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Everything posted by okaugust

  1. Greetings from the great Pac Northwet! Reports of Brandt's Cormorants, and maybe I've spied them, but none are showing the gular coloring at all, and at great distance it is hard to discern. Brandt's would be a new bird for me, so I'd like to check to confirm with others who know better. ? Taken in the last 24 hours in locations as indicated. First photo is in Astoria under the Megler Bridge. I'm leaning toward Brandt's. Second is from the Hammond Marina. Pelagic? Thank you!
  2. I found this solo Dowitcher north of Sheridan, WY tonight. It was alone on a small farm pond with Mallards and Green-winged Teal. Usually I see dowitchers in at least a small flock, and it SHOULD be a Long-billed, and may very well be. Maybe wishful thinking on my part, but it seems to be missing the hunch in the back and the bill seemed shorter. It does have the larger round belly that is supposed to be a trait of the Long-billed, but looking at photos of both and allaboutbirds I see varying levels of belly roundness or skinniness on both. Basically for every one I see that should be one or the other, the next one looks like...the other. Anyway, all I know is I I see Long-billed because that's what I'm supposed to see, but if this is a Short-billed, I'll never tell the difference and someone with more experience might. Thank you in advance...
  3. I am posting this for a friend, who asked for some ID help. I'll detail my diagnosis below, but would love other opinions. This was taken September 26th, on Clear Creek Trail in Buffalo, WY. This area of the trail area is some pine, mostly brush, aspen, and sometimes creek side. The four Western under tail matches where the body is yellow and the tail is more of a solid dark are Wilson's, MacGillivray's, Common Yellowthroat and Orange-crowned. Looking at the Eastern options, the tails are too short on that end to apply here. (But don't completely discount me on this, it could happen.) The Blackpoll and Townsend's tails look a lot like the Yellow-rumped, which has the black on the tail looks like black spots almost on the outer tail. Another candidate based on what I've seen there, the American Redstart, while the tail is a match, the belly is not, and I think they've all left already. So I don't think any of those. I'd leave out the Yellowthroat because it's not bulky enough, and wouldn't typically be high up in a tree. Should be in a marsh. MacGillivray's, while I have seen them here, I would expect to be more in the undergrowth and not up in the tree tops. What looks like darker coloring around the neck makes me wonder about this diagnosis though. Now Wilson's, the coloring is a deeper yellow and seems more accurate, but they often seem smaller than this, and the darker coloring around the throat and head are throwing me off. Orange-crowned...they come in a range of colors it seems, slight variations that can make ID tricky, but they seem lighter on the front than this bird. They do have more of a spiky bill, which this bird seems to have. Given the size.... It's a toss up for me between the last two and I'd lean to OCWA...again what almost looks like a darker hood of some sort is giving me pause for the MacGillivary's. Would love other opinions! Thank you! Photo - Joanne Puckett
  4. Camped overnight at a spring in the middle of the sagebrush sea, and could use an ID confirm on some birds we found in this little migrant trap. For reference, this is Bush Springs in Wyoming, and it is located here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/42°06'45.6"N+108°49'46.1"W/@42.1126772,-108.8294622,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d42.1126772!4d-108.8294622 First the sparrow, which I IDd at the time as a Chipping Sparrow. It was foraging along the ground in a space between willows and sage. However, I had just heard a towhee call prior to this, so I was considering it might be a juvenile. Not seeing much that would define it either way for me. I only got one clear shot before I lost it in the brush. Flycatcher 1: Not too long before this, I'd seen a Gray Flycatcher, bobbing its tail which was a helpful ID considering none of them were vocalizing. This might be another Gray, but the tail and bird seemed longer, so I thought it might be worth another look. Flycatcher 2: Looks spot on for a Hammond's, but I don't trust myself. Also looks like a Least... Flycatcher 3: At first I though the same bird as the #2 bird, but it seems like the definition of white on the wings is less so, with more olive coloring. It could be light though, as they were taken at dusk and morning. But I'd still probably go with Hammond's. Flycatcher #4 - this one zipped up to the tree branch and then was gone. It wasn't keeping to the lower branches of small trees like the others above. Longer, more upright, and just can barely see the eye ring, but again this was the only shot I got before it flew away. I'd probably go with Willow here with the light wing bars and eye ring, and yellow coloring, which I sometimes see out here. The highlight was finding a Cassin's Vireo out there, so it's an interesting place and possible migrant stop over, but it's really in the middle of nowhere, which is how I like it, but not easy to get to from where I live. Thanks in advance for any help, flycatchers, always exciting to find, frustrating to ID. Thank you!
