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Posts posted by okaugust

  1. This is a long shot literally and figuratively, taken today off the South Jetty, Ft Stevens State Park, Oregon, where the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River meet. Bird on the upper right is a Red-throated Loon, but the one on the left has a Shearwater vibe, but I've not got enough experience with them to lock that down either on the general species or something more specific. It may be a bird that goes in as shearwater sp, or maybe something else entirely, or never gets ID, but I'd welcome opinions. It's cropped but no changes to light or coloring. I can zoom in if needed but it's getting into where it's too pixelated if I do.

    Two Common Murres and a gull in the water below. I think. Well, I know it's a gull.

    Thank you!



  2. Feb 22, 2020, this is north of Chugwater, WY, south of Wheatland, WY and east of I-25 in an area with dry grass and fields. Really it's in the middle of nowhere going from the main road to our next stop, but there were hundreds of wintering Horned Larks feeding leftover seed on the fields and dirt roads, and what I thought were 3 Lapland Longspur. I had three photos on my eBird list but they were flipped to unconfirmed, so someone thought otherwise. I was trying to reason out maybe the single bird could be a Thick-billed Longspur, but it really doesn't seem right for that, and I keep coming back to thinking they are all Laplands.



    Maybe not?


    Thank you in advance for other opinions!


  3. 5 minutes ago, vogelito said:

    Sorry I can't help with the ID okaugust.  But nice century run for your big day!  I'm curious: Was your big day a "typical" big day or a *photo* big day?  I ask because I've been doing an annual "solo photo" big day for a few years now (in New Jersey-- finally cracked the century mark this year at 104).  I don't hear about many (any?) others doing big photo days, so I've always wondered how my efforts would stack up.  Just figured I'd ask you for clarification since you've got some nice photos there.



    Well, it's an sort of complicated answer. I started birding in 2013 when I had a health issue that had me mostly home bound and giving up for a short while on a lot of my more active hobbies. I have intracranial hypertension, and in Dec 2023 had a shunt installed in the noggin to help control the pressure up there. I had an inexpensive point and shoot, but I found it helped me to get a photo of a bird, so I could study it in guides and on the computer to ID it. I started getting better and better cameras, nothing with giant lenses to haul around, I'm on the Nikon P950 now, and it's easy to carry on hikes, most of my photos are taking on the fly while walking or hiking, and even though the longest distance isn't great quality it's good enough often to ID something far away. Flip side of that is I've never done well with binoculars, I don't know if it was because I used to be really near sighted or what, but even worse using a scope gives me a tremendous headache and a sea sick feeling, even though I have a quite nice scope. Sooooo...because for whatever reason to my wonky brain and wonky eyesight I use the camera almost as an extension of my vision, and it feels like it is part of me. I am almost never without it. I don't always use it to take a photo, but I will use it to see through at distance, but I do snap as I go as well and end up with some usually reasonably nice shots, I think.

    So short story long, I take photos of everything, but in these dense trees out in the Pac NW at least 50% of what I report is by ear more than eye, and I add any decent photos to eBird and catalog them for my own history, but every bird counts, whether I have a photo or not.


    This is my one day report, if you are interested, and the photos can be found on each checklist.


    And this is my weekend report so far. I'm off Mondays so hoping to add to it today. As I add checklists it should update.



    • Like 1
  4. 36 minutes ago, MichaelLong said:

    First bird is Western with the greenish thin bill and grey flanks. Second bird I have no idea on, maybe Clark’s with a funky bill or something? Almost looks like a little pied cormorant from Australia 

    Thanks! That 3rd one would be something, but that would be wishful thinking on my part.

  5. How was your big day? I set out with a goal to hit  100 species and just nailed with a last minute Golden-crowned Sparrow, which are usually all over the place, but we only found one. :classic_laugh:

    Still, a good day and a good weekend. Trying to nail down the last of the IDs and inevitably I run into a grebe that is borderline Clark's/Western. The eyes say Clark's the bill says not orange enough, I'm a Western. We get some fuzzy in between ones. I'm 90% on Western but appreciate confirmation or opinions otherwise.

