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Posts posted by okaugust

  1. Some kind soul went through eBird and unconfirmed one Least Flycatcher and a few of my Western Wood Pewee and photos. WWPW sort of a go to out here in Wyoming, and I usually hear the tell tale call along with the sighting, but I will admit some of these both myself and my local Audubon pres were a little stumped at the time. I opted for WWPW at the time, but remember wondering if it was something else. I've since slept and drank a few times though, so don't remember the call to go with it. The minutia of flycatchers stumps me sometimes, especially in February when I'm months out on seeing these little fellows. Help is greatly appreciated!

    This one was at Tower Falls in Yellowstone, May 2018



    These were all along Brinton Road in Big Horn, WY, July 2018, on the same day. The area has a lot of trees, riparian, some hay fields and horses properties.



    3) & 4) same bird











    7) Maybe a Olive-sided Flycatcher?









    This is the one I IDd as Least, because it was calling the Least call. I remember this one and its call clearly because I was so happy to have the call to go with the bird. Unless another was in the area and this one just was doing an act with it....

    It was taken late August, 2018 in the Powderhorn neighborhood between Sheridan and Big Horn, WY, along a riparian, brushy area.




    Again, thanks in advance! Hope your winter birding is going well. It's been very mild, but now cold here. Not much real snow down here, though the mountains seem to be getting it pretty well. We went to Bosque del Apache NWR last weekend to shake the winter fatigue, and now we're back here hoping for spring!



  2. 11 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    Sidebar: Are you using your binos with or without glasses?  if you are wearing glasses and you binos have adjustable eye cups, set them as low as possible.

    Also, have you adjusted the diopter recently?  That can make a heck of a difference!

    My limited use of binoculars is usually when someone hands them to me, I try to use them, and I get sort of nauseous. I know that sounds weird...but it's been that way ever since I was a kid. Maybe it's just never having a good pair, or a pair that is dialed in for me, but I also almost never wear sunglasses for the same reason. My eyes were so nearsighted before I got lasik about 17 years ago, that I couldn't even read the big E on the chart without them. Now I have pretty good vision still following the lasik, but the best way I can explain is it feels like my eyes are so used to focusing on the closest things that they still focus on the near things like glasses or binoculars instead of the thing I'm trying to look through it at. I also don't use my viewfinder on the camera for the same reason. That's pretty much instant headache. I also have a shunt in my brain in the last five years, so that might contribute to the oogy feeling too. I don't know. I'm a mess? I wonder if I could get away with a scope, but I suspect I don't want to spend the money on a great one and wouldn't drag it along with me half the time if I did.

    I've also only been really birding about the last five years, so I don't trust myself 100% yet to register what I'm actually seeing. I like to get it home and study it. Which is what I'm doing tonight with the zillion dang gulls I found today. But also found a Great Egret and a late Western Tanager, so I got that going for me! 🙂

    The first photo, I've pondered the coloring people are seeing, but my focus I think is stuck on the bills, which look shorter and very cupped too me. Too short for shovelers, too cupped for wigeon. But then, I can't tell what they are myself, so you all could be quite right!

    The last one...Godwit, that's intriguing, I'll do some comparing with my bird books when I get home. I'm on the road today going from Sheridan, WY to the Denver metro area in a rental car, and it drives me batty to leave my mobile library behind!

    Keep the ideas coming, I love them, and it gives me something to learn from! Thank you!

    • Like 1
  3. Thanks both of you! Still hopeful for a few more guesses. The loon was wishful thinking, and thank you for the swamp sparrow confirm, that's a bird I've only seen once before, and never in Wyoming!


    I usually get better pictures....I don't trust my old eyes really and binocs don't work very well for my used to be very near sighted vision for some reason. But it never fails, the shot that is lousy is going to have a surprise bird in it I can't figure out!



  4. Was out and about today in northern Wyoming following getting about 3-5" of snow yesterday. It pushed a lot of waterfowl our way, which is exciting. Some migrants hidden in with the regular suspects.

    I have, I think, three scoters here. But what scoters? All three can be found, though rarely, migrating through Wyoming. It was a long shot and not very clear. Healy Reservoir, Johnson County WY




    Lake DeSmet, and it's not unusual at this time of year to have Common Loons. On top of being a far off shot again, and it never came up in view again, the glare was really something. Odds are on a Common Loon, but it's a little less beaky and black and white than I'm used to seeing, so looking for other opinions.


    Back at Healy, which was much more dried up from last week, where I was lurking among the reeds and standing in the mud, being part of the scnery when a lovely Sora came out and walked around me, I also got this sparrow, which I think might be a swamp?




    While I'm at it, for the bonus round, 10.14.18 at a pond east of Buffalo WY, I diagnosed as a Short Billed Dowitcher, which is unusual around here. I'm not 100% comfortable with that, thinking it might be wishful thinking on my part. Any thoughts?




