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Everything posted by okaugust

  1. Saturday, February 11, 2023, horrible photos, so apologies in advance, but I thought it was worth a try to see if there is enough definition for a better soul than me to ID. This was taken in the Brownsmead area east of Astoria, OR. It's mostly low lying pastures and sloughs, riparian areas moving up into some hills and pines, within a mile or two from the Columbia River. I was snapping photos of a Red-breasted Sapsucker on a tall pine, turned back into the road to look at the big flock of European Starlings in the field across from me, when something flew within feet of my head, so close I heard the soft but solid "woomph" of wing beats, it was pretty incredible. The starlings went silent, the flock took to the air and then came back down with seconds, and I just snapped one shot of the raptor as it went further across the sky and back to the south. There are all kinds of raptors out here, from Peregrine to Merlin to Kestrels, Rough-legged, Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's, and don't forget Northern Harriers and Bald Eagles. It was fairly small-medium-sized. I almost lost it in the flock of starlings. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  2. I was pretty excited about it too. We almost went for one a couple of years ago from WY to ID but it stopped being reported. I was actually out from work sick when both were first reported, but held off because I really didn't feel well. But I got to the area, no cranes at all. Spent 45 minutes talking to a land owner, who said they weren't seen yesterday, and by that time they came in. It put me a little late to try for the Brambling, with more rain and bad light in the woods, but i gave it a go and after 90 minutes of stamping around in the rain, found it too. One of our favorite long time sayings, back when we started riding motorcycles, "I've been wetter....and colder...." LOL
  3. Woo! That's exciting. I've been hoping to spot one, as they get reported there occasionally. I've managed three life birds in about 24 hours. Common Crane, Brambling and now the Cassin's. Super excited, thanks!
  4. January 8, 2023, Barview Jetty, OR This is taken about 1.25 miles in from the end of the jetty on the ocean end, as it becomes the channel into Tillamook Bay. The high seas and winds and rain squalls had pushed Red Phalarope and Ancient Murrelet into the channel. The conditions were pretty rough for even seeing what was going on, with a lot of rain and sea spray and wind. I was mostly looking and shooting and hoping for the best. By the time I got done I was covered in salt. I drove back down to a small parking area where people mostly explore and fish and spotted this guy. I was thinking at the time it was another Ancient Murrelet, but I was getting better shots using the car as a wind break and staying in it. My next thought was Marbled Murrelet, but the beaks wrong. Then Rhinoceros Auklet, but while the coloring is similar to the young ones I've seen, the bill again doesn't seem right. That brought me to Cassin's Auklet, which I've never seen before, but I'm not seeing the eyebrow and blue eyes, which looking through eBird photos, doesn't always show up. Thoughts? e Just for fun, the conditions I was working with. This was in the afternoon, when things had settled down some. eBird checklist if you want to check my homework. https://ebird.org/checklist/S125717824
  5. Thank you, I will give that a try! I appreciate the help. 🙂
  6. Thanks! My eBird reviewer has a good ear too, better than me at 52 with tinnitus, but I'm reluctant to post a rarity there without a little more consensus. I wouldn't want people out chasing something that doesn't exist, and I know Merlin is iffy sometimes.
  7. Coffenbury Lake, Ft Stevens State Park, Oregon, Jan 2, 2022 Habitat is fir and deciduous trees, lots of bushes, lake side trails. There is a good flock of Red Crossbills that are always on the move around the lake, in the treetops. I have come to love Merlin since living in the Pac NW as the forests are so dense, it's often impossible to see anything, so it's good to know what you are hearing. I use it mainly as a tool and don't report rare or unusual birds using just Merlin, but it helps me know what to look for and where. I usually would like a second opinion or a visual. Yesterday though the light is so poor and the birds so far up in the dense treetops, I only managed to glimpse one bird, which was a typical Red Crossbill. I know there are folks who can discern the various types of Crossbills from their calls, but I am not one of them. I've seen White-winged Crossbills in WY a couple of times, but not enough exposure to differentiate the sounds. It would be considered rare here. I'm wondering if anyone here has an ear for this species can take a listen. Hopefully either the link or upload works. Sorry for the human audio included, I had visiting out of state birders with me and was calling out what we/Merlin were hearing. You may have to turn it up. It's easier to hear on the phone than the computer, in my experience. It may not be enough of a diagnostic, but I always am hopeful, of course. Thank you! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HO5cTyDa_8lJHcGmNmwc3S3BxIRhV90v/view?usp=sharing 2023 01 02 Red Crossbill & White Winged Crossbill Coffenbury Lake Ft Stevens SP OR.wav
