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Dan P

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Posts posted by Dan P

  1. Taken in the morning on 10-9-2021 at Lower Scholl Canyon Park in Glendale, CA.

    When I first looked at these photos, I thought this bird looked different than most House Finches that I've seen.  But the more I look at it, the more it looks like a House Finch.

    I've never seen a Purple Finch or Cassin's Finch or Rosy Finch before (that I know of), so I wanted to make sure.




  2. 1 hour ago, AlexHenry said:

    Just use vocalizations, don't even try to identify them based on how they look (at least until you are much more familiar with them, or if they are juveniles or fresh breeding plumage adults)

    I didn't know that the vocalizations were important in identifying them.  Next time I will be prepared.

    I saw my first Dowitcher a few weeks ago on 9/21 in San Diego County (a single bird).

    On this recent excursion on 10/3, there were about 90 of them in a single group in the shallow water.  A few times I caught smaller groups of them in-flight -- probably some of the same ones that were in that group of 90 in the water.

    A person that submitted a checklist from that same location for the morning of the previous day reported 220 Long-billed Dowitchers and no Short-billed Dowitchers.  I know that doesn't mean much.  

    I'm going to report one Long-billed (the one flying that Seanbirds ID'd), and 90 Long-billed/Short-billed.

    Thanks all.

    • Like 4
  3. Taken on 10-3-2021 on the Los Angeles River at Willow Street, Long Beach, CA -- 3 miles upstream from Long Beach Harbor.

    Can either of these Dowitchers be identified?

    And I have a question about Dowitcher bill length.  Does the length of the bill vary noticeably for both species.  I.e., does the bill length of a Long-billed Dowitcher vary significantly from one bird to another?   And, does the bill length of a Short-billed Dowitcher vary significantly from one bird to another?  If so, does a Long-billed Dowitcher with a shorter bill have about the same length of bill as a Short-billed Dowitcher with a longer bill?


  4. Taken on 9-15-2021 at the Los Angeles River in Atwater Village, CA.

    There were about 50 of these small sandpipers that all seemed to be about the same size.  All of those that I could clearly see the legs had yellowish legs. 

    They landed in the shallow water, then after a while all flew around, then landed back in the water.  I believe these are Least Sandpipers, but I want to make sure since they don't seem to be in the proper habitat.  Normally they prefer mudflats and the waters edge -- which is where I have seen them in the past in small groups of 3 to 5.  But here the whole large group was wading out in the center of the very shallow river -- maybe for lack of preferred habitat. 

    Through this section of about 5 miles of the river, called Glendale Narrows, the river has a concrete embankment on the sides, and a natural bottom with trees and vegetation growing in it -- except for the sections immediately before and after a roadway overpass where the bottom is concrete and runs very shallow with lots of sediment and organic material.  This is where the sandpipers were.






  5. 23 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

    Looks like Greater Yellowlegs. 

    I like this ID -- as opposed to what Merlin suggested.

    I started using Merlin this past week.  Those that I was able to easily identify, Merlin was also able to identify.  And those that I wasn't sure about, but had very good profile photos of, Merlin was also able to identify.

    But I guess a bird flying away is not so easy for Merlin.  Here is what Merlin suggested.

    First photo:

    Blue-footed Booby

    Second photo:

    Sabine's Gull
    Blue-footed Booby

  6. Yesterday 9-21-2021, I went to San Elijo Lagoon at Cardiff-by-the-Sea (San Diego County) and photographed coastal birds for the first time.  So I've got several new birds that I need to identify.

    Their signature bird seemed to be the Ridgway's Rail judging from the signs and illustrations.

    I think I photographed one, but in all of the photos I've seen of Ridgway's Rail they are always walking on the ground, or standing in mud or very shallow water.  This one was mostly swimming.  I first saw it in the middle of a channel, then it swam over to the bank and proceeded swimming down the shoreline (100 feet or more) looking under the brush.  When it was swimming it would jut its head forward and back.  I think this is a Ridgway's Rail, but I'm not certain.





    • Like 1
  7. Taken on 9-11-2021 in the morning at Ballona Freshwater Marsh in Playa del Rey, CA (Los Angeles).

    I'm thinking the bird in the first photo, and the smaller bird in the second photo are teals. 

    I was shooting through bushes so there is some blur in the second photo.

    There were four Northern Shovelers, one Ruddy Duck and one Mallard in the area of the second photo.

    I did see one male Cinnamon Teal (maybe molting) that was in another area of the lake, but not too far away.

    Other than those, the other ducks I saw in and/or flying over the small lake were 5 other mallards and 16 Gadwalls.




    • Like 1
  8. Taken on 9-11-2021 in the morning at Ballona Freshwater Marsh in Playa del Rey, CA (Los Angeles).

    This bird looks like a Black Phoebe to me.  I can't come up with anything else.

    But there are two things that bother me. 

    (1) The white on the top of the wing.

    (2) This bird was flying over 50 feet high in a fairly straight path above a small lake, down the length of the lake.  Its not the typical behavior I see for a Black Phoebe -- but maybe it had somewhere to go.





  9. 1 hour ago, AlexHenry said:

    How are you ruling out Tropical Kingbird for the bird on the left in the first photo?

    Fair point.  I personally don't have the expertise to rule out Tropical.  Cassin's is much more common around here.  Tropical is somewhat rare, and I've never seen one.  The two most common in this area are Cassin's (seen most often) and Western (seen occasionally), and I can usually distinguish between them.  But if I saw a Tropical I'm not sure that I would recognize it was different than a Cassin's.

    Attached are a couple more photos of the left-hand bird.



    • Like 4
  10. If I hadn't have gotten that last shot, I wouldn't have considered Western Tanager.  Fortunately it jump down to a branch about a foot below and turned sideways.  I was almost looking toward the sun when I took these, so I couldn't really tell what it looked like -- by the naked eye or through the lens.  Thanks.

    • Like 2
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