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Dan P

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Posts posted by Dan P

  1. I was photographing this Red-tailed sitting in a tree when these two ravens noticed it and started swooping down to harass it.  The hawk paid no attention.  Then one raven landed on another branch about 5 feet away and was cawing constantly trying to annoy the hawk, but the hawk just ignored the raven and started grooming itself.  The raven jumped onto the branch with the hawk and started inching closer, cawing at it constantly.  Finally the hawk turned and looked at the raven like "seriously?"  I watched them for about 10 minutes and left them there.  I don't know how it turned out.


    • Like 7
    • Haha 3
  2. Taken on 11-15-2021 on the Los Angeles River at Glendale Narrows Riverwalk in Glendale, CA.

    This single scaup was hanging out with a group of 6 mallards.  No other scaups seen on a 1-mile stretch of river.  In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a scaup on the Los Angeles River before.

    Can this one be identified? I don't have the expertise.

    It bothers me that it's eye does not appear to be yellow, but it is on the shaded side.





  3. Taken on 11-15-2021 above the Los Angeles River at Glendale Narrows Riverwalk in Glendale, CA.

    Is this a Merlin?  I've never seen one before, but I think they should have a white throat.

    This was a very small raptor, very fast, sleek and quick turns.  It appeared from behind me, swooped down above some reeds, made an almost instantaneous 90 deg. turn and jetted away.  I've never seen anything like it.





    • Like 3
  4. I thought it was a Least Sandpiper when I saw it in real life, and once I saw the photo I was sure.

    I was actually trying to see what Merlin would say about some of the Dowitcher photos and was coming up with some odd results.  So I thought I'd test Merlin on the Least Sandpiper to see if it would return just a single match when its sure of what the bird is.  But apparently that backfired.

    I wonder if the background color of the water is creating a problem with distinguishing the yellow legs.  And/or maybe its having trouble with determining the length of the bill.

    Anyway, I always try to identify the birds first myself.  If I'm having trouble, I'll usually ask you guys on WhatBird Forum.  But sometimes if I want to get a quick opinion, I'll try Merlin.

    • Like 4
  5. So I have a couple of questions about Merlin.

    When Merlin returns more than one possibility, are they ranked in order most likely to least likely according to Merlin's algorithms?

    In the case of the above photo of the single bird, is this photo not good enough for Merlin to ID it more precisely?


  6. Taken on 11-4-2021 in the late afternoon at Hansen Dam Debris Basin in Lakeview Terrace (Los Angeles) CA.

    This one sandpiper was hanging out with a couple of dowitchers.  I thought it was a Least Sandpiper.  I decided to see what Merlin had to say about the photo of the single bird. 

    It gave the following suggestions in order:

    Semipalmated Sandpiper

    Baird's Sandpiper

    Least Sandpiper

    White-rumped Sandpiper


    What do you all think?




  7. On 10/22/2021 at 5:33 PM, Aidan B said:

    Thanks! I've spent lots of time trying to get better at them!

    My biggest tips would be

    1. Take lots of photos!...


    Aidan, your BIF photos are really fantastic.  I think you said that you got a new camera in the past year.  What camera and lens are you using?


  8. Taken in the late afternoon on 10-15-2021 at Crescenta Valley Regional Park, La Crescenta, CA (Los Angeles County).

    The first two photos in the grass are the same bird.  The third photo in the thicket may or may not be the same bird as the one in the grass.

    I believe these photos are of a Hermit Thrush, but I can't rule out Swainson's.




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