  5. Tony, any suggestions for that the very first photo is? Thank you,
  6. Thank you for the continuing dialog, looking forward to further responses.
  7. Okay, I'll go all in. ? This one was from a the same group, about three that came over. Also from that group Three photos of this same group where the photo quality is poorer. I cropped them too. Those three were on the NW end of the lake, the first boat ramp along the auto tour route after leaving the visitor's center. These were on the south side of the lake, third section of the route (15 miles). I think we are going back this weekend, camping overnight at Charles M Russell to get an earlier start, and explore there as well. As mentioned, Bowdoin is amazing, and there are 1000s of terns and gulls and shorebirds. It's pretty overwhelming trying to look at everything at once. I would love to have a focus, but I love them all.
  8. Saturday we ventured north to Bowdoin NWR in northern Montana. It's the first time we've been there, and it was amazing! The volume of birds is really overwhelming, and as we drove almost six hours there and six home in the same day, we stretched our birding time as much as we could. Hoping to go back again this Saturday. The gulls, terns and shorebird variety is just amazing. Find of the day was a Black-bellied Plover in breeding plumage. I also managed to snap a few terns, and my local (Wyoming) ebird reviewer, who is really top notch with ID, said Forster's. Another fellow came along with this comment: This actually looks suggestive of an Arctic Tern. Gray underparts, thin, small bill, and narrow trailing edge on the underside of the wings. Are there any additional photos? Arctic Terns are occasionally reported at Bowdoin in summer. I was up there in 1998 when Steve Dinsmore and I found (mostly Steve) found Arctic Terns nesting at this NWR. (Joel Jorgenson) I don't have any other photos that are any more help, or from this same group of terns and area, but I thought I would put it up for opinions. Thank you!
  9. The first two are from yesterday, Johnny Behind the Rocks, which is a red canyon with juniper and sage a few miles SE of Lander, WY. There are Gray Flycatchers there, but these didn't strike me as Grays. They weren't calling either, so no help there. They are two different birds from two different spots along the trail, far enough apart to be not the same bird. 1. 2. 3. Sparrow is from July 6th, Little Firehole Road, south of Rock Springs, WY, also red canyon and juniper. A lot of Sagebrush and Brewer's Sparrow, occasional Vesper. I'm leaning toward Sagebrush because of the facial markings, but the striping on the chest gave me pause, so I wanted to get second opinions. It might still have it's spots, so to speak. 4. Bear River State Park in Evanston, WY, July 5th. You will probably have to turn it up. It was high up in the deciduous trees, and another was calling from across the stream. I'm not even 100% sure it's a bird. Every time I got within about 20 feet of the tree, it would stop making the sound, and the leaves and wind made it hard to even try to spot. It almost has the "fitz bew" of a flycatcher, but seems very loud for that. Almost jay like. It's not something I'm familiar with. If it's a squirrel, I'm sorry! Thank you for the help!
  10. I’m pretty familiar with house, canyon and rock and not those. I’ve found Bewicks before. The song was more lyrical than the blue-grays busy buzzy sound. And just listening to the song of the Bewicks you could be on to something! The undertail striping doesn’t match the blue gray but I’m not sure ? about the Bewicks either hmmm and thank you so much for the confirm on the titmouse Benjamin! They just would not come out of the brush for a look but the husband thought he saw it and I thought I heard it but having a confirm makes me feel better!
  11. The last couple of days down here in SW Wyoming, I'm hearing so many birds not common to my ear, that I'm going for the shoot and hope method of bird ID. I'm feeling like I just started birding all over! Despite listening to my Birds of the Western US CDs and comparing the recorded sounds, I'm just not getting some of them to click. On top of that, it's hot, bright, and birds are keeping to the brush a lot of the times, so hard to see. Sigh. The first were taken either Friday afternoon or yesterday morning, south of Rock Springs in the vicinity of Flaming Gorge, juniper areas with a lot of rock. 1. Apparently my lens was covered in dust because I had a clean shot and blew it. This little guy was singing away at the top of the bush for a couple of minutes, a neat, clear song that I didn't get a recording of or imprinted in my brain enough to repeat. I thought the striping on the tail might ring a bell for someone. Taken along Little Firehole Rd. 2. Also along Little Firehole Road, it's the chitter chitter notes that I'm interested in IDing. There were Brewer's Sparrow, Gray Flycatchers, Sagebrush Sparrows, Mountain Bluebirds and Rock Wren all in this vicinity, but it doesn't sound like those by comparison. I was looking for Juniper Titmouse(s? Titmice?) and they do have a similar call note, but I'm not confident enough to call it. (Note: on the videos you'll probably have to turn it way up. Nikon P900 is great for bird photos, the sound on video, not so much.) 3. Same vicinity and habitat, a steep inclined rocky road that