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Everything posted by sanddog

  1. A quick followup. These were visually confirmed yesterday as Swamp Sparrows. They were in the same location with a few Song and one White-Throated, and several were making the same type of call.
  2. I guess we can wrap this up? There might be someone who still disagrees but I think my evidence is pretty solid. Merlin is useful and mostly accurate but still noticeably imperfect. When it can tell a semi-distant Red-eyed Vireo from a PhiladeIphia, then I'll be flabbergasted. I think of this app as an evolving beta version which will no doubt get better over time. I also think that my recording would be useful to add. And, no offense to anyone, but I never said they were "chip notes", they're obviously NOT chip notes. Seems that anyone who knows anything about sparrows would be aware that most species have a wide variety of calls, with fall juveniles making the variability even greater. It's also interesting to me that while these recorded calls are similar, the frequency pitch varies among individuals in my recording and in other recordings. So the sonograms will display a variance as well, but recognizable signatures.
  3. Here's perhaps a better example from xeno canto, where it's described as a "dzeet" call. Sounds a match to my ears. https://xeno-canto.org/604025
  4. No suggestion for an alternative? I saw that they were sparrows along the edge of a marsh, and I neglected to mention that they didn't pump their tails when flying, and to me appeared slightly too large to be Chipping Sparrows. In Maine that leaves very few options, and local birders know this is a great spot for Swamp Sparrows. Additionally there are at least 5 recordings of Swamp Sparrows (by different birders) on xeno canto that match mine to a tee, and you can call it "generic", whatever that means, but it's certainly loud and clear enough to hear several of the sparrows that were giving the call. You said nothing concrete that gives me any indication that they are not Swamp Sparrows, and again I refer you to xeno canto's database.
  5. cf: https://xeno-canto.org/337069 What is it then, Hasan? There are several more Swamp Sparrow recordings that match the one above on xeno canto, all categorized as flight calls. These birds were feeding on the ground and making the same call, in a spot where Swamp Sparrows are the most commonly found. There are several of them calling in my recording. eBird hasn't removed my ID or contacted me about it after several days, so I'm sticking with it unless someone can correct me.
  6. While not found at All About Birds, xeno canto lists this as a Swamp Sparrow's flight call. These birds, however, were feeding on the ground. So must be a not so common SWSP call. Anyway, I've got it. Thanks everyone.
  7. Hi everyone. These passerines, which appeared to be sparrows, were on the ground at a sandy road edge near an open marsh in southwestern Maine. No clear field marks, as I was driving, but I got a decent recording. Apparently the call isn't in Merlin's database, as it ID's as Spotted Flycatcher. The spot is dense with Swamp Sparrows in breeding season but (assuming these are juveniles) they don't sound like Swamp to me. Song and Chipping are also very common in this location. Thanks for any help. Recording_1077 (Sparrow).wav
  8. I've been reading about the species and it says they leap to grasp seed heads. That's exactly what it was doing near the bird bath that caught my attention in the first place. So cool to see this bird in Maine.
  9. Thank you Blackburnian & IKLland. It's been reported to eBird and is still awaiting confirmation. From these pics can anyone tell me what sex/life stage this bird is? And does it appear to be gathering these dandelion seeds as nesting material, or just eating them? Here's another photo from yesterday.
  10. Hmmm, thanks Blackburnian. I will get this to eBird. I have a bunch more photos. Unfortunately it was getting dark so none are high quality. These others show different angles. If it was a Painted Bunting would it be gathering nesting materials? Incidentally Painted Buntings do get reported in Maine almost every year, but yes they are a rarity for certain, and I've never seen one. It appeared to be picking up the dandelion seeds as if gathering nest materials (rather than eating them), but I suppose I could be wrong since I've never witnesses the way Buntings feed.