    The 3rd photo I'd almost think was a juvenile Horned but wrong season and I think it's just the angle that makes the bill look really short, but I could be wrong.

    Note they may be three individuals, there were a lot of Western Grebes and a lot of Red-throated Loons and a lot of waves shaking everyone up.

    Seaside Cove - Seaside OR - 5/11/2024



    2024%2005%2011%20Unknown%20Grebe%20Seasi 2024%2005%2011%20Unknown%20Grebe%20Seasi




  6. Astoria, OR 5/1/2024

    A recently heard and seen Tricolored Blackbird is a 1st county report for us. A lot of folks combing the same area for more sightings without a lot of luck so far, just two other possible sightings. The area in question is Wireless Rd, which is an interesting sort of migrant trap and habitat with grazing pastures, ephemeral puddles, next to Youngs Bay and Youngs River, and sometimes the farmer spreads fish guts on the fields which makes it very fragrant but contributes to the feeding frenzy. As the tide goes up and down shorebirds and so on alternate feeding the mudflats and fields. The Tricolored was first spotted April 30th around 6 pm at higher tide, and similarly again last night. It hasn't been perching openly, but seems to be hiding out between some blackberry brambles and the open field with high grass.

    Ran into one of our state and county leaders out looking in the morning who thought he might've had it at the one feeder in the area, but still pondering the ID.


    I stopped at the feeder, no luck, but came back later in the day and repeated the route and feeder watch for a few minutes. I got this bird in the photo below. I assume it's a Red-winged Blackbird maybe just juvenile and not into full breeding plumage or something, but trying to review photos (both mine and others on eBird) am not finding anything in comparison. Honestly, I've never had a RWBL male that didn't show its epaulettes, and I've never seen a female this dark and solid in color, and I'm not finding anything different on eBird photos for either species, so I thought it would be worth a review.

    It also doesn't strike me as the also local Brewer's, starlings or Brown-headed Cowbird for missing ID markers for both, but I could be wrong and feel like maybe I'm missing another option.

    Thank you in advance for your opinions!




  7. November 23, 2023 - Bottle Beach State Park in WA, along Grays Harbor which is an estuary bay.

    The shorebirds come in just after high tide in the 1000s. In the last couple of years there has been a Willet residing along several hundred Marbled Godwits that move mostly between here and the Westport Marina. In Nov 2023 there was also a Red Knot in non-breeding plumage. It looks like most reports of Red Knot at this location are in spring and in breeding plumage.

    I thought they were both the Willet, and the Willet is rare and previously reviewed and cleared. However, I seem to be incorrect about one or both birds. The Red Knot would be rare as well. Maybe I'm missing another options, but opinions are appreciated as always.

    Thank you,










  8. Well, I'm here to drive you crazy, if that helps.

    I keep trying to not pile on too much to the off duck topic at hand, but since the discussion seems to continue to toddle along, another perspective and reply as the OP:

    I am also familiar with the unconfirmed status based on distance, location, etc. I had some early on birding and learned to limit my range and pick more accurate locations/smaller areas.

    Liam thank you for the explanation, and I would think, again, I don't like feeling paranoid, it would be odd that they all came in over a few days, but also from various states, if it was just one reviewer working through a backlog of some kind, I would expect them to be more localized. Whoever it is now is working through newer lists, as I received more unconfirmed from 2022 and 2023, and also from more states as well as reports from August of last year from the UK.

    The fact that I have only received one reviewer email indicates to me it isn't a reviewer, because I always do get an email with some helpful ID tips. I'm the happiest person to get an email from a reviewer. As mentioned, I value the data too, so I do also want to make sure my own information is accurate. I don't mind making corrections.

    The points of frustration I have are:

    1) Regular users can't send a message like an eBird reviewer stating their reasons for the flag. Therefore there is no opportunity to offer other details (song, call, point out something) that supports your ID.

