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Dan P

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Posts posted by Dan P

  1. 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?




  2. 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?


  3. 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.




  4. 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.




  5. 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
  6. 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?


  7. 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.






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