  8. Thank you! The dark eyes on that one gave me pause for sure.
  9. Good news, a Glaucous Gull was spotted today west of Tillamook. Bad news, it's a first year/cycle, so it looks like every other gull. I don't think I saw it. But I was looking for things that don't look like other things, focusing on lighter primaries and so on. Of course end up with what are probably all Glaucous-winged or Western, or of course the most likely Olympic (Herring x Glaucous-winged). How can different birds all look the same, but the same species all look so different. So here goes...all photos from today 12/31/2022 1. Seaside Cove, OR 2. Nehalem Meadows, which is an pasture area just south of Nehalem, OR that currently has a lot of seasonal ephemeral water. The remaining are from where the Glaucous was report, Fraser Rd x Old Fraser Rd, just west of Tillamook and east of Netarts, OR 3. 4. Initially looking at the bird in the foreground, but the pinkish bill on the second from the rear was intriguing. 5. 6. Bird on the left I know, this is my rock star life. Trying to ID gulls on New Year's Eve. High point though, two Peregrine Falcon's today, the last bird I saw in 2022. So I got that going for me.
  10. Thanks! I was 99% sure but I think the angle was throwing me off, appreciate the help!
  11. Another for my CBC 12/18 Chinook WA and along the Columbia River area. It was my first year on this route or having one out here after a move from WY, and I got a lot of great tips from the person who had this along with another before me. Still, it was a newish area (I know it, but haven't done a lot of birding in it) so I did a trial run on Saturday. These two yellowlegs gave me some pause Saturday as well, but Greater should be our go to here, and I decided it might just be the angle. Yesterday made me question that again. Then another 1 mile up the shore at the marina, about five minutes later, I don't think it was the same pair, they were moving east and we went west, but they also made me do a double take. While they are all likely Greater, I just wanted to be sure for the count again. Thank you! 12/17 Chinook County Park - one photo each of the pair 1. 2. 12/18 Same location, they were a little closer and the light was a little better. 3. 4. This pair was down by the Port of Chinook along the river beach also, a mile west a few minutes later. 5.
  12. For my CBC area yesterday, so I'd like to be sure. Area is Chinook, WA 12/18/2022 This was on Lingenfelter Rd, which is a stretch that runs about a mile on my part of the count, with a couple of open field and marsh areas along it but woods mainly. This bird flew out of the heavy trees and across to a clearing where someone is building a pole barn/house, where it just sat for a couple of minutes, looking for mice in the wood pile I think. I put it down as a Cooper's. Initially I went with Sharp-shinned, but despite showing a lot of leg, the rounded tail and bulkier feet, lack of look of surprise I went back to Cooper's. This one we found after we came out and were back on 101 through the town of Chinook proper. It was about the size of a dove, but the upright posture so we turned around. I only got one shot before it took off across the highway and back into some city trees there and too much on private property to attempt to track. Can't see the eyes, but the smaller, skinnier talons and size overall I went with Sharp-shinned. Thank you!