    2) Whoever it is is unconfirming reports that are for rare birds that have already been reviewed (sometimes at length) with a reviewer.

    3) They are also now making mistakes such as looking at a group of birds and saying "oh these are all..." but not looking at the details for the single bird that the photo is pointing out.

    4) One of the sets that dropped into my unconfirmed today is of gull sp. I think I can pretty much say if I am using gull sp. it's because I can't ID the #$% gull, which is why I used it. So I'm not sure what I'm expected to change it to.

    At the end of the day, I'm pretty short tempered about it for the reasons above and, let me put it this way....

    I don't know if whoever is doing it is sitting at home on a rainy day thinking how helpful they are, but after some odd blood work at the end of December and five weeks dealing with referrals, authorizations, inaccurate orders, appts that were delayed, finding out last Thursday I have what is like a level 1 (out of 11 for you Spinal Tap fans) benign tumor on my pituitary that now I get to spend more time chasing resolution, appts, etc to deal with, my little hamster wheel brain is already spinning, and then I realized some helpful fellow birder is chucking my reports back to me rapid fire and my hobby that keeps me sane suddenly is something else for me to deal with.

    That person doesn't know that, and one thing has nothing to do with the other, but I do this hobby as mentioned since a prior issue in 2013, and it brings me a lot of peace. It would be nice if there was a way to reach out to fellow eBird users before being so helpful, because you never know what the person on the other end might be going through.

    So....the duck is back to being a Blue-winged Teal?


    • Like 1
  9. 6 minutes ago, DLecy said:

    I would be willing to bet that someone is going in and combing through your photos and flagging things that are misidentified or that they think is misidentified. It’s highly improbable that reviewers all across the land are simultaneously flagging your media from years ago.

    I find it equally odd that one person would do the same to over 6000 checklists. I did get one email from a reviewer in AZ, but also flagged photos in WI, MT, WY, CO. It would make more sense to me that eBird had some concerted effort to correct the data of more than just one person. All I know is over the course of 2-3 days over 30 photos were suddenly flagged at once. I guess I'm just trying to understand the why it happens at once, when it really doesn't matter. I just fix them and move on.

  10. 59 minutes ago, Jerry Friedman said:

    Actually, I tried to flag one last year and couldn't.  @DLecy told me you need to have uploaded 100 complete checklists in the previous year to be able to flag.  If you're an almost compulsive eBirder, you qualify.

    (For the continuing saga, see https://forums.whatbird.com/index.php?/topic/30064-reporting-misidentification-at-ebird/ )


    Jan 1, 2017 I made a resolution, and I don't make resolutions as rule with this exception, to list something, anything, on eBird every day for a year. That year I went to India to work for almost 6 weeks, and during the flight there I had a zero bird layover at Heathrow and missed posting any bird. The next year I decided I would give it a go again. And have ever since. Some days it is tough walking around the hospital where I work on a 10 hour work day counting pigeons, but I'm on day 2598 of a checklist streak and have 6.197 completed lists.

    Compulsive is accurate.

    I started birding during a year when I had a health issue that resulted in brain surgery, and it sort of saved my life along the way. I've been hooked since.

    So I can flag LOL

    • Like 3
  11. 6 hours ago, lonestranger said:

    I am not an eBird user but I wonder if your unconfirmed shots from years ago could be the results of a casual viewer(s) going through your photos and flagging the ones they think are wrong. I am not certain of this, but I think a flagged photo, by those people qualified to flag photos, will trigger the photo to revert to unconfirmed. I doubt very much that a regional reviewer would have enough time to randomly revisit photos from years ago, unless the photos were flagged and brought to their attention. I am unsure of how it actually works but suspect it may have very little to do with your regional reviewer.

    I use eBird almost compulsively, lol, I think it's a great tool, and it came around about the same time I started birding, so I sort of grew up with it so to speak.

