2016 I photographed a whole bunch of warblers at Magee Marsh in Ohio. Several of them are still above my pay grade and I've never arrived at a satisfactory ID for them. If anyone wants to take a stab at them, please feel free to do so as it drives me crazy to have relatively close, clear photos of warblers that I just can't put a label on.
  7. Hey all, I just wanted to get some other opinions on this goose that showed up in the east Rogue Valley this afternoon in southwest OR. It was originally identified locally as a Ross's Goose (a rarity), but my views and photos weren't the best and I'm hesitant to report it as such. I'm not used to separating Snow from Ross's, and it looks an awful lot like Snow Goose to me. Anyone else comfortable making the ID from these shots?
  8. For the loon I'd say Common, as in addition to the jagged collar and white eye the bird also has a very thick, heavy bill. A Pacific would have a thinner bill.
  9. It is indeed a reference to the Bible character. My given name is Tanner, so I've always had a bit of an affinity for Simon the tanner. I'm about 2 hrs from the Oregon coast, so it might be a bit of a stretch to say I live by the sea but it is pretty accessible and one of my favorite places to visit!
  10. Looks like a Spotted Sandpiper. That would also fit with the tail bobbing.
  11. Hi All, I was down in south Texas (Hidalgo county) in February of this year and took quite a few cormorant portraits. Now I'm editing my way through those photographs and I'm having some difficulty distinguishing Neotropic and Double-crested, at least on a few individuals. My gut feeling is that the first is Double-crested, while the second seems more petite and strikes me as more like Neotropic (although it has less white on the gape than shown in my bird books). I'm not used to distinguishing these species, and would appreciate some ID help on these two. Thanks much in advance!
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