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Everything posted by simonthetanner

  1. Yes, it was diving actively. I got these shots about a minute apart during a short (about five minute) break it took from diving, when it was meandering across the pond to rejoin the Lesser Scaup flock; but except for that, it spent most of its time under water. I was in the rain half an hour trying to decide what it was, but really only got that one opportunity to study it for more than a few seconds at a time. I'm actually relieved to know it's actually a legitimately challenging scaup, and not just me!
  2. Scaups are tough for me, and this one has had me waffling back and forth between greater and lesser for a week. This was taken in south-western OR a few days ago (Grants Pass area) at my favorite birding park. We get both Greaters and Lesser wintering here, though the former is usually outnumbered about 6-1 by the later and relatively uncommon. The ruffled "tuft" of feathering at the back of the heard should indicate Lesser, but the large bill and forehead shape just give me Greater vibes. There were about 6 Lessers there that were clear to ID, but this one has perplexed me. Anyone able to help me settle?
  3. Thank you for the insights here, everyone. I'm thinking the fulmar option makes the most sense, as we had hundreds of them on that trip and the stocky, short neck is a really good point. That would also fit the coloration under the wing. Also supporting that ID is the stiff, flat wing posture visible in some of the shots. The only thing that doesn't quite seem right to me is the bill — I can't judge the color well from these shots, but it does seem awfully slender for a fulmar and almost somewhat "hooked" at the tip (especially evident in the 4th shot). But it's really hard to judge details like that from such low quality images, and the overall shape/posture do fit fulmar very well. I'd go with that ID, unless anyone else spots something else. Thank you again to everyone for your help.
  4. I participated in a pelagic trip off the Oregon coast about a year ago; it was a whirlwind day, and I came home with hundreds of shots and almost 20 lifers. We had 5 species of shearwater on that trip: SOSH, BULS, PFSH, FFSH, and SRTS. I got decent photos of the first 4, but never found any clear shots of the SRTS. Recently I was going through my photo archive, and found a bird that looks like it might be a candidate for one of the 2 SRTS we had flying around that day. Unfortunately only the last shot was in focus, so IDing it requires working with the silhouette a bit. I'm not much of a pelagic guy, so I'm asking for help here. It seems to me to be either SOSH or SRTS, as the legs and bill appear full black. The underwing pattern does seem to resemble FFSH a bit, but otherwise I don't se any other field marks supporting that ID. The reason I am wondering if it is SRTS is because of the steep angle between the bill and forehead, the crooked/swept wings, and generally dull underwing coloration. Bill size is inconclusive to my eye but seems fairly short, but someone more familiar with shearwater silhouettes might be able to pick it out. I've attached a link to Google Drive with 4 shots. I have a couple other photos from the sequence, but I imagine these will be the most useful. The bird may not be IDable from my shots, but perhaps someone will be able to spot something I'm missing. Thanks much for your time and help. Shearwater 1 Google Drive Shearwater 2 Google Drive Shearwater 3 Google Drive Shearwater 4 Google Drive
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