    Thanks much! I really try to get my eBird reports in correctly, and appreciate the expert advice. T

  5. Bad light. Very bad light. And bad distance. I know they may not be IDable, but I thought it was worth a shot. Getting some good migrants now, so I'm reluctant to make a call on unfamiliar birds. A couple of weeks ago I spotted a rare to Wyoming Buff-breasted Sandpiper, so I'm a little snap happy right now hoping for other surprises. Help is appreciated!

    First one was in an almost dried up very small pond area in Sheridan, WY. The pond supports a few Red-winged Blackbirds, House Wren, ducks over the summer. Cattails and willows are good spots for migrants in the fall, but hard to get in the fall light. I see darker grey on lighter gray, and maybe an eye ring, and it was making a deep CHCK call, like a Common Yellowthroat. There is almost a touch of blue at the end of the wings, but I think that's just the light maybe.




    Second is also from Sheridan, also tonight, flitting around the trees at the edge of the golf course and middle of the fairway. Also making a loud CHCK warbler call note. With the streaking underneath,  the facial coloring and eye ring, I was considering Black and White Warbler, but it wasn't moving along the trunk as I would expect it to. I've tried to lighten the photo and so on, but without much luck.




    Finally, taken last weekend at a pond near Buffalo WY, the usual gang of hard to see miscreants.


    I'm thinking left to right, Wilson's Phalarope, Long Billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Phalarope, Greater Yellowlegs. A couple more closer shots below, but this is sort of the clearest.




    This one seems to have a rather downward curving bill




    Or could the Phalaropes be Stilt Sandpiper perhaps?




    Closer shot




    And just for fun, the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, first eBird reported, fourth in the state with game and fish! Really exciting! Not all of my photos are completely lousy either, I promise!




  6. These were taken midafternoon at Edness K Wilkins State Park in Casper, WY. The coloring and wing bars make me think some type of flycatcher, but the behavior wasn't what I'm used to seeing. We still have a lot of Western Wood Pewees about, but there were two of these, small, not very upright like the pewee, going tree to tree, and the trees were smaller, shrub trees, not like the big cottonwoods that the pewees like to use the dead branches of. They were sticking close to the leaves, and had an almost very light cat like mew call. They were also very quick and didn't sit still, almost more like a warbler, in movement. We have migrants coming through now, like Wilson's Warbler and Swainson's Thrush, which I know are not this bird, but this could be just something I don't usually see or hear. Any suggestions are appreciated! Thank you very much!








  7. I've been checking our new IBA east of Buffalo, WY, and we've picked up some great birds out there including Sprague's Pipit, Cassin's Sparrow, Clay Colored Sparrow and Chestnut Collared Longspurs. Along with these there are a good amount of Grasshopper Sparrows, Brewer's Sparrows, Vesper Sparrows, Horned Larks and Lark Buntings. I found these birds in the same batch of sage and grass as the Cassin's, and I originally IDd them as Brewer's. However, that got flagged as incorrect, so I thought I would put it out there. Young sparrows are driving me batty this summer, to the point where I get excited followed by, "oh no, another sparrow to ID!" They are all pics of the same 2 or 3 birds. I think my logic is telling me it's too much good fortune for them to ALL be Cassin's, which are unusual out here.

    Thank you!



    2. I think is the same bird as 1.


    3. Possible another Cassin's?




    5. Has two birds in it, a good size comparison. Not 100% sure on either bird.



  8. Out east of Buffalo WY, on the prowl for Sprague's Pipit, which we recorded five days prior, but have not spotted. This is grass land along a dirt road, with sage brush in the vicinity and a few low lying ponds not too far away. In an effort to further document the Pipit, I took a photo of every LBB I crossed paths with, and I think I'm about sparrowed out trying to ID them all. Help here is mucho appreciated.

    We have Western Meadowlarks, and Horned Larks here, a lot of them, and Chestnut Collared Longspur. Lark Bunting, Grasshopper Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow all in the neighborhood. Occasional Clay Colored Sparrow. This is a new IBA for our local Audubon, over 20k acres, and so I'd like to make sure we record everything we can, and correctly, as the land owner is very interested in sensitive species. I think the bill rules out the Pipit on these, but I wanted to make sure with some other opinions.


    1) I think juvenile Horned Lark...




    2) Maybe female Longspur?




    3) Looks a lot like two but does not have the white edges on the wings.







    Thank you in advance for any IDs and tips and tricks on these guys. 🙂

  9. This bird was found out at Chain Lakes Wildlife Habitat Management Area. It's miles and miles of sage, with a small wetland in the middle of it. We were hoping to find Mountain Plovers, but no luck. Last week, there were about 30 Wilson's Phaloropes out here, a Willet, Killdeer. Along with about a million Horned Larks and a few sparrows like Vesper, Brewer's, Savannah, Grasshopper and Sagebrush, I found this bird near the wetland.

    Pinkish beak, pink legs, partially streaked breast.

    It doesn't have the yellow of the Savannah, the markings seem too dark for Brewer's, it's missing the chestnut wing markings, eye ring of the Vesper, along with having a pronounced white eyebrow, facial coloring seems wrong for Lincoln's or Song. Baird's is probably wishful thinking on my part.

    Any help is appreciated! Thank you, and glad to see the forum back up!




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