was hard to get stopped on, that runs off of Sage Creek Rd. 4. This bird was seen out near Oregon Buttes, a vast sage area with some great cliffs rising up out of it, north of Rock Springs and east of Farson. We were driving along a two track the top of a short rise, when the bird lofted from next to us. All I caught was a glimpse of it from the top as it dropped. The back was pure brown. No V to be seen of a Red-tailed. It was also sort of a blunt bird, roundish, not the spread of a Golden. The bird landed far away, and this was the best I could do with the distance and heat shimmer. I think I can see some white leggings and chest, but not clearly. Again, no white markings on the back, which would put me in mind of a Golden, but, well, I'm going in circles. Very off chance it could be a Peregrine. It may have to just stay raptor, but again, I thought maybe someone would cotton onto a feature that helps. Image is heavily cropped, I can add the original if anyone thinks it would help. 5. Last one (I know, I know, I try to not post so many in one post, but it seems logical to me, so be nice ? ) Chain Lakes WHMA in the middle of nowhere WY. Literally. It's at the convergence of three roads that go from nowhere to nowhere. Odd of meeting someone here are zero. Odds of finding Mountain Plovers so far are zero LOL, but try try again. Odds of finding oodles of Burrowing Owls was off the charts with two nests, one of five young, another eight! Lots of sage obligate sparrows. Savannah, Sagebrush, Brewer's, which, based on visual alone I would say this is a Brewer's, but the song? Anyway, off to Seedskadee NWR today and who knows where else. Here are eight little Burrowing Owls to tell you thank you for all of your help in advance, and so you know not all of my pictures completely suck. Thank you!
  12. LOL That's usually how I feel when I find a mess of peeps. I know it was a lot to throw out at once, but since it was all the same time, place and group of birds, it just made sense. I super appreciate both of you taking the time to walk me through them. I didn't do as bad as I thought! Now that the house is clean, maybe I will go birding after all! Thank you!
  13. We had a great day out in eastern Wyoming yesterday, finding Field Sparrows, Great-tailed Grackles and White-rumped Sandpipers, thanks to following some tips from other great birders around here. The White-rumped Sandpipers were a big flock (for Wyoming) of about 60 birds at Robber's Roost Reservoir south of Newcastle, WY, at the edge of Thunder Basin NG, close to the SD border. Mixed in were several others, IDd in the field as Stilt Sandpiper and Semipalmated Sandpiper. I think as individuals I can sort of figure them out, but once I get a mix my brain shuts down and yells at me, "Well really, they all do look pretty much alike after all!" In some cases I caught a bird that wasn't the focus of the photo/look and it's thrown me off. I'm going to make an attempt to ID these, but I'd like confirmation, and if I'm 100% wrong, I'll be cleaning the house today instead of birding... In advance, I realize these aren't all the best shots, and there are several. I know some may not be identified. I DEFINITELY appreciate any help at all. Checklist is here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S69858866 1) Foreground: White-rumped Background: Stilt (though I'm getting a Pectoral vibe - on this and a couple other photos) 2) White-rumped 3) White-rumped at 12:00, 3:00 and 9:00. Semipalmated in the middle left, White-rumped middle right. 4. Semipalmated (though Western occurred to me too, I think the bill is more Semipalmated) 5A. Foreground: White-rumped, Background: Stilt/Pectoral 5b. Same bird from the back solo without the size comparison 6. Two White-rumped, though the one in the background gave me pause. 7a. Finally, my first and worst shot (as I sat down and luckily avoided cactus in three directions, but it was a sticky position), but several birds, one of which caught my interest. Going around the clock, and I realize these may not be identifiable. 12:00: I don't know what the big white bird is and cut off its head, alas and oh well. 1:00: Phalaropes Four birds middle and foreground: White-rumped Sandpipers Two birds middle: ? 9:00: ? Bird to the lower left of the big white bird is what really piqued my interest, thinking Stilt or Pectoral. Close up below. 7b. Happy Sunday, better start cleaning the house now....thank you!
  14. Good afternoon, I admit up front these are not the clearest views, but I thought perhaps someone with more tern experience and chops might see anything I'm missing that would help nail down the ID on these guys. May 2nd, 2020, Boysen Reservoir, Tough Creek Campground, WY Unfortunately it was almost dusk when we got there, so by the time I worked my way from the east end of the campground to the west the light was getting bad when they flew over. Partially into the sun and getting darker at the same time. There were Caspian Terns on the east end of things. This is the check list if it helps. https://ebird.org/checklist/S68291368 Thank you!!!
  15. Thanks for the discussion! Sounds like we are still in the Common/Forster's ID group. ?
  16. None of them were diving. There was a flock of Redheads just floating, and a few more flew in, but no diving from any of them.
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