  13. Thanks sir. I just went with it. It's been fun anyway. 🙂
  14. That's a great start! 😆 Seriously though, thank you! I do appreciate it.
  15. Okay, you want more gulls? More gulls gulls gulls? I see you are folks who like good gulls. 1. 2017-11-12 Lake DeSmet, WY - this one got reviewed and bounced around a lot, and was determined to be unidentifiable, if you like a real puzzler. 2. 2020 07 25 Bowdoin NWR, MT 3. 2020 07 25 Bowdoin NWR, MT 4. 2020 03 20 Astoria River Walk, OR (probably more Olympics coming right up) 5. 2020 07 25 Bowdoin NWR, MT 6. 2021 03 20 Western Gull? Astoria River WA, OR 7. 2020 07 25 Bowdoin NWR, MT (sorry, it uploaded out of date order) 8. 2021 03 21 Astoria River Walk, OR 9. 2021 07 04 Tillamook Bay Barview Jetty OR (you might be able to tell, but my enthusiasm for gulls was falling apart by this time. 10. 2021 07 04 Tillamook Bay Barview Jetty OR 11. 2021 07 04 Garibaldi Marina OR 12. 2021 07 04 Garibaldi Marina, OR - great, this one is really different! Oh, it's probably a washed out Olympic... 13. 2021 07 05 Ft Stevens State Park, OR If it helps, I just deleted about seven more that I figure are all Olympics. Sigh. Hey, have fun, and don't say I didn't get you anything for Christmas! This year...puzzling gulls for everyone!
  16. Or sometimes when I'm sitting in Seaside Cove eating Grizzly Tuna and munching on fries with some gull watching me from the hood of the car, I like to say "HEY, FLOCK OF SEAGULLS!"
  17. I have chased five rare or state count birds in the last 36 hours, and I got to see four of them, including a lifer. Is that enough? No, I fanned on the shrike and wish I could cough cough call in sick tomorrow, but I won't. Cough. Darn it.
  18. August 28th, 2022, Pintail Marsh at Ankey NWR, OR, looking for and not finding a Ruff (for the umpteenth time). A lot of looking through a scope with heat shimmer and trying to snap every bird just in case. I was thinking Baird's owing to what I think are two dark legs that aren't very clear here. Doesn't seem...rotund enough for Western, but non-breeding plumage peeps in locations I'm not that familiar with always make me doubt everything I know about peeps. There are two in the first picture, center and left, and one in the second, center. Thank you!
  19. Well, funny enough what goes through mine when I say that is...I went to college at the University of Oklahoma back from 1991-1996, and going up and down Sooner Rd to get to the OKC metro area, there was a tawdry bar and strip club along the way, and the sign always said "Girls, Girls, Girls! You bet we do!" So now when I see gulls, miles and miles of gulls, I think..."Gulls, Gulls, Gulls, you bet we do.... 😁 I have some more from other locations going farther back if anyone wants to keep playing?
  20. Alas, it is as expected. Hybrids that all look the same and different. Sigh. Thanks all!
  21. I never ask for much help IDing gulls because I just feel bad about it. I have a huge mental block with them. I always think when people show me bird characteristics, it goes into my mental lists and helps me later, but I don't seem to retain a darn thing about gulls. The birds I'm fairly confident about, Heermann's, Ring-billed, Short-billed, Laughing, Franklin's, Bonaparte's and now Kittiwakes, and sort of kind of California, Western and Glaucous-winged (as long as they aren't teenager birds) I just look at these fields and beaches full of gulls, sigh, and give up most of the time. And to quote a friend in WY before I moved to OR, "just give up, they're all hybrids..." Sometimes I find one that has just great coloring or markings and think, "I can DO THIS! I'm going to go home, and pour over ID traits and figure this out!" Then I get home and give up again. I was even conjuring up if someone came up with a website where for $1 they would ID a gull for you, I would gladly pay it....because I am just not wired to learn the subtle nuances. Maybe when I retire. So, apologies and thanks in advance but I snapped some shots and while they are probably mostly Olympic Gulls (Hybrid Glaucous-winged x Western Gulls), I couldn't take it anymore and had to ask. 1. Garibaldi Marina, Garibaldi, OR 12/11/2022 2. Garibaldi Marina, Garibaldi, OR 12/11/2022 3. Shipwreck Point, WA, off the Straight of Juan de Fuca 11/25/2022 4. Westport Marina Nov 5, 2022 - Short-billed Gull? 5. Ft Stevens State Park, OR, just east of the South Jetty, where the Pacific comes into the Columbia. Nov 21, 2022 (this guy likes my idea for a pay for ID website, as I just dreamed it up while looking at him.)
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