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okaugust

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  1. So there I was, sitting in Nehalem, OR today, wondering if the Hooded Oriole was every going to show itself for me (the answer is no), and if I was going to have to make a fourth trip down there to look for it (the answer is yes), idly looking at the Birds Near Me app on my phone, when I saw Black-legged Kittiwake have been reported 1-2 in three locations nearby in the last 30 days. I had what Samuel L Jackson would call a moment of clarity, when my brain snapped into place...and I remembered being at Nehalem State Park on December 31st, hiking along the bay side and back into the woods when a very light colored gull flew over. I only got one shot then lost it in the sun. I got home, cropped it a bit, decided there wasn't enough definition to ID it as anything (like I do most gulls unless they stand out as very different from the 5000 Olympic Gulls that are everywhere here) without ever having the fact it had very black legs jump out at me. Granted there isn't a lot going on with the wing tips to point to a Kittiwake. Thoughts? This is what I call "winter birding" where (when I lived in WY) I would drag out some older photos to make sure I didn't miss anything. Thank you!
  2. Two shots, thankfully. The gal who was pointing it out to me was most patient!
  3. Apparently I hit the quote button at some point and can't seem to remove it, but thanks to all of you for the advice and help, it is greatly appreciated! I learned a lot from pointing out the differences with the bills and flanks, and the question asked above was a good one! Got my new life bird today, a Slaty-backed Gull, and managed to not get hit by the trucks going by on highway while standing on the should and not get sprayed by the liquid fertilizer spreader working the field, so all and all, a win! Happy birding all!
  4. January 16, 2022 - the first birds are at the Tokeland Marina in Tokeland, WA. There has been one Clark's reported and possible Clark's x Western, the latter of which are giving me pause for thought, though I feel like there is just enough lack of definition on the typical identifying mark of where the black line falls, above or below to make me second guess. There were at least a dozen Grebes on both the marina side and the bay side, and I spotted the one I think is a Clark's then lost it in the mix. 1. Clark's 2. Do I have Western on left, Clark's on right? The bill shape is slightly different but I don't feel like it's the brighter coloring I'd expect. 3. This one and 4. are both throwing me a bit.I'm inclined to go with Clark's on this one, the lighter coloring is more definite, and the bill brighter. 4. This one, while the coloring around the eye makes me think it could go either way, the bill is darker and more dark coloring make me think Western. Then just to get myself even more twisted in a knot, I headed to the Westport, WA marina, where, not expecting to find another Clark's, I was just snapping away at whatever I saw, and got home and think I have a second one. Left Western and right Clark's? 6. Another shot of what may or may not be the same bird And just for the fun of it and as a thank you, I give a few thousand Dunlin seen in between the two marinas at Bottle Beach State Park, about two hours past high tide yesterday, which is optimal timing. It walked the beach 20 minutes prior and there was one gull. Then boom, over 400 Marbled Godwit, 1000s of Dunlin, Black-bellied Plover, Sanderling, and a Merlin chasing them all around. Birding is so much research, skill and...good luck on timing. Apologies for video quality. Video is so NOT my thing obvious.
  5. That was my first give away! Thanks again everyone, you are awesome!
  6. Ya gotta admit, there is something nice about heading out and thinking "boy, I'd sure love to see one of those today, but it's so unlikely...." going out, seeing 4.8 billion ducks, then getting home to find out you did see the one thing you were hoping for after all.
  7. Thank, both of you! I have the eBird report already in, so I'll update it now. The only reason Palm crossed my mind was due to a recent report of one in the county, and also the vague idea that it sort of, kind of, looked like a very late season YRWA I reported a couple of years ago in WY and got corrected on by my eBird reviewer. Well, this day was more exciting than I thought it would be after all, LOL!
