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Everything posted by okaugust

  1. Two of my weak points on bird ID (along with peeps and gulls and here I live in OR, but that's another problem), yellowlegs in particular the bane of my existence each spring, and moving from WY to OR where I've flipped the more common versions of scaup and yellowlegs (lesser there, greater here).... Anyway, I digress. Saturday, March 12, Westport, WA on the bay side of the marina. Into fall Greater Scaup were the more likely duck, but recently a few Lesser Scaup have turned up. I'm used to the Greater more with their rounded head and hunched posture, but these are perky and I've convinced myself the one on the left has a bit of the peaky head. Sunday, March 13th at Ridgefield NWR, WA, there were other definitive Greater Yellowlegs with the slight upturn to the bill in other spots, and then this solo guy at a small wetland area. I don't detect the upturn, but the bill does look rather longish (longer than the head) for a Lesser. One Lesser has been reported, I reviewed the latest lists after I got home to see if it was possibly the same bird. Thank you in advance for your always appreciate opinions!
  2. Great, thank you! I have a new lap top, but all of my documents, photos and files are down at the shop hoping for retrieval and hopefully a cut over. Thankfully I save the best stuff to a photo hosting site and at least have an older external drive from my last crash to grab files from (hopefully) but losing over a decade of all docs and photos will be a heart breaker if the magic doesn't happen. In the grand scheme of things, right now it makes me immensely happy that a couple of you got the files to work. ? Thank you!
  3. Thank you. My laptop crashed yesterday morning so I have a new one on the way and the old one trying to be salvaged at a local shop. Hopefully I can get back up and running this week to try to add the files again so others can hear them too.
  4. 3/6/2022 - Taken at the Willapa NWR's Reikkola Unit, Porter Point Loop Trail. The trail goes past the tidal mud flats at sea level, up 200 feet through old Sitka Spruce (I think) forest, then down old logging roads through some shorter, dense new fir areas, then down into a marshy deciduous area. I don't know my botany well enough to know what the old forests were replaced with, but in the new growth area I picked up these calls and songs. Merlin, which has been a huge help to me since moving from WY to OR late last summer, recorded it, but offered no suggestions for ID. Oddly enough, sometimes it can pick up a Brown Creeper in a flock of noisy robins while the ocean is banging away over a berm and a tractor goes by, but standing almost still alone on the top of a hill with no wind or other noise, and nada on this one over several tries. I am recording it on my iPhone 6, so you might have set the volume to 11 to get it play loud enough. I've gotten pretty good at Fox Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Pacific Wrens and Wrentits, and at first I thought these were Hutton's Vireo, but I've only heard those three times and seen once. I could get eyes on one bird, I heard at least two, but it was about 20 feet up with the sun right behind it. The woods are dense enough that if it isn't on the main path, there is no way to get a visual lock on it. It flitted about like a kinglet or vireo, and was similar in size and coloring, but the song isn't one that sounds familiar for those species. But that may be my lack of experience with Pac NW versions of their songs. Could even be two species? I have a call like sound that is a zeer, zeer (which to me is the Hutton's) on one hand, and almost robin like bleep bleep bleep on the other. Sorry for the zipper and rustling as I tried to move closer. The zipper sounds really loud! Thank you! Mostly I'm trying to lock down my audio birding skills in a new place, and don't trust myself yet on birds that are really new to me. 2022 03 06 Willapa NWR Reikkola Unit WA.wav 2022 03 06 Willapa NWR Reikkola Unit WA (2).wav
  5. Thanks, I don't know my gulls very well, but put it to the NA Gulls group and was shot down there too. Wishful thinking on my part. General suggestions were Glaucous or our usual hybrids, though I've never seen one with legs that dark.
  6. Just for fun...I get some crazy nice shots with the P900, but under optimal conditions with a more willing bird....the Mandarin Duck that's been hanging out at a city park in a Portland suburb.