    Anyone can flag a photo. Most of the time these days it happens if I, say, upload the heron photo to the crow count, for example. That drops it into unconfirmed status. I check it every day and keep up and make corrections, though they are many fewer than when I first started, thankfully. So every so often one pops up as incorrect because either another user or the eBird reviewer caught something not correct.

    Then about every 2-3 years all of a sudden I get hit with maybe 15-20 corrections. When I say that, it may not be that many, but like if I dropped a Horned Grebe photo in with six Eared Grebes, all of them become unconfirmed. It's not just a local reviewer for recent items, in the last three days I've had my reports from MT, WY, AZ...I went from having about 10 that are recent that I know are correct and just waiting for the reviewer to clear for rare (Northern Mockingbird) or too many (Semipalmated Plover not just seen by me but others as well) to 44 photos unconfirmed.

    I actually welcome corrections, but looking at the even more that have happened today, I know at least one the eBird reviewer in WY already cleared years ago. It would just be nice if they happened with less of a...."did you want to go birding today or did you want go through 30 reports to fix something" and happened as they went in and not....7 years later.

    I know they are volunteers, so it's mostly just me venting, I appreciate being able to just grump about it to someone else, and I'm sure my poor husband appreciates it too because he's probably tired of it.

    I just have this vision of 500 eBird interns going through 14,000,000 photos to get 3 hours of credit toward their degrees and vomiting up old info that might have more notes they should be reading. So I'm laughing at that, sort of.


    At any rate, thanks for the Gadwall ID, it sounds like "survey says!"

    Hopefully the rest I can figure out on my own. 😛

    I didn't figure a duck would be so interesting!

    • Like 2
  12. FWIW I'm a little OCD, so probably ever day I check my eBird photos for something unconfirmed, which tells me I IDd something incorrectly. It usually pops right away, but when eBird does what seems like a big review/purge of incorrect IDs, they all come in at once and usually from a long time ago, like when I first started birding. Sometimes it's pretty obvious I got something wrong, i.e. Eared vs Horned Grebe back when I didn't know one from the other, other times it is frustrating because it's like....I'm pretty sure I had my OG reviewer help me ID this bird 6 years ago already. Anyway, it's a good exercise in ID skills and frustration to go to explore....photos...my photos...unconfirmed. The frustration comes from having 20 pop up incorrect all at once from 8 years ago, and only one ebird reviewer has bothered to send an email saying what they think the bird is.

    • Like 1
  13. 3 hours ago, Birds are cool said:

    Same. The bird in the first photo had a black beak. Don't only adult male gadwall have black beaks? 

    My id for photo #1 is Blue-winged Teal

    Since I'm leaning that way as well, I'll put it in eBird with some comments and see if it gets a response or confirmed. Thanks again for all of the help. This forum is awesome!

  14. 17 minutes ago, IKLland said:

    Any other photos?

    Maybe one, not sure if it is the same bird just a little off or one with it, but they were next to each other in the shots. The bill looks more orange. This one you can see the white wing that might be more likely for Gadwall.



    This is the checklist. The birds IDd as Gadwall did not look like Gadwall to me, and I seem to remember being corrected on them prior. I almost have never seen them with that orange of a bill, but maybe winter plumage I guess. In all of my photos I only have a couple others with a bill that orange. Anyway, Gadwall not in question I guess, but winter plumage maybe throwing me off I suppose.




    Note correction on the date should be 11/11 not 11/9.

    I do have what I think is a shot of a couple of Green-winged Teal further on, but I think we were at the next reservoir for those shots.

  15. 1 hour ago, IKLland said:

    Sorry, didn’t see location. Apparently Sanderling is quite Indian in the area? I’m not certain now.

    We didn't have them in numbers like they show up on the Pac NW coasts, but they did come up from time to time, mostly during migration if I remember right, so it could've been possible.

    32 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

    Long wings and thinner drooping bill look good for a Baird's to me.

    Thanks both of you!

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