  8. Taken today, 1/9/2022 on Wireless Road just south of Astoria, OR. It's a farm road that runs along the Young's Bay Area. I've been out there a lot trying to find, unsuccessfully on both counts, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and an American Tree Sparrow. I think this might've been the first day I've been out there when it wasn't raining buckets. I was going to walk it but there was literally one gull in the fields where there are usually 100s, so...I got out next to a brushy slough area where the sparrow has been reported, when this guy popped up higher in the tree tops. This is the one shot I got of it. Unfortunately there was a branch that I at least focused out (where usually I get a very sharp branch and an out of focus bird) that is blurring the tail, which would've been a helpful ID marker. The two warblers that should be here right now are Yellow-rumped and Townsend's. I figured it for a Yellow-rumped at a glance. Looking at the photo though and comparing it to the scads of YRWA I have photos of, it's unusual to see one with this much of a wash on it's breast vs what I normally see. I have less extensive experience with Townsend's, but I've never seen one yet with that white coloring around the head. Am I overthinking this too much, and it's a YRWA, or am I missing an option? Palm crossed my mind, but I've really only seen those twice in my life so would not be confident even considering that. Thanks in advance!
  9. Yesterday caught some female mergies in the Tillamook Bay areas, along east of Garibaldi, OR and Bayocean Spit. Just about the time I think I'm 100% sure of Common or Red-breasted some marking causes me to doubt that. I'm inclined to think they are all Red-breasted, but would appreciate any confirms or notes on markings. I didn't get lucky enough to have a male about to help move the needle. A. B These I'm more confident are Red-breasted...mostly due to the less defined collar between the red head and the white throat. C D Heading out into the rain to look for more birbs! Thank you for looking, T
  10. 11/6/21 Westport, WA, Westport Marina - king tide had a lot of the shore birds in the marina on the pilings. There were about 120, what I thought at the time were Black Turnstone and Surfbirds. Mostly they were, but an eBird reviewer friend of mine corrected me on my first Rock Sandpiper. So I went back to the shot I had taken of the whole group to use as a way to do a more accurate head count, and blew it up. I went along checking off the three aforementioned birds, and got all the way to the back of the row where I found this Waldo with the big schnozz. Really chunky for a Dunlin, but that's my best estimate. Also, I'm chunky and have a big nose, so don't take the slights personally. Dunlin?
  11. November 6, 2021 at Westport WA along the jetty. watching the King Tides yesterday, I saw this guy fly across my range of vision, can't believe I managed to even snap a photo as it went by as quick as could be. It landed and immediately dove, and even though I watched the area it went in for a good five minutes, I never did see it pop up again. I know it's a long shot, but wondering if anyone with a little more pelagic experience might be able to discern any traits that would help make an ID call. I'm leaning toward Common Murre, but would love any other opinions. May just not be able to make a final call. I promise all of my photos aren't this bad! LOL Thank you,
  12. August 1st, 2020, James Kipp Rec Area in MT, along the Missouri River. We'd camped overnight, and I got up at about 5:15 am and was birding around the campground and picnic areas, over to the river banks. I snapped this bird in the brush between the picnic area and the river. It was early enough for not great light, and it was very skittish. I just got one shot. Originally I went with Orange-crowned Warbler. The dark under tail and sort of eye ring you get on adults sometimes, along with the last of a lot of streaking on front. It didn't vocalize, and kept to the dry brushy area. It got unconfirmed, and the eBird reviewer would prefer it go to warbler sp. It may have to do just that, but I thought I'd take it for one last walk around the block to get other opinions. Another eBird reviewer friend was leaning toward Yellow Warbler. I'll also link to the eBird list of what else I saw and heard. Mostly poor shots of everything that morning. https://ebird.org/checklist/S72006157 Thank you!
  13. And slugs and snails, bears and fox, flowers and....one of the best parts of birding is it teaches you to "see" so much, that you get to get out and find so much else too.
  14. Woo, thank you! I'll give the songs some listens to get more familiar with them. It is funny, there are a lot of birds singing here, particularly Song Sparrows, and yes, fall! Also have some Anna's Hummingbirds at my feeders, one in full breeding plumage. This environmental shift is huge for me, but I'm loving it.