  7. Husband sends his thanks for the compliment! They are mostly straight out of the camera. I tweaked the light and so on just a bit, but the center of focus is mostly what it was coming out of the camera. He was doing the shots quick since he'd had to take a work break to get over to get them. He did say he didn't know how I hold the camera out as long as I do but the P900 was recommended to me by a friend who works for Apple and spent much of his career developing photo software. He says the zoom is better than some of his $8000 lens. It's light weight and no extra parts to carry. We did get back to the pond again this morning. We stopped at various points along the little pond and tried to spot it. The AMWI took off, about 8 of them, and I about lost hope again, but the Eurasian stayed behind with the Mallards so I got a few not great but much better than cell phone shots. Pretty happy camper! I walked home and was hoping for more looks, but didn't spot it. In the car this morning we left it on so we could motor on if needed as the passenger side of the road is no parking, and even though it's a hybrid and shuts off, there is still minute vibration (and today more misty rain) to contend with. At my age after a lifetime of lousy vision and computer use, I pretty much snap everything because I don't trust my own eyes. Thanks again all for the help!
  8. He does not for the purpose of birding. A friend of ours actually just passed on to him a nice Nikon set up, and he's been more focused (pun intended) on taking pictures of boats. We are right along the Columbia River so a lot of freighters, pilot boats, fishing boats, etc go by or park along here. He has been practicing a bit with it on ducks and some flight shots while out though, and actually snapped a rare, off season Osprey and didn't even realize it until I was looking at his boat pictures and said, "Wait a minute, what you got there?" He's sort of an incidental birder. His camera doesn't have the same zoom, even with its big lens, of the P900, but he got some incredible shots yesterday. As a matter of fact, even though I would've dug some comparisons up, having his and my lousy camera phone shots up at the same time helped me realized the differences in coloration that made me more certain I had the Eurasian. I'll pass along the compliment. He doesn't think they are any good!
  9. LOL I'll take two opinions whatever order they come in! Also I love a good read and to tell a story, part of my English major background, though my bosses in finance (various directors, managers and CFOs tend to go into TLDR mode when they get an email from me!) Thanks to both of you!
  10. On a related note, one of the husband's shots a friend suggested this might be a EUWI hen?
  11. Apologies in advance for some of the most stupendously horrible shots I've ever taken, but this would be a lifer for me, so I'd like to get confirmation if possible with the evidence such as it is. Gray body, no darker outline on the head. It's the best I've got...if I blow them up anymore whatever resolution is left goes to h e double toothpicks. The long story is I am almost never without my camera (Nikon P900) except when I make the .5 mile walk to and from work. I used to carry it, but stopped. Even knowing this exact thing would happen one day. We have American Wigeon coming out our ears here in Astoria, OR over winter. Last night I walked back our little Mill Pond, thought there was a bird that looked like a Eurasian. It was sort of pestering a pair of American Wigeon. But no camera, losing light, so had to tell myself nah, and went on. Should've called for camera delivery...fast forward to this morning, completely not on game yet again and need of more caffeine apparently, I set off for work without my camera. This time a couple dozen AMWI are out on the pond, most of them heads tucked in and asleep. This guy again was in another corner of the pond just bobbing all over. I took three lousy photos with the iPhone. I have five minutes to finish getting to work, no time to turn around or call for a camera. I get to work, call the husband, get my camera, go to the pond, take a picture of every wigeon! He does, but...he's color blind, so what does he know? He takes photos of every single American Wigeon, great shots...but not my bird. At lunch he comes to get me and we head back over. It's a fine rain, most of the wigeons are gone, I'm staring frantically amount when a neighbor getting her mail stops to chat...and chat...and chat...about the birds, the mayor, the developer, the view....and as I'm sitting there with me and the car getting wet from rain....I had to excuse myself to get back to work. After work....no wigeons on the pond. ?
  12. 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!
  13. Two shots, thankfully. The gal who was pointing it out to me was most patient!
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. That was my first give away! Thanks again everyone, you are awesome!
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. 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?
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