  11. This just showed up near my bird bath and I'm stumped. Warbler-like in its appearance and behavior, yet its bill is finch or sparrow-like. Mostly gray, faint Blackpoll Warbler-like striping on its greenish yellow-tinged back. The photos don't show the triangle-like pattern on the back, which reminded me of a dull female Pine Warbler. Whitish vent (no yellow), no hint of wing bars, no eye ring. And gathering nesting materials off the ground for several minutes, while accompanied by Chipping Sparrows which it was close in size to. It's like the field marks all cancel each other out for anything obvious. Thanks for any help with this puzzler.
  12. Thanks for your reply. It was still light out, sunset is after 8 here this time of year. To my ears it didn't sound like the typical "chway" Hermit call but it was somewhat windy and in a spot where they frequent in breeding season, coming from a tree. You're probably correct but I'd like to see if anyone can second the Hermit ID?
  13. Heard this evening at 7:10 PM along a mixed wooded trail in southern Maine. A buzzing single note call that did not sound like American Woodcock's peent, although those are present in lower areas along the same trail, as usual for this time of year. It sounded larger than passerine-sized and seemed to be coming from mid level trees near the highway. In the recording there are 3 repetitions of the call at 0:00, 0:12 (the loudest) and 0:25. I'm including an eBird link as well, with a fairly clear sonogram. The upward inflection at the call's end to me doesn't suggest Woodcock at all. Hermit Thrushes just came in but I don't think it's one of those either. If it's a gray tree frog its call is new to me, and it was a blustery 42 degrees there with spring peepers barely calling, so that species would likely be dormant. Link with the same audio, under "passerine sp.": https://ebird.org/checklist/S107589564 Recording_840 (mystery).wav
  14. Thanks everyone! And apologies about the poor quality of the recording.
  15. Here's a better quality version https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/434939801
  16. This recording was from this afternoon in a mostly coniferous wooded area above an embankment going down to a slow moving section of the Presumpscot River. The call in the first 4 seconds I'm reasonably certain is a Northern Flicker. The second bird at 0:02 sounds like a Song Sparrow. It's the single note call at 0:04-0:05 that's puzzling me. I don't think it's a Red-shouldered Hawk although there was one heard earlier along the trail. I don't think it's a Sora or an owl. Any help would be appreciated, thanks. Recording_140 (whatbird).wav
  17. Looking into what nearby bodies of water there are that would support Common Loons, the one I mentioned seems unlikely (it's more like a polluted creek, although no one in Maine says "creek") but there is a larger pond about 1/2 mile away that is a known loon breeding spot (with an island that's fenced off for that purpose, called Loon Island). This would mean the bird was a calling flyover but I had no idea that they flew around like that during breeding season; and having lived in Maine for most of my life I don't think I've ever heard one call while flying. So an odd species at this location but certainly not as rare as a Common Poorwill would be. Thanks Bird Nuts and Bird-Boys for your help.
  18. Hi Bird Nuts, There is a small pond (Wards Pond) which is largely dried up that borders the spot, although I've never seen or heard any Loon flyovers or much else for water birds at the end near where we were. While I've never been to the other side and assumed it was all equally shallow, it appears the annual Loon count does tally Wards Pond. Sounds like your ID might be the correct one.
  19. The bird at the very beginning of this recording was picked up while recording Towhees, House Wrens and other species at 8:41 this evening in Maine at a sandy field with tall sparse vegetation in southern Maine. You can hear my companion whisper "Loon" which it also doesn't sound like to me, and wouldn't be found there anyway. There are Whippoorwills present at the location, to clarify, but it sounded not at all like any Whippoorwill vocalization I've heard. I'm very reluctant to venture Common Poorwill, although audio of that species sounds as close as anything to my ears. I guess it's just a Whippoorwill making an odd three-syllable call or song? We heard it twice and the recording just caught the complete second repetition in its entirety; both repetitions were of the same three syllables. Recording_689 (Unknown species).wav
  20. Heard this the other morning in the yard among numerous other species. Didn't get a visual. Doesn't sound like Magnolia or Tennessee Warbler, I'm just drawing a blank on this one. WAV file normalized to -3db . Thanks for any help. Recording_605 (Mystery_warbler_or).wav
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