  15. Thank you 🙂 Back when I first started birding a friend of mine who is a consummate naturalist got me a three CD Peterson's Guide to Western Birdsong. I've recommended it many times over the years though I don't think it's in production any more. My husband and I listened to that CD as if we were learning another language. Usually while we driving, sometimes by osmosis, until my poor husband is so sick of it he groans when I still play it. I've worn out the CD player in the RAV (too many dusty roads in WY) and finally had to move them over to my iTunes and phone. I remember the first time we were standing at Colorado's State Forest State Park and heard a Hermit Thrush, looking at each other "oh, that's on the CD!" and racing back to the car to figure it out. LOL Later, when I was doing bird guiding as a board member for our local Audubon, I would bird almost exclusively by ear if we weren't getting good lucks, like in high summer when the foliage was thick. It's saved me many a trip down into chigger infested canyons to rule out the chase by being able to ID by ear. More so, in the case of a bird song I don't know, off I go down into that cactus filled snake infested dry river bed after it, because if I don't know the song or call, it's probably new to me. There are also a couple of birds, like a Sprague's Pipit, that we only IDd by audio, never spotted it, but it was important to know because it was an IBA we had just set up. Great grassland breeding range, 40,000 acres! Being up in the Pac NW the flora is so very dense, if I don't learn the songs sooner rather than later I'll lose my marbles. LOL
  16. Thank you for confirming for me, I appreciate it!
  17. Hi all, this is going to be my first attempt to link to a sound file, ever in any forum, so hopefully this works. 🙂 As mentioned, I moved this summer from WY to OR, so I'm having to learn a lot of bird song and call all over again, and then the regional dialects as well. Like a lot of folks I'm sure, I've been playing with the Merlin sound tool with varying degrees of success. I don't trust it enough to ID without a visual on the bird unless I get a very clear recording that I can listen to another example of and say definitively yes, that is the bird. The first one is from 10/9/2021 at Bottle Beach State Park in Washington. The park takes you to a bay beach area that is great for shorebirds and gulls, but also has a path through some fir and deciduous trees on one side and brush with intermittent wet land on the other. This was in the shrubby area. There is a fair amount of road noise from the highway about 1/4 mile away, so you have to turn it up. Merlin doesn't hear the song, but did pick up and ID the Spotted Towhee call at the end. The song was coming from a different brush area than the call, and doesn't strike me as a Towhee song. But again I don't know if it might be a dialect issue. This one I'd really like to ID as it was for the Big Day. You might have to turn the sound way up. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zk8pyE2Q5QLDJktnrLi6x4qz34vZm0Jt/view?usp=sharing The second is from yesterday, 10/16/21, Bayocean Spit just west of Tillamook, OR. This is on the bay side as you walk through some old forest area, and in this spot in particular had a lot of nice, medium to tall shrub. Just prior to this Merlin was telling me a lighter chick call was Lincoln's Sparrow, and this one, louder and more of a...solid" chick call as a Fox Sparrow. The habitat is good for Fox, but I never got a visual on either. As my husband says, "can you trust that, almost every bird in the world has that call...." 🙂 But I thought it was worth another listen if anyone feels like it. I've seen Fox Sparrows twice, but never really heard them vocalize with a call. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MWFb3U0oczzxbR2fKj3WkvHM_8kk_yC8/view?usp=sharing Thanks!!
  18. First, I feel like after 8 years of birding that I must've missed a lesson if I can't tell a Red-tailed Hawk from...anything else...but yesterday I spotted this bird and heard it, and diagnosed it as a Red-tailed. The light was poor, and when I got home and looked at my photos I saw more red on the shoulders than I usually see with a Red-tailed Hawk, so I thought I should get second opinions. I just moved from WY to OR, and while I've seen Red-shouldered in OK and a couple of times here, including at this location, I'm not confident enough to rule them out. Seeing it in person the V on the back was one of my original reasons to go with the Red-tailed. 10/16/2021 Goodspeed Rd, Tillamook, OR We continued down the road about a mile, came back, and spotted a Peregrine in the same vicinity of the original hawk. This bird came along and the Peregrine took off. I'm not sure if it is the same bird or not. Neither are great shots, the light was terrible all day.
  19. Thanks all on the Godwit, and for playing along with the probably never to be fully IDd mystery creamsicle